Pilgrims rest.docx - The Rise and Fall of Pilgrim\u2019s Rest The small towns around the lowveld besides the income from tourism are traditionally gold

Pilgrims rest.docx - The Rise and Fall of Pilgrimu2019s...

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The Rise and Fall of Pilgrim’s Rest The small towns around the lowveld, besides the income from tourism, are traditionally gold mining towns. Gold was discovered first in Lydenburg in 1866 and by 1873 the diggings had become crowded, with several fortune seekers making it their business to seek their riches in the area’s surrounds in Sabie and Mac Mac. However, some prospectors decided to leave the hubbub and go further afield. Alluvial gold was first discovered in the Pilgrim’s creek and the first South African gold rush started in 1873, by the end of the year there were some 1500 diggers working about 4000 claims. The town was established around it, firstly in tents and slowly buildings were erected. An estimated 2 million worth of gold was extracted in the first 7 years. Some of the quaint place names that were used in those days have largely been lost and only by going to various museums and doing some exploring can one find these out. The valley in general was gold-rich and many finds, some experiencing desperation and others depicting elation at the days’ finds. There were places like Starvation gully, peach tree creek, Brown’s hill, Poverty creek, Golden Point and Breakneck gully. Gold - bearing soil and rock are generally marked by Pampas grass, which are tall grasses with whitish plumes of seeds at the top of each stem. These are to be found dotted around the mountains and valleys. The gold, once extracted had to be taken to Lydenburg. The roadway goes through the mountainous and

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