BEAUFORT WEST, in Cape province, South Africa, the capital of a division of this name, 339 m. by rail N.E. of Cape Town. Pop. (1904) 5481. The largest town in the western part of the Great Karroo, it lies, at an elevation of 2792 ft., at the foot of the southern slopes of the Nieuwveld mountains. It has several fine public buildings and the streets are lined with avenues of pear trees, while an abundant supply of water, luxuriant orchards, fields and gardens give it the appearance of an oasis in the desert. It is a favourite resort of invalids. The town was founded in 1819, and in its early days was largely resorted to by Griquas and Bechuana for the sale of ivory, skins and cattle. The Beaufort West division has an area of 6374 sq. m. and a pop. (1904) of 10,762, 45% being whites. Sheep-farming is the principal industry.
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