Although the area around Ermelo has ruins dating back to about 1400 AD, the towns history can be traced back to 1870. Frans Lion Cachet, a Reverend from the Dutch Reformed Church, established a congregation in the area. Today Ermelo has a population of around 85,000 people.
Cachet had been inspired by Hermanus Willem Witteveen who lived in Ermelo in Netherlands and he named the new town after the Dutch city.
During the second Boer War the town was almost flattened by the British.
The area surrounding Ermelo is used for a number of different types of farming. Amongst others there is wool, cattle, potatoes and maize. Mines in the area produce coal, torbanite and anthracite.