Modderfontein

On 5 April 2017, Keith Martin, who heads up the heritage community in Modderfontein, unveiled the first two heritage plaques to be erected in the area. This was done in conjunction with the Thornhill Homeowners Association and under the auspices of Joburg Heritage. The plaques are positioned at significant sites within Thornhill Estate.

One site commemorates the first granite rocks to be quarried at Modderfontein. These are located on a specially built platform at 8 Brussels Ave.

 

Johannesburg is a gold mining city and, through the decades, there have been a number of disasters related to the industry. A walk through Johannesburg's cemeteries offers a visual history of premature loss through mine related explosions. The granite memorial in the Braamfontein Cemetery erected in memory of those who lost their lives in the great dynamite explosion of 1896, is still moving and offers a unique insight into Johannesburg history. 

 

Sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this phenomenal piece by Ian Robinson. It was written in the 1980s and traces the remarkable story of the pioneering Italians that helped to build South Africa's first major manufacturing industry.

Gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand in 1886 and the subsequent development of the gold mines required large quantities of dynamite. As there was no local manufacturing industry, all requirements had to be imported.

[Intro originally published 30 July 2015] Last week we visited the Modderfontein Historic Village to hear about plans that development firm Zendai has for the area but more specifically to hear what will happen to the historic buildings on site. We were told that it is too early to go into specific details but the buildings will be retained and used as a major selling point for whatever use is decided. One of the ideas mentioned in passing was that the buildings could form part of a new University.

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