History of Caleta Olivia

This wonderful place owes its name to Navy lieutenant Exequiel Guttero. He was in charge of the National Guard in 1901, when he spotted an inlet that seemed perfect to unload materials considering the settlement of the telegraph from Buenos Aires. He named this cove "Olivia" and described his experience in this place in a thorough report he delivered to his superiors, in which he stated all the stages he had to undergo before making the discovery.

In November, 1901, the first Telegraph Office in the District of Caleta Olivia was officially inaugurated. It was located 3 kilometers away from the port and had three clerks: Calixto A. Melzi (chief), Arturo B. Guerra (technician) and Manuel Espinosa (assistant technician). They were the first dwellers of this zone.

As the office was standing several kilometers away from any village where supplies might be bought, these first denizens were forced to get their goods in advance in order to survive. They were provided staples, which gave evidence of an austere lifestyle and a significant ability to save and organize the way food was shared.

The Telegraph Office had been built with tin and wood in a 3,250-square-meter lot. Its design was based on a unique model applied to all the offices of the division, located in Cabo Blanco and Bahía Laura. Not only did its construction consider the rendering of the service but also the chance to accommodate employees.

As it was away from the shore, the Telegraph Office was extremely uncomfortable for all those living close to the sea. The building was finally moved to a venue on the coast in 1922, where it continued operating until September, 1937, when it was destroyed by a fire. Then it was moved to a rented building.

As far as economy is concerned, ever since the late nineteenth century this area has been suitable for sheep husbandry. Wool used to be transported in a primitive way, through the port. Livestock and estancias were then at the zenith of their growth. So was the oil industry, which also encouraged the development of Caleta Olivia, increasing the number of inhabitants as a result of new and more important job positions. This activity has been so significant for Caleta Olivia, that oil workers have their own monument, made by sculptor Pablo Daniel Sánchez. It may be visited today at the intersection of Independencia Street, Güemes Street and San Martín Avenue.

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