Hartley Hills Centenary
28 September 1969
Hartley Hills was named after Henry Hartley who emigrated from England as a child with the 1820 settlers. Interest in gold exploration in the interior was revived when Henry Hartley found gold reef in “ancient workings” north of the Mupfure River (formerly the Umfuli) although he could not remove samples due to a prospecting ban imposed by Mzilikazi. However the legend goes that a shot and dying elephant collapsed on a gold bearing quartz outcrop.
A group of investors in Natal formed the South African Gold Fields Exploration Company under the leadership of Sir Thomas Baines. C J Nelson was appointed chief geologist. Meetings were held, and about £3,000 subscribed for shares to equip a party of 34 Australians to carry out mining on the Tati goldfields.
On 28 September 1869, Thomas Baines and Nelson pegged the first gold claim in Mashonaland.