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Piedra del Aguila

History and Legends

History

The first people who called it Piedra del Äguila were the members of the Tercer Regimiento de Caballería in 1890.
Dr. Gregorio Álvarez gave the name “Piedra del Aguila” to a rock with the shape of an eagle. He gathered information from Mr. Serafín Galán Deheza, who told him that General Villegas during the Campaign to the Andes realized that there was a stopping place for eagles, a vulture nest, and when he saw one of those birds on the rock, he shot it with his Remington.
In January 1896, the Central Government created the Sexto Departamento del Territorio del Neuquén, and designated Piedra del Águila head of department.
Governor Lieutenant Colonel F. Rawson appointed Civil Judge Mr. Serafín Galán Deheza, and chief of Police Mr. Alfredo Álvarez by decree Nº 9 of 8th April, 1897. In 1932, the development committee was officially created, although it had already been working since 1925. It was formed by neighbours Mr. Roque Belli, Mr. Aurelio Rodríguez, and Mr. Pascual Lanfré. At the beginning, the town was located within the domains of the company owning the land, El Cóndor S. A. , but in 1943 they obtained from the owners the property of 15 blocks forming the town.
Since 1898, Piedra del Águila constituted a strategic area as a rear guard for the troops of the army, who were operating in Junín and San Martín de los Andes, and whose only objective was to guarantee internal peace and sovereignty in those regions recently integrated to the Estado Argentino.
Nearby are the remains of what once were the forts, like Fortín Nogueira, within the Estancia Fortín Nogueira, 15 km. to the North of the confluence of the rivers Limay and Pichi Picún Leufú, which received the name from a soldier who died in battle agaist the aborigines; or Fortín Cabo Alarcón in the proximities of the confluence of river Limay and creek Picún Leufú, which perpetrates the name of a sergeant major who died in service together with two soldiers. Caciques Kuepú, Meliqueo, Manquepu, Niculman were captured and killed, as well as others who preferred to die instead of abandoning their nomadic life.
In 1983, the hydroelectric power plant Piedra del Águila was started over the river Limay, 25 km. from Piedra del Águila in the spot called Villa Rincón Chico. Today it has a capacity to evacuate 14.000 cubic metres per second, and unlike other dams in the province, this plant possesses an amazing concrete dock, 173 metres high, with a stational embankment of 24.000 hectares.

 
InterPatagonia - Touristic Information about Piedra del Aguila, Patagonia, Argentina: History and Legends
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