Ayrshire Mine

Ayrshire Mine

Lomagundi District

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.

Post Office

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
  • 1909.12.31 – Closed