Towards the end of the 19th Century, globalization, opened by finance capital frequently turned on mining speculation. A particularly notorious case was that of the Ayrshire mine in Southern Rhodesia’s Lomagundi district. Touted in its heyday as the richest gold prospect in the entire southern half of the continent, the Ayrshire’s corporate existence was characterised by company-mongering and market manipulation in the City of London. Few of these concerns immediately impinged on indigenous interests.
Gold claims were registered on 8 May 1893 on extensive ancient workings, on the Maquadzi River. By 1901 it was acquired by the Ayshire Gold Mine & Lomagundi Railway Company. The new owners contracted Pauling & Company to build a 2ft guage railway line from Salisbury to the mine, and this was complete in 1902 (using material and equipment from the Beira Railway). In 1903, Ayrshire was the terminus on the postal runner route from Salisbury to Sipolilo and onwards to Feira and Fort Jameson. Two runners were employed at Ayrshire.
By 1906, this railway line had been taken over by the Mashonaland Railway Company. 1906, the gold bearing reef began petering out. By 1909 the mine and crushing mill had closed down and the once thriving community became a ghost town and in 1911 the Ayrshire section of the rail was discontinued.
The Post Office agency was situated in the end room of the line at a hotel occupied by men working at the mine. It is suggested the agency closed when the Post Office could no longer justify the expense. It may have been due the Mashona Rebellion when the mine was abandoned.
Initially, mail was sent by runner. However, in 1902, mail was sent by rail to Salisbury.
1895.00.00 – Date stamp issued but no evidence exists that it was used.
1900.10.04 – Opened as Telegraph Office
1901.01.01 – Opened as Railway Telegraph Office
1902.11.20 – Regraded to Post Office
1903.03.31 – Regraded as Railway Sub Office
1903.07.01 – Regraded to Money & Telegraph Office
1905.10.12 – Regraded to Post, Telegraph and Money Order Office
Gothic Mine is named after Gothic Farm about half a mile from the west bank of Gwelo river. The mine was first pegged in 1898 by the Consolidated Exploration and Development (Rhodesia) Co. A period of development followed and by 1902 it was decided that sufficient work had to amalgamate with the adjoining Pagamesa Claims.
Milling ceased at Gothic Mine in 1910 and a development option was taken on the property by Mashonaland Agency Ltd.
Around 1978/79 the mine was reopened by a South African industrial development corporation.
Mail service was by runner to Gwelo via Shamrock Mine.
Ivy Elizabeth Craig, born December 1887 in Marion, Kansas, U.S.A., was appointed in June, 1919 to the Rhodesia Branch of the South Africa Mission.She was a graduate of the University of Kansas and had several years’ experience of teaching in the public schools of Kansas City. She was described as having a pleasing voice and a rare gift for singing Gospel Hymns.
After waiting for months until sailings could be secured for herself and Rev. and Mrs. C. C. Fuller, she finally sailed on 11th February, 1920. She was stationed at Mount Silinda in Southern Rhodesia as an associate Principal of the Girls Boarding School.
By 1922, she was also Principal of the Mt. Silinda Training School and seemed to remain in this post until Oct 1938. Between 1941-1954 she was working in the Chikore and Craigmore missions.
Lonely Mine is a village in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe and is located about 84 km north-east of Bulawayo, just north of Inyati and a mile from Inyati Mission. It was established in 1906 when gold was discovered in the area.
The first gold outputs were in 1907 and for the first 20 years the output was half an ounce to the ton, although half of that time it was an ounce to the ton. The mine was closed in 1944 but later re-instated and became the largest gold producer in the Bubi greenstone belt area until the mid-1990’s.
In 2012 Lonely Mine was acquired by Australian company ElDore Mining Corporation (EDM) for US$4.4million. EDM changed its name to Ardiden Limited in 2014. Gold, nickel and tungsten are still mined in the area today.
Initially, mail was delivered by coach to Inyati. Between 7 September 1914 to 30 April 1916, a motor service delivered mail. On 22 September 1925 this was replaced by a daily mail service from Bulawayo.
00.11.1911 – Opened as a Post Office
31.12.1911 – Regraded as a Postal Agency
27.03.1912 – Opened as a Postal Agency
27.11.1912 – Regraded as a Money and Telegraph Office