In the 1880's emigration to South Africa was strongly encouraged by president Paul Kruger and support committees were set up throughout Holland. Under the leadership of Wolterus Dull money was collected in Holland to assist Boers who suffered losses during the first Anglo-Boer War. These funds was also used to bring Dutch immigrants to the, then, Transvaal.
In 1883 a company was established to strengthen ties between the two countries. The company then bought the two farms, Groot Suikerboschkop & Elandslaagte, in order to establish a settlement under hush conditions with the nearest shop and Post Office at Bergendal about 25km away. The agricultural land was not as fertile as they thought and there was nearby market for their produce.
The first settlers from Holland arrived during the period 1884-1887. By the end of 1887 the settlement consisted of 48 white souls, eight houses, three stables, 10 cattle kraals and the "Boeren Handelsvereniging" trading store.
Wolterus Dull visited the farm Groot Suikerboschkop during 1890 and found that the settlers had established a small village.
This village was proclaimed as a town in 1892 by Paul Kruger in the Government Gazette of October 1893 and was originally named Dull's-stroom, later simplified to Dullstroom, after Wolterus Dull and the Crocodile River (stream), which flows nearby
“Zoo is het, dat ik, Stephanus Johannes Kruger, Staats- president der Zuid-Afrikaanshe Republiek, met advies en konsent van den Uitvoerenden raad, blijkens art.567 zijner notulen, gedateerd 9 Oktober 1893, bij deze proklameer dat op een zeker gedeelte van die plaats Grootsuikerboschop, gelegen in die Wijk Steenkampsberg, Distrik Lijdenburg, een dorp is gevestigd onder den naam Dullstroom. GOD BEHOEDEN LAND EN VOLK:
During 1894 the village had a population of 100 Settlers. The British solders occupied Dullstroom in May 1900, during the Anglo-Boer War, after the village was twice razed to the ground by the British soldiers.
The women and children were removed to a British concentration camp in Belfast. Many died fighting and others died in detention. A stone memorial and garden of remembrance remind us of those terrible times.
After the pitched battle of Dalmanutha (August 1900), the war assumed the form of guerilla warfare and sporadic fighting occurred in the area.
Heavy Creusot guns, nicknamed Long Toms, were utilised. An encounter took place in December 1901 at Elandspruit which resulted in British and Boer casualties.
After the war some of the immigrants, including T.N.H. Janson, returned and started to rebuild the village from the ashes.
By 1920 no less then 8 shops had been established and in 1921 the village was granted the status of a Town Council.
At some point, corporate Johannesburg discovered the joys of casting flies at trout-filled dams, and syndicates bought large areas around Dullstroom as private pieces of neo-Scotland.
Dullstroom used to be a sleepy little village in the mist belt. But the seeding of a few trout fingerlings has turned it into the last Scottish outpost in Africa. The industry started back in 1912 when J. Gurr the postmaster of Lydenburg, unexpectedly caught a fish that looked like a trout in the Dorps River. The first fingerlings were released in 1916 into a few local streams from hatcheries in the mountains of the Cape Winelands.
F.C. Braun, the local watchmaker and jeweller took over the job of stocking the streams, after Gurr's departure from town. The first stocking in this district of Dullstroom took place in 1927. Hatching boxes were placed and attended in the old municipality dam. The present municipality dam was constructed during 1965, and was stocked in the following year with 17,000 fingerlings.
The hatchlings did so well that tourism, angling and the breeding of trout for the table and stock, form important industries in the Dullstroom District