The middle reaches of the river known as Mdloti, from the wild tobacco plants of that name which grow on its banks, is a warm and green area, almost completely covered by sugar cane.

In 1850 a party of 400 methodists immigrated to this area from a depressed Britain. They were under the patronage of the Earl of Verulam, and the party was well organized, bringing seeds, agricultural impliments, a large marquee tent to serve as a meeting place, and a blue banner inscribed with the name Verulam.

From Durban the settlers were taken in ox-wagons to the valley of Mdloti, where they were allocated farms, and founded the attractive town of Verulam.

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