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1922-25 Baker Ranch: Transport of wool clip to port by mule teams
The former million-acre Baker Ranch 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.

Select another album: PeopleLandscapesRiver BakerRiver ChacabucoRiver SaltoRiver of the ÑadisMule transport
1. stack of wool bales2. loading bales onto mules3. woodland trail
4. narrow track5. riverbank trail6. bridge over Río Ñadis
7. unloading mules

Thanks: Adrian Goodall (IV-2014) ; Album created: 16-I-2015 ; Updated: 16-I-2015