“Lanzas”, sugarcane and gaucho heroes
The history of the ownership of these lands can be traced back up to 1609, almost thirty years after the foundation of the city of Salta. There still exists a document dated that year which confirms that Juan Vázquez de Tapia was the first owner of the estate. The estancia that he had set up was called “Las Lanzas”. The word came from the name people gave to a typical tree of the area, which was used to make the axles of wagons. From then onwards, either by inheritance or by means of a seizure of assets, the estate belonged to many different owners, amongst whom we can find some of Darío Felipe Arias Cornejo’s forefathers.
Towards the middle of the 18th century, Juan Adrián Fernández Cornejo, a colonel in the militia who had been born in Lucumba, Perú, arrived in Salta to expel the Jesuits and later remained here. Because of the success oh his appointment, he was rewarded a large extension of land, which he called “Hacienda de Campo Santo”.
In 1760, Juan Adrián Fernández Cornejo planted the first sugarcane crops in the area, and eventually set up a sugar mill. This was his first attempt to develop what in later years turned out to be the sugarcane industry in Salta, and it was followed by the foundation of the Ingenio San Isidro, in Campo Santo, the oldest sugar refinery in the country.
The Fernández Cornejo estate, which was bought in 1774, was made up of three sections and one of these was called “El Bordo”. People in the region use the word “bordos” to refer to the lands along rivers, that is to say the river banks, which are usually very fertile and whose soil is suitable for agriculture.
After Juan Adrián Fernández Cornejo died, his daughter María Ignacia Cornejo inherited the estate. She married Lorenzo de Goyechea and this may have been the reason why the property changed its name to “San Lorenzo de las Lanzas”.
Years later, the lands were passed down to one of their daughters, Gabriela Goyechea Cornejo de Figueroa, who eventually sold them to one of her relations, Magdalena Goyechea de Güemes, General Martín Miguel de Güemes’ mother. Güemes was to become Salta’s most celebrated hero and, alongside San Martín, Belgrano and Pueyrredón, one of the most prominent figures during the wars of independence.
Doña Magdalena became the owner of the estate while his son Martín Miguel provided military training to the gauchos that followed him and that would make up his army in these lands. To honour his memory, that area and department of the province carries his name.
Don Darío’s grandfather, Darío Arias Velásquez, was one of the descendants of Hernando Arias Velásquez, landholder, magistrate and grand master. His wife was Serafina Figueroa Figueroa, the daughter of Miguel Antonio Figueroa, who in 1846 had bought the estate of El Bordo from the Güemes family. The Figueroa family made its fortune thanks to the trading of mules to Alto Perú.
At the beginning of the 20th century, some of the land was sold to Olivier de Maglaive, a French Algerian who left Argentina to take part in World War I. In 1958, doctor Darío Felipe Arias bought the land back and the whole estate has belonged to the family ever since.
Don Darío and his wife Graciela Iturrieta decided to restore the main house, which, according to collected historical and architectural data, was built over two hundred years ago. The careful and thorough renovation work was supervised by architects Javier Cruz and Ana María Iturrieta and by engineer Guillermo Solá Figueroa.
Source: El País de las Estancias Yuyú Guzmán or “En la ruta de las estancias”