The railway siding round, which the village developed, was first called Modjadji. Later changed to Duiwelskloof (‘ravine of the devil’). The most likely origin of the name was that transport riders named it after they had to maneuver their heavily laden ox-wagons up and down the ravine, which became a quagmire during the rainy season.
Just north of the town is the Westphalia estate of Dr Hans Merensky; the man associated with the major mineral discoveries in the country.
Also near here is the farm Narina where Charles Maberly, well-known naturalist and wildlife painter, lived until his death in 1972. The farm, named for the Narina trogon, a colourful forest bird which occurs in these parts, was run like a private game reserve where animals were equally at home in the garden and in the bush. Maberly’s unusual way with animals gave rise to the legend that like Dr Doolittle, he could talk to them. The farm is still being maintained as a nature reserve.