A brief synopsis of Lichtenburg:
Lichtenburg is sometimes called 'Wilgedorp' because of the willow trees along the furrows lining the streets. The town was established on the farms Middelbosch and Doornfontein which were presented for this purpose to the Transvaal Republic by Commandant Hendrik Greeff in 1866.
The town was the focus of diamond fever between 1925 and 1930 and, while it lasted, there were some 50 000 diggers and 100 000 labourers active in the district. After an estimated £ 15 million worth of diamonds had been found, the source waned and only a few diggers remained to pursue their dreams of fortune.
The backbone of Lichtenburg's economy is now agricultural and the maize produced in the district is handled by one of the biggest cooperative companies in the country. Other grains are also produced and cattle ranching are another major agricultural occupation. The climate of Lichtenburg is healthy and moderate. Frost occurs in winter but the days are pleasantly sunny. As a result of natural water resources and wide-open spaces it has a natural charm and it a true oasis in an otherwise slightly arid North Western region.
In 1926 a diamond was found on the farm Elandsputte resulting in a diamond rush with more than 100'000 diggers streaming to the town. In March 1927 25,000 runners took part to peg their claims in one of the biggest diamond rushes in history.
The biggest pure red diamond ("pigeon blood red") in the world was found here. By 1935 the rush was over after 7 million carats of diamonds were discovered. Lichtenburg Diggings Museum has exhibits of the alluvial diamant diggings of 925-1935.
The Ampie Bosman Cultural History Museum gives an introduction to the interesting & colourful history of Lichtenburg. Exhibits cover the founding & development of the town, discovery of the local diamond fields, the siege of Lichtenburg during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and much more.