Utopia House, Mutare
- Utopia House was the home of Rhys and Rosalie Fairbridge. He was a government surveyor and responsible for surveying the present town of Mutare. In 1897 he had his home “Utopia” built on one of the prime sites that he had surveyed earlier. When the stone walls of the house were about four feet high he realised the rainy season was fast approaching and with little money to complete the building, he planted poles around the uncompleted walls, to support a thatched roof. Between the supporting poles he hung reed mats!
- The interior of the house has been restored to the 1910-20 period. Many of the original items of furniture and other possessions belonging to the Fairbridge family have been preserved and are on display.
- His son, Kingsley Ogilvie Fairbridge, was a poet and founder of the Fairbridge farm schools. The statue of a young Kingsley Fairbridge, his African companion, Jack, and dog Vic was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on 8 July 1953. In the past the statue was displayed prominently at the summit of Christmas Pass; the statue was moved in 1982 and is now in the gardens at Utopia House, Mutare.
- Well conducted tour from National Museum’s staff who are well briefed on the history and items of interest within the house.
From the Mutare Museum drive into Mutare central on Aerodrome Road, 0.45 KM turn left into Herbert Chitepo Street, 1.96 KM turn left into Jason Moyo Drive, 2.2 KM Utopia House is on the right and opposite St Dominic’s Girl School at 11 Jason Moyo Drive.
GPS reference: 18⁰57′35.19″S 32⁰40′39.33″E