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In 1904, at the end of the Anglo-Boer war, the government of Lord Milner decided to establish an irrigation farming scheme for unemployed British soldiers returning from the war. This scheme was not very successful and by 1911 only one farmer remained on this development. In 1916 five local men made a successful offer on the failed settlement and founded White River Estates. Nut Grove Manor’s original house was built in 1924 on what was then called Victoria Farm as the home of the White River Estates manager.
The name White River refers to the colour of the water in the nearby river which has a milky appearance caused by the high presence of kaolin. The town, which has a population of about 16 000, is located about 20 km from Mbombela, the capital of Mpumalanga province. The farms surrounding the town are well known for the tropical fruit, vegetables, flowers and timber they produce.