Santa Rosalia

Trip Start Apr 11, 2010
Trip End May 20, 2010

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Flag of Mexico  , Baja California Sur,
Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Santa Rosalia it's easy to wonder "Where am I?" as the look of the town is one of Desert Mexico meets Colonial France meets Wild West America and is totally different from any other place I went through in Baja. The unusual appearance is a product of the town's unique history.  Unlike most settlements in Baja which either have origins as 18th century mission settlements or as 20th century industrial and agricultural town, Santa Rosalia dates to the late 1800s when the French El Boleo corporation received the rights to exploit the area's copper deposits. 

The copper mining is long gone but its vestiges make for an interesting town with the remains of an old smelter, several museums, and a church designed by Gustav Eiffel of Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty fame.  Also strange are the many wooden plank buildings in such a treeless landscape.  How did the wood get here?  Well, smelted copper was exported for refining to the American Pacific Northwest and wood was brought back aboard the returning ships.

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