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Traiguén(Reads: 2479, since 21-Ene-2004)
Its name means 'waterfall' in the Mapuche language. It is 68 km from Angol and 89 km from Temuco. From its very beginnings, the city was remarkable for its economic vitality, which meant that the area would quickly become known for its initiative in the arduous task of introducing new technologies.
The city is known historically as 'the Granary of Chile' due to its great wheat production at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. This meant that already in 1889 the railway had come to the area. Moreover, in these years the first bank in the 'La Frontera' area, owned by José Bunster, was established here, together with branches of other financial institutions which were opened in Traiguén.
Today the city is known for its important forestry production as well as for its furniture industry, since the area produces a lot of quality products which are sold in both the domestic and international markets.
Tourist Attractions in Traiguén
Among the tourist attractions are the Salto Quichanmahuida, Balneario Los Maitenes, the Quebrada Chufquén and the Saltos del Río Quino. You can also visit Parque Weber; set up more than 50 years ago, it contains more than 76 varieties of conifers from various parts of the world.
History of Traiguén
The history of Traiguén is closely linked to the incorporation of the 'La Frontera' lands into the Chilean State at the end of the 19th Century. As a result, like many cities in Araucanía, Traiguén began as a military fort for a Chilean army advance party in the effort to settle this area of the country.
On December 2, 1878, the fort of Traiguén was founded by Coronel Gregorio Urrutia; his division was settled in the lands of the great Quilapán, a Mapuche who ten years earlier had frustrated the army's mission in the area.
By 1879, the telegraph had been installed in the sector, allowing for rapid communication with other areas of the country. Also, along with the army, hundreds of people arrived in the area with the desire to settle there. The people began cattle-raising and farming.
In 1883, José Bunster installed a cylinder mill which was operated by hydro-electric power the first of its kind in South America. It also provided electricity to a large number of families.
In 1901 the first electric locomotive in South America began working under the administration of Juan Widmer and today it stands in front of the Estación de Ferrocarriles.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the municipality was noted for its prosperity, which meant that the area attracted a large number of investors from different places who saw a good chance to make money, a factor which had a bearing on the amount of commerce and hence the vibrant economic life of the area.
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