Former Mission Station of the Berlin Missionary Society, 22 km East of Ladysmith. Named after Amalie von Stein, who was a benefactress of German Missions. Amalienstein is on Route 62 at the Entrance to the 'Sewe Weeks Poort' (Amalienstein is the one with the beautiful yellow Church that you notice from the road), they are both on the Missionary Route (that includes Mamre, Genadendal, Wuppertal, Steinkopf and Elim) and both Towns are under-explored and dependent on Tourism for their survival.
Their immediate History goes something like this: Zoar was the first of the South African Missionary Society's (SAMS) 'projects', established in 1817. Interestingly the Berlin Mission Society ran the mission station on behalf of SAMS, only to fall out over something vital enough that one of the injured parties established Amalienstein, just next door. Both Missions received substantial funding from a Baroness Amalie von Stein. But the Towns' History goes deeper than this. The locals 'colonized' by the Missionaries were from the Attequa tribe descendants of the Korana (a Quena/Khoi tribe). Their culture and way of life is fast dying with the elders of the Town, who are now trying to preserve and share what little they know as part of a Kannaland Storytelling Initiative to capture, share and showcase the History they remember! These informal and off-the-cuff sessions are the best way to meet the people of Amalienstein and Zoar. As the actor, Alan Rickman, so aptly says - it is a human need to tell and listen to stories, so that we can remember who and what we are! The farm Amalienstein, adjacent to the Board area, also started as a Berlin Missionary Society. The first church service in the church building was held on 17 September 1853. Land was allocated to it for missionary work by Deeds of Grant in 1887 and 1888. The Berlin Missionary Society then sold the land to DR Roux and JH Hofmeyer in November 1937, with a 99 year lease agreement registered in favour of the Berlin Missionary Society in respect of the Graveyard, School Site, Teacher’s Residence, Church Site and Land adjoining the Church Site. Daniël Hofmeyer sold the Farm on 12 July 1986 to the State, with the lease agreement included, to be held in trust for the Community of Zoar.
New Dictionary of South African Names by Peter E Raper