Southern Patagonia: Image Viewer for Photo Albums
1922-25 Baker Ranch: Transport of wool clip to port by mule teams
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".
Faced with the requirement to transport the ranch's wool production
to a port on the Pacific, the company chose mules as
beasts of burden for transport, and began producing smaller-than-normal bales
suitable for loading in balanced pairs on the pack animals. This album
illustrates various stages in the journey down the Baker valley from Colonia
to San Carlos, where the bales were transferred to a boat.