Online Encyclopedia

SAN LUIS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 152 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SAN LUIS, a province of Argentina, bounded N. by Rioja, E. by Cordoba, S. by the La Pampa territory and W. by Mendoza. Area, 28,535 sq. m. Pop. (1904, estimated) 97,458. San Luis belongs partly to the semi-arid pampa region, and partly to the mountainous region of the eastern Andes and Cordoba whose ranges terminate between the 33rd and 34th parallels. It is one of the least important of the Argentine provinces because of its aridity and lack of available resources. The rough northern districts, where an occasional stream affords irrigation for a fertile soil, are noted for a remarkably uniform, dry, mild and healthful climate. The Rio Quinto has its sources in these ranges; the Desaguadero, or Salado, forms its western boundary; and the Conlara flows northward among its broken ranges to the great Salinas of western Cordoba. Only in the mountains are these streams available, as they soon become impregnated with saline matter on the plains. The southern part of the province is a great, arid, saline plain, practically uninhabitable. Agri-culture and grazing occupy some attention in the north, but are handicapped by lack of water. The mountains are rich inminerals, however, and a number of gold mines have been opened. The exports include cattle, hides, skins, wool and ostrich feathers. The capital is San Luis (pop. 1904, about 10,500) on the Arroyo Chorillos, a little S. of the cerro called Punta de los Venados, 374 M. by rail (the Argentine Great Western) W. of Rosario, and magnificently situated on a plateau 2490 ft. above sea-level. Next in importance is the town of Mercedes or Villa Mercedes (pop. 1904, about 6000) on the Rio Quinto, an important railway junction where the railways from Buenos Aires, Rosario, Mendoza and San Jose unite. San Luis, the capital, was founded in 1697 by Martin de Loyola and was for nearly 200 years only a frontier outpost. It suffered much in the civil wars of 1831-1865.
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