Caledon has been the
birth place to Proudly South African heroes
like Springbok rugby player Errol Tobias and the
undisputed King of "Langarm" Bobby Hendricks,
Casino, Hotel & Spa, a graceful resort situated at the original hot springs, Caledon South African Brewery Maltings producing malt for the making of South African
beers, now one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere and The Caledon Wild Flower Garden & Reserve that has most fynbos species, offering a 10km hiking trail as well
as the famous "Venster" (window) rock.
Originally Caledon, one of the seven oldest town in South Africa, had its origin and development inextricably linked with the hot springs that emit their healing waters at
the base of the Klein Swartberg mountains. The springs were undoubtedly well known to the Khoi tribes that inhabited the area well before white settlement. Sources differ
on the first concrete reference to them by white travelers, one being 1695 and another 1710. If one disregards the cattle posts of the Dutch East India Company in the
Overberg, the first permanent white settlement in the Caledon area commenced in 1710 with the grant of ten hectares to Ferdinand Appel at the hot springs. He was instructed
to erect a building for the use of visitors to the curative waters.
A full century lapsed before the farming community increased sufficiently to warrant the establishment of a drostdy and a church. The government decision to create a sub-drostdy
at Caledon (Klein Swartberg) was taken in March 1810 and five months later, four local farmers, Wessel Wessels, Phillipus de Bruyn, Johanness Marais and Hans Swart requested
permission to build a church with the aid of government. In April 1811 Caledon received its first deputy landdrost (subordinate to Swellendam) and in 1813 the first Dutch
Reformed Church was consecrated. Besides provision for the officials and the minister, seventeen erven were surveyed, fifteen along the Old Wagen Weg (now Mill Street) to
Swellendam and two in Church Street.
By the 1840's the conversion to the wool producing Merino was causing a silent resolution in the district. From having been a very poor grain producing area, the Overberg
became one of the most prosperous farming districts in the Colony and the growing wool exports were reflected in the remarkable growth in the village of Caledon. Between
1840 and 1860 Caledon doubled in size, with the number of householders increasing from 39 to 81. In 1870 a correspondent claimed that Caledon had 5 schools, 3 doctors, 1
bank, a brass band, 6 hotels, 13 shopkeepers, 5 bakers, 5 butchers, 4 carpenters, 5 wagon makers, 4 shoemakers, 4 blacksmiths, 5 masons, 6 tailors, 3 saddle makers, 3 hairdressers,
12 photographers, 4 canteen, 2 bottle stores, 6 carriers and last but not least 2 undertakers.