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Stellenbosch

STELLENBOSCH, a town of the Cape province, South Africa, 31 m..by rail E. of Cape Town. Pop. (1904), 7573, of whom 2497 were whites. It lies 360 ft. above the sea in a pleasant upland valley on the Atlantic slope of the coast range, and is, next to the capital, the oldest settlement in the province, having been founded by order of Commandant Simon van der Stell in 1681 and named after him and his wife, whose maiden name was Bosch. The streets are lined with magnificent oaks, while many of the houses with heavy, thatched gables date from the 17th century. Stellenbosch is the headquarters of the Cape branch of the Dutch Reformed Church, and is also an important educational centre. The chief buildings, besides the churches, are the Dutch theological seminary, Victoria College, Bloemhof girls' school, agricultural college and school of mines, laboratory and school of science and the S.A. conservatorium of music. The surrounding district is largely devoted to viticulture and fruit-growing. The vineyards have been replanted with American stocks. The Stellenbosch valley is closed in by ranges of hills beyond which, eastward, lies Frenchhoek valley, with a village of the same name. This district was the headquarters of the Huguenot refugees who settled in South Africa at the close of the 17th century.

In the early days of the Boer War (1899-1902) Stellenbosch was one of the British military bases, and was used as a " remount " camp; and in consequence of officers who had not distinguished themselves at the front being sent back to it, the expression " to be Stellenbosched " came into use; so much so, that in similar cases officers were spoken of as " Stellenbosched " even if they were sent to some other place. The remount dep6t is maintained; horses and mules thrive here.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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