The oldest still standing building in Bloemfontein, built three years after its founding in 1846 — by soldiers of its founder and resident, major Henry Douglas Warden
of the British empire.
Back then, only the smaller pioneer house existed, a small Cape-Dutch styled structure with reed thatched roof, clay brick and plaster walls with a white finish, dung floors, wooden supports for the roof, and small wooden windows.
It was the first school, church and administration building north of the Orange river, and the location of notable events such as the inauguration of the Orange Free state's first two presidents J.P. Hoffman and J.N. Boshoff.
The house was also used as a meeting place for the area's council until 1856 when it moved to a larger premises, reverting to a school and church until 1877.
The national museum was started here in 1877, where it remained until 1915, before moving to its present building in the same city.
A single storey western wing was added in 1885 to accommodate the museum's growing collection, and a similar eastern wing in 1891, though the western wing was unfortunately demolished in 1970 after it became dilapidated.
Since then it served as a recreation hall, office and store room for locust poison before becoming a museum once again.
Today it houses a history of the establishment of the Free State, as well as antique furniture of the time, with the older pioneer house being the last of its kind in the city..
There also is a garden out back, as well as the wagon house museum.What to do there
See the last pioneer house in Bloemfontein or know more about the city's history as well as that of the free state.Best time to visit
Any time of the year. Location of First Raadsaal museum
In Bloemfontein's city centre, near the Magistrate court.How to get there
By bus, vehicle, train, taxi, public minibus, walking.
There's a train and bus station nearby, as well as an airport in the city's outskirts.References
1. Par NtandoPZ — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64764348