The former million-acre
was founded in 1916.
It was located in a remote, mountainous
area of southern Aysén, in Chilean Patagonia.
As a condition of this immense land concession,
the Chilean Government required that farm production be
exported through a port on the Pacific coast.
In the absence of physical infrastructure, the ranch company
was obliged to undertake various engineering works, including
several bridges and a tunnel.
Moreover, a high-powered launch was needed to handle
the powerful currents experienced on the River Baker.
These early photographs provide a first-hand view of
works undertaken in the not-so-distant past, when this corner of Patagonia
was truly a "last frontier".
Bridging the River Chacabuco was an audacious engineering challenge
for the ranch company. The location chosen was
immediately adjacent to its junction with the River Baker, where it
runs through a gorge, very deep and very narrow. The accompanying
numbered images show different stages in the construction work, from
installing the first cables (#1-2), through laying the deck planks
(#3-5,7) to the final structure (#6).
Over the decades, the bridge became increasingly precarious and dangerous.
Finally, it was replaced by a new metal bridge in
the late 1960s. Unfortunately, the original structure was declared a
public hazard and demolished.
[Information kindly provided by Danka Ivanoff.]
Select another album:
River of the Ñadis
Thanks: Adrian Goodall (IV-2014) ;
Album created: 16-I-2015 ;