Stilfontein (quiet spring) was established in 1949 as a residential centre for three large gold mines, the Hartebeesfontein, Buffelsfontein and Stilfontein mines.
Stilfontein was struck by a mining-related earthquake in 9 March 2005, which damaged buildings in the town, which was followed by the closure of the Hartebeesfontein and Buffelsfontein when the Stilfontein Gold Mining was handed over into liquidation.  The Simmer and Jack Mines took over the mines but disaster struck again on the 23 March 2006 when a fire trapped 8 miners underground at the Buffelsfontein mine.
Greater Stilfontein forms part of the KOSH area (Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein, Hartbeesfontein). The development of gold mines was made possible by the perseverance of Jack Scott who discovered and developed the outcropping gold reef. Stilfontein is renowned for its hospitality and excellent sports facilities, and hosts the annual Rose Festival in spring when the famous Stilfontein roses bloom