Zapala was founded on July 12, 1913, and its present population is 35.000 inhabitants.
Its origin, in fact, dates from the end of the Campaign to the Desert, since in 1885 cattle farms started settling in the area, which had been used up to that moment for shelter and shepherding of herd owned by aboriginal groups in swamps and grasslands.
In 1913, a proposal for dividing the land into lots presented by the Trannack family, owners of Estancia Zapala at that moment, was passed, and so that date is taken as foundation date, and Hubert Trannack and Henrietta Cleverton´s children are considered as founders.
On February 2, 1914 arrived to this terminal the first train coming from Buenos Aires, and with this event, the new town develops and gains new stregth owing to the incipient commercial activity.
Zapala concentrated in the province an important foreign immigration movement, mostly from Chile, Syria, Lebanon, and Italy, as well as from other parts of Argentina.
Zapala later supplied leather and wool to the big urban centers due to the railway that encouraged local production. The military Headquarters settled then in Zapala, Covunco and Las Lajas, strongly increasing the commercial movement.
The Corredor Bioceànico is a long dating project fostered by the provincial government. It involves mainly Zapala to join it through commerce to a net of transportation and communication with some Chilean towns on the border , thus allowing reciprocal access to the coasts on both oceans.
Legends and Stories
CERRO DEL LEON
Juan Alberto Huayquillán
When I was still a youg boy my father told me that here, where Hermosilla lives, there used to be a tender of livestock who had little animals. He had a small corral, and they say that late one night , a dog started to bark. The night was clear. They looked at the corral and saw a lion coming out with a goat.
They sent the dog to chase it: it was a big dog, and the dog grabbed its tail, the lion turned around and slapped it on its back so violently that it pulled out a piece of loin from it. The dog ran away screaming. The lion set the goat free.
All the tenders went off chasing the lion. My mother was young, still a girl. They went out at night. They invited some other neighbours to follow the lion. They took clubs and knives in case they could catch it and kill it. The lion ran away to the top of a mountain. That is why that mount is called CERRO DEL LEON. The people were out almost all night. They set fire at the foot of the mountain, and the lion screamed on top. They were afraid to ascend. Some walked up, but could not find it, and got bored. They went down to sleep a little. Early the next morning they started to invite the other people. They rode on horses back to the mountain, and could not find it. They followed its traces. They traced it and traced it. They crossed the Brushland. The lion was chasing mice in the evening. They crossed here, through the Hualpi, here through Palao, down Mallín Largo, always following its traces. There they went to El Huecú, from there they crossed to Ñorquín up to Copahue, then they went to search it on the Chilean border, and then back.