Pinetown was named after the governor of Natal, Sir Benjamin Pine. The town was established in 1850 around the Wayside Hotel, itself built in 1849 along the main wagon route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. In the Victorian era Pinetown was known as health resort.
A number of German settlers made Pinetown their base and this accounts for the neighbourhood known as New Germany and the German Lutheran Church. Indeed, to this day imported German cakes and goodies pack the shelves at Christmas time in the Knowles Spar, the largest grocery store of Pinetown. One of the largest monasteries was located south of Pinetown in Mariannhill, home to the Mariannhill monastery founded by Abbott Francis Pfanner. The establishment of this monastery had huge influence in the expansion of the Catholic Church in KwaZulu Natal.
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