History of Villa Carlos Paz

Villa Carlos Paz, on The Shores of The Lake.

The first denizens of this place were the native Comechingones, who left their track on the banks of rivers and creeks. They spoke mostly sanavirona, though other dialects -such as henia and camiare- were also spoken.

They wore long shirts and featured some unusual traits among the native population, which were particularly curious for the Spanish, like full beard and tall slender bodies.

They lived on agriculture, fruit gathering, cattle raising and hunting. They lived in semi underground huts, built on wells level with the ground, with small entrances.

The Spanish conquerors arrived in 1573 and set forth the division of the land and the distribution of the natives.

In 1869, Mr. Rudecindo Paz acquired the estancia called Santa Leocadia and began the construction of the San Roque Dam. After 1904, his son Nicandro Paz was the only owner of these lands and expansion began with him. The formal foundation of Villa Carlos Paz dates from 1913, when Mr. Carlos Nicandro Paz, commanded its layout to engineer Vázquez González.

The village is located in the southern area of the Punilla Valley, by Lake San Roque. The construction of the dam flooded an ample green valley and gave shape to this magnificent lake whose existence would change the destiny of Villa Carlos Paz for good.

In the late nineteenth century, the pushing demographic conditions and the development of agricultural and livestock production in the City of Córdoba and its surroundings demanded the construction of a freshwater supply and distribution system which would cover for the needs of all the inhabitants of the area. This caused the then governor of the province, Dr. Miguel Juárez Celman, to command engineers Carlos Cassaffousth and Eugenio Dumesnil a study about the rivers in this region, especially aimed at the Suquía River, which had the Cosquín and San Roque Rivers as tributaries.

The tasks began in March, 1884 and ended in September 1886. The conclusions were that in order to satisfy the water needs in the capital, four essential works should be carried out: a monumental dam, a small dam in Mal Paso (presently called Dumesnil) and two master canals to distribute water around the mountain range.

These works required the continuous effort of over 3,200 workers, who finished San Roque Dam -and consequently the lake- in three years. It was inaugurated on April 12, by Governor Miguel Juárez Celman.

Villa Carlos Paz was declared city on July 16, 1964 and its splendor as a tourist destination began in the 1970s.

The festival of Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of the city, is celebrated on July 16.

In 1921, Dr. Enrique Zárate settled down in the area and started the first urban development which he named "Villa del Lago". He built 10 magnificent residences on large spaces still dazzling today.

As time went by, towards the 1930s, the division of the fields as a result of inheritances took place and lot division was encouraged by the arrival of capital.

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