Ladysmith was originally established in 1850 and was named Windsor. Later that year the name was changed to Ladysmith. It was named after Juana Maria de los Dolores de Leon Smith who was the wife of the Governer of Cape Colony Sir Harry Smith.
Industries in and around Ladysmith include farming, tyre manufacturing, textiles and food processing.
A number of historic events have taken place in Ladysmith and the surrounding areas. In 1899 there were a number of small battles between the English and Boer forces. This led to the siege of Ladysmith which lasted 118 days. The Boer siege was finally ended on 28th February 1900 when Sir Redvers Buller led a successful attack on the Boers.
There are a number of interesting cannons on display at the town hall.
The Klip River flows through Ladysmith and has a history of flooding. These annual floods have taken a number of lives and caused much damage over the years.