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» see original 1935 map of Estanzuela »
a heritage of regional history

The rocky ranges of Estanzuela were occupied for centuries
by the Comechingón native people, a long-gone tribe of
hunter-gatherers and corn (maize) farmers. As a testimony of
their historic presence, it is possible to observe the remains of the stone houses or caves in which they lived, one of which displays indigenous paintings. There are also grinding stones,
leather-scrapers, and hunting stone-balls. In 1753, the Jesuit fathers settled in Estanzuela. They built a dam fed by an adjacent stream, constructed canals and irrigation ditches, and leveled
the adjoining plots. They built the main house and a chapel,
and surrounded these constructions with a pirca or stone-wall. Lastly, they named the place Estanzuela, the little farm.

In 1767 the fathers of the Company of Jesus were expelled from the Americas by Charles III, the Spanish king, but their work remains today: The layout of the ranch headquarters still follows their original mission design. The Jesuits started the production
of lime from the soft marble and the limestone of the surrounding ranges, and the people that followed them continued this industry until the end of the Nineteenth Century. Partly covered by vegetation, the impressive towers and the deep trenches of the limestone furnaces survive intact.

During the campaign of independence, Estanzuela also played
a historic role. It functioned as a lodging place for the patriots that crossed towards Mendoza and Chile, to join the Latin American fight for freedom. After the royalist government of Chile fell in the battle of Chacabuco, General San Martín sent to Estanzuela the deposed Captain General of Chile, Marshall Francisco Casimiro Marcó del Pont. There he spent the last years of his life, until his death in 1821.