Situated on the R704, Fauresmith is the second oldest town in the Free State and derives its name from the Rev Phillip Faure of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Cape Colony and then governor of the Colony, Sir Harry Smith who played a distinctive role in the early history of South Africa (1819-1834).
Two years prior to the founding of Fauresmith, Bloemfontein the judicial capital of the Republic of South Africa, was founded by Major Henry Douglas Warden as a town and military outpost. This intervention of the British in the interior caused the subsequent battle of Boomplaats between Boer and Briton in 1848, some 30km from the present town of Fauresmith. (Sir Harry Smith and Boers under Andries Pretorius clashed).
The first plots or erven were measured out and sold in 1849, and the town acquired municipal status only on 13 December 1859. At that stage, however, the town was still under the control and management of the Dutch Reformed Church.
The original church settlement was laid out on the farm Sannah's Poort, on land that belonged to Adam Kok and his Griqua people. The farm was named for Kok's wife Sannah who once broke her leg there. Despite protests by Adam Kok the church went ahead with its plans, and the town of Fauresmith was established on Sannah's Poort.
Fauresmith is set among high ridges which have squeezed the growing town into a horseshoe shape. The town remains filled with quant historical features and attractions which lie carefully juxtaposed with the modern elements of a developing infrastructure.