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Situated in the quaint town of Bethulie, the Pellissier House Museum stands as a testament to a rich tapestry of history and heritage. This small but remarkable museum offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past, showcasing a fascinating array of artifacts and stories that span centuries. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the roots of this South African town, the Pellissier House Museum is a good destination to visit.

About the Museum

The origins of Bethulie are deeply intertwined with the establishment of two significant missions: the London Missionary Society (1828-1832) and the Paris Missionary Society. It was on May 5, 1833, that missionary Jean Pierre Pellissier settled in this area, laying the foundations for what would become a historically rich community. The house itself was constructed in 1835 by French missionary-builder C. Gosselin, with additional rooms added in 1852 and 1856.

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Over the years, various families called this house home until 1956, when the Pellissier family reacquired the property and donated it to the Municipality to be converted into a museum. The Free State Provincial Administration took over in 1975, transforming it into the province’s first theme museum. Despite some challenges and changes in administration, the museum remains a crucial part of Bethulie’s heritage, featuring the oldest house north of the Orange River.

Interesting Facts

  • Historic Significance: The museum building is not only the oldest settler structure still standing in the Free State but also a Provincial Heritage Site, including the original stonewall and the graves of ten Pellissier family members.
  • Eclectic Exhibits: Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits showcasing original furniture, photo galleries, period clothing, war relics, farm implements, and vintage vehicles. Each item offers a glimpse into different eras of Bethulie’s history.
  • Missionary Legacy: The museum highlights the work and lives of the missionaries who were instrumental in the area’s development. Their stories, along with the myths and legends of the region, are well-preserved within these walls.

Photo Gallery

Physical Location

Tourist Experiences

Make a trip of it and visit some of the other recommended museums, tourist attractions and experiences in the area.


The Pellissier House Museum in Bethulie is more than just a collection of artifacts; it is a window into the rich historical tapestry of the Free State. From its origins with the early missionaries to its role as a theme museum, the Pellissier House has witnessed and preserved countless stories. For those looking to step back in time and immerse themselves in the unique history of Bethulie, a visit to the Pellissier House Museum is an enlightening and enriching experience.