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Barberton & Eureka City


Location: Eastern Transvaal (View location on map)

Minerals Worked: Gold

Principal Mines: Sheba Mine, La Fortuna Mine, Ivy Mine  

Background History:

The mining township lies

In1881 Tom McLachlan discovered alluvial gold at Jamestown in what was later to become the Barberton region. However due to the find spot's location in the hot Lowveld region, which was rife with malaria, nobody wanted to go there. It wasn't until 20th June 1883 when Auguste Roberts (French Bob) discovered gold in Concession Creek that real interest in the area's mineral potential was triggered off.

On 21st June 1884, Graham Barber wrote a letter to the State Secretary to inform him that he and his two cousins Fred and Harry discovered payable gold on state land where the Umvoti Creek entered the De Kaap valley. The State Secretary then asked the Magistrate in Lydenburg to investigate the matter and for David Wilson, the Gold Commissioner, to submit a report. Wilson investigated on 24th July of the same year and declared the township of Barberton.

At first it was just a simple mining camp but grew when Edwin Bray, a prospector discovered gold in the hills above Barberton in 1885 and with 14 partners started the Sheba Reef Gold Mining Company.

Large amounts of money flowed into Barberton and the first Stock Exchange to operate in the then Transvaal opened its doors. More buildings were erected, billiard saloons and music halls established. The Criterion and Royal Standard hotels were opened.

Barberton flourished for only a brief period and soon the inhabitants began to move away to the newly discovered goldfields on the Reef.

The Postcards

The webmaster knows of the following mining related postcard view from this area.

"Thumbnail" Images  (Note 1) Card Title or Description Card  Ref. No.
Sheba Valley & Eureka City
pc115.JPG (115496 bytes) Sheba G.M. Co., Main Working Adit. PC115
pc12.JPG (45400 bytes) The Sheba Valley - Transvaal PC12
pc15.JPG (77390 bytes) Sheba G.M.Co., Barberton, Transvaal. PC15
pc17.JPG (82479 bytes) Sheba G.M. Coy., (Cyanide Works,) Barberton, Transvaal. PC17
pc18.JPG (91054 bytes) The Sheba valley - De Kaap PC18
pc14.JPG (92295 bytes) Wire Rope on the Sheba Mine near Barberton. PC14
pc20.JPG (79145 bytes) Zig Zag + Eureka City.  PC20
pc163.JPG (75861 bytes)   PC163
Other Mining Locations Plus Miscellaneous
pc19.JPG (97008 bytes) Entrance to Highlands Creek, Moodies, near Barberton. PC19
pc116.JPG (140295 bytes) La Fortuna G.M. Co Barberton    PC163
pc167.JPG (85331 bytes)   PC167


1) For further information and enlarged views of each postcard click on any one of the above images.

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