Two donkeys in front of the donkeycart in Pilgrim’s Rest, South Africa.
Pilgrim’s Rest is a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa which has been declared a national monument. After it was officially declared a gold field in September 1873, it suddenly grew to 1,500 inhabitants searching for alluvial gold. Towards the end of the 19th century claims were bought up and underground mining started by the company known as TGME. Mining was closed down in 1971 and the village sold to the government as a national museum. Transvaal Gold Minings Estates, currently part of the listed Simmers and Jack, started gold mining again in 1998. The town’s original architecture remains largely unchanged since then, due to the fact that the town was declared a National Monument in 1986.
Pilgrim’s Rest was the location of an emergency mint during the Second Boer War. This mint struck the famous and extremely rare Veld Pond.
Also at the graveyard, every single grave was laid facing in the same direction, except for the famous Robber’s Grave which is laid perpendicular to the rest, emblazoned simply with a cross and the large type words of Robbers Grave. It is as the name suggests the grave of a robber who was shot stealing a tent from one of the miners. A tent represented a “home” so was the most valuable of any individuals belongings, stealing this tent was a most grievous crime and the punishment was meted out in the extreme.
A photo of me and my grandchildren on the donkeycart. (October 2010)
Canon PowerShot S51S digital
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