Santa Rosalía: the French Baja California Sur

  • Posted on

Touring the Baja:  Santa Rosalia:  Head of the municipality of Mulegé, this small city, located between two mesas, is affectionately known by the locals from Baja California Sur as “Cachanía”. It was founded in the 19th century, after the then president of Mexico, Porfirio Díaz, granted the Santa Águeda Mining District concession for copper extraction to the French company, El Boleo, on July 7, 1885. The license covered from Santa Rosalía to Mulegé. Its houses, monuments, buildings, and streets seemingly embraced by ancestral mountains lead to a town with French essence, because of its colonial architecture, especially in Mesa Francia, where the Historic Center is located, declared a Historic Monument by the State Congress of Baja California Sur in 1884.  Its foundation by the Mirabaud Bank, related to the Rothschild dynasty, Europeans of German-Jewish origin, marked the beginning of decades dedicated to the mining of copper deposits and the birth of a sophisticated community. 900 thousand tons of copper were transported through a railway that covered approximately 35 km and was made up of at least 5 locomotives and more than 100 wagons.  It is said that, in addition to the natives, the first settlers of Santa Rosalía were indigenous Yaquis and Europeans who were brought to work in the mine under the general direction of Charles Laforgue, who gave instructions from Paris and were executed by the American William W. Rose.