History of Villa de Merlo

Merlo, the city with a micro climate

Protected by the Comechingones mountain range, you can get a view of the Concarán Valley from the city at a height ranging from 850 to 1,280 mosl. The Comechingones aborigines would inhabit this area before the arrival of the Spaniardsand they were described by them as: tall, dark and barbarians. They would cultivate the land, pick fruit and raise llamas. Among their crops, were corn, beans, pumpins and quinoa; they would hunt guanacos, hares, deer; and pick algarrobo andchañar fruit. The mortars dug out in the rock and the conanas witness the preparation of the grain; in the mortars with cylindrical hands, the quínoa and the corn were milled. The first historical records of the area date from the early XVI century, and it is considered that before its foundation, the Dominican missions were already present in the area. The name "Merlo" came after the Piedra Blanca name, according to historian Urbano J. Núñez , who had already referred to this topic in 1864 in a missive by the Governor. And the name Merlo is given to the site in memory of the Excelentísimo Señor Virrey Don Pedro Melo de Portugal. Since the creation of the Río de la Plata Vice Royalty, San Luis became part of the Gobernación de Córdoba del Tucumán and it was during this administration that Villa Merlo was founded. There were records prior to the foundation, such as the recommendation of Juan de Videla, Comandante de Armas and Subdelegado de la Real Hacienda who in one of his visits to the Piedra Blanca spot, notified the Gobernador Intendente de Córdoba the Marquis de Sobremonte the convenience of founding a village in the area. The Our Lady of the Rosary chapel is more ancient than the foundation of the city. It was Juan Perez who built the chapel of the, so far, Piedra Blanca spot. When Tomas Fernandez died, in 1712, he had left an inheritance, a very important sector of the slopes of the mountain range to the care of the Dominican Friars of San Luis. In the year 1796, the Marquis de Sobremonte commands its foundation. That is how January 1st., 1797 was the date of the foundation witnessed by Captain Don Juan de Videla, representative and delegate of the Gobernador Intendente de Córdoba; members of his family; the priest Don Juan Francisco Becerra; the militias captains Don Santiago Romero and Don Francisco Gallardo; and neighbors and settlers of the place. The town was outlined on nine blocks that had been donated to such effect by Don Teodoro Gallardo, his wife María Vicenta Ortiz and her brother Miguel Ortiz.

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