Proof of these diggings can still be found in this area.
Pilgrim's Rest is a historical gold-mining town. In the year 1873, the digger Alec Patterson was roaming the densely forested hills, all the while pushing a wheelbarrow with his belongings.
At a place later called "Pilgrim's Creek" he got lucky. He saw big lumps of gold shimmering in the clear water. Full of joy he exclaimed "The pilgrim can rest!"
Soon thereafter, the gold rush started. Diggers from all over the world flocked to Pilgrim's Rest and settled along the river. The town developed rapidly.
The gold finds of Pilgrim's Rest turned out to be the richest alluvial gold deposits (surface gold) in southern Africa. In 1895 the Transvaal Gold Mining Estate Ltd was founded and bought successively all the claims of the diggers, most of them only about 50 square meters (1 m = 3 feet) in size.
The company worked profitably until the middle of the 20th century. Eventually, in 1971 the resources were exhausted and the operation was shut down.
In 1972 the former company town of Pilgrim's Rest was bought by the government and declared a National Monument.