Somerset West was founded in 1822 on part of the historic farm, Vergelegen. The town was named Somerset after an English governor of the Cape Colony during the 1800s, Lord Charles Henry Somerset, with the suffix 'West' being added after 1825 to differentiate it from Somerset East, another South African town in the Eastern Cape. In the 1830s, Sir Lowry's Pass, named after later governor Sir Lowry Cole, was constructed to link the town with outposts further east over the Hottentots-Holland mountains. In the 1960s, the AECI factory between Somerset West and Strand was the second largest dynamite factory in the world. Wikipedia

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