The town of Springs was originally a farm of the same name, so called because of the number of fountains on the land. It lies about 50km south east of Johannesburg.
The area first came to prominence in 1888 when coal was discovered there. In 1890, the first railway in the Transvaal, the ‘Rand Tram,’ was built to carry coal from the East Rand coal mines to Johannesburg. The terminus was on the Springs farm, and six collieries started operations in the area. The town that grew around the terminus was populated mainly by Welsh coal miners.
Coal mining in the area was gradually abandoned, to be replaced by gold mining and industry.
A village was laid out in 1904. By the late 1930s there were eight gold mines near Springs, making it the largest single gold-producing area in the world.
The town is now predominantly industrial, despite its rather pretty name.