The Mpumalanga town of Middleburg was established in 1866, at about the same time as Johannesburg. After the fall of Pretoria in the Anglo-Boer War, the town served as the seat of government for a while. Today Middleburg is the main commercial and industrial centre for a large coal-mining district. The town has experienced tremendous growth over recent years. It stands high on the banks of the Little Olifants River, which marks the boundary between Highveld and Middleveld. The town still maintains its small-town charm and has a moderate climate of warm summers and cool winters. The nearby Botshabelo Nature Reserve and Museum make for an interesting visit with panoramic views of the old Botshabelo Mission that was founded in 1865. The mission was founded by a German missionary, Alexander Merensky, who erected a fort to protect himself and his followers from attacks, and developed the farm into a self-sustained village. Other attractions in the area include the Loskop Dam Nature Reserve, with a large cross-section of species of wildlife.