I recently came across an article about Barberton written by Esmé Lownds (click here to read). At that time I knew very little about James Stopforth apart from the fact that he had known my grandfather when he lived in Durban and I felt that Ms Lownds would perhaps like to know a bit more about Stopforth’s earlier days.

Worldwide, where precious mineral resources were discovered, buoyant photographers formed part of the desperate rush that ensued. This trend of fortune seekers, feverish migrating to these newly announced locations was also observed during the South African gold rushes at Pilgrim’s Rest (1873), Barberton (1883) and Johannesburg (1886).

The Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) is pleased to announce that the historical town of Barberton, Mpumalanga, will host this year’s heritage symposium taking place from 18 to 20 October. With its rich natural and cultural heritage, combined with breathtaking scenery, Barberton has much to offer.

The choice of venue for the symposium could not be more appropriate. The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains have just been declared a World Heritage Site – the first in Mpumalanga.


In the article below, Esme Lownds uncovers some interesting snippets about James Stopworth and Barberton during its early days. The article first appeared in the 1975 edition of Restorica, the journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (today the Heritage Association of South Africa). Thank you to the University of Pretoria (copyright holders) for giving us permission to publish.

Unfortunately, the Rimer’s Creek saga has once again reared its ugly head and all hell has broken loose here in Barberton during the past few weeks. In our communication of October 2015 we advised that following our eight year battle to prevent the rezoning of the irreplaceable site of the Central Mill in Rimer’s Creek Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) finally won their Appeal. However, this soon became a hollow victory when we discovered that during the 18 month Appeal Decision making process and without our knowledge - and despite an assurance to the

The following updates on the Barberton Block House were sent through by Marius Bakkes and the team from Mpumalanga Heritage. A very tough scenario faced by activists and officials across the country. [Originally published February 2013]

We are very pleased to publish Tony Ferrar's report on a recent journey along the Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail organised by the Mpumalanga Historical Interest Group. MHIG Chairman, Duncan Ballantyne confirmed that eighty eight people attended, a new record for the young organisation. Attendees gave the recently finished Geotrail a big thumbs up. We expect it to become a major tourist attraction and inspire similar projects around the country in the coming years.

A massive scandal is brewing in Barberton as the town's famous historic core comes under threat. Below is an article written by Chris Rippon and Marjory Nunns and disseminated by the Mpumalanga Historical Interest Group. Click here for updates.

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