Pilgrims Rest – Mpumalanga

Pilgrims Rest – Mpumalanga

A trip through the upper escarpment of Mpumalanga, must take in a visit to the Historical Town of Pilgrims Rest which was founded in 1873, after the discovery of gold by Alec “Wheelbarrow” Patterson. The site was declared a gold field on 22 September 1873, when up to 1500 gold diggers converged on the valley. Gold production peaked in 1914, but after that the alluvial gold started to run out and deep mining took over. Gold nuggets of up to 214  (Breda Nugget) ounces were discovered.

During the Anglo Boer war (1899 – 1902), the town was under control of the Boers, and some of the rare Veldpond were minted from gold extracted from the mines.

The Transvaal Gold Mining Estate was the original large mine, and this mine changed hands over the years, when in 1972 the Beta Mine was closed, and in 1974, Barlow Rand sold Pilgrims Rest to the Transvaal Provincial Administration. The town infrastructure and old buildings were maintained and in 1986 the town was declared a National Monument.

The current administration illegally tried to wrest control from the individual operators in early part of the new millenium, which resulted in a decline of the infrastructure. Fortunately the courts set aside these attempts and the town has a had a revival.

The area around Pilgrims Rest is rich in history and tourist places of interest such as Graskop, Sabie, Berlin Falls, Mac Mac Falls, Bourkes Luck Potholes, Blyde river Resort, and Gods Window.

This gallery has a taste of the sites old buildings in the town. More information can be found at www.pilgrims-rest.co.za or info@pilgrims-rest.co.za or +27(0)137641177