Weenen was founded in 1838. The name means ‘weeping’, a reminder of the massacres inflicted on the Voortrekker camps in the area after the assassination of Piet Retief and his men by the Zulu
The museum is housed in a building that was erected by Andries Pretorius, the Voortrekker leader. It contains Voortrekker relics and has a restored water mill in the garden.
A narrow-gauge railway was built in 1907 to connect Weenen to Estcourt, 46,5km away. The line was closed in 1983.
18km From Weenen is the turnoff to Winterton and the Drakensberg. Shortly after this turnoff, next to the old main road leading northwards is a wayside plaque marking the site where the Boers wrecked a British armoured train on 15 November 1899. During this event Winston Churchill was taken prisoner. Those that were killed are buried in a cemetery nearby.