December, 1896: GOLD MINING in the hills surrounding Johannesburg started before the thought of a town was even conceived. Claims such as the Eagle’s Nest, Fairy Prince, Fairy Queen, Hector, King Solomon, Magpie, Miranda, Pinmore, Rocket and Wasp, which made up the Ashford Group of Mines were all discovered in the 1895 –1896 time frame. In addition are the Val Verde Claims owned mostly by Charles and Rose Burcham that became the Randsburg Mining, Milling and Water Company in January of 1897. This corporation was probably named the Randsburg Mining Milling and Water Company as when the corporation was first recorded the Town of Johannesburg did not exist.
Mining continued well into the 1950’s in the hills and gullies surrounding this town, and is still carried on by many of its residents on a part time basis with their metal detectors and dry-washers. Many adits (tunnels), shafts, foundations, tailings piles and other evidence of the mining can still be seen from Highway 395 as you pass through and explore the town.