What was your answer? El Presidio? If so, you are correct—El Presidio de San Juan Bautista, established in 1596. But where was El Presidio located? Shall I give you another clue? The name of the town was officially changed in 1828 to Villa de la Union. Yes, indeed, Mazatlán’s initial location was in Villa Unión. On March 23, 1792, the first municipal government, under the command of Don José Garibay, was established by royal decree. The town was uninhabited, and Garibay was charged with protecting the security of the port. Mazatlán with the name and in the location we now know it was born in 1831, according to Mazatlán’s official historian, Enrique Vega Ayala.
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a ceremony in the old textile mill there to commemorate the 223rd anniversary of the first military and political government of Mazatlán. I was so excited, as I have long wanted to get in there to take photos. The hacienda was host to a huge Queen tribute band concert with Gordon Campbell’s orchestra back in 2007, but I was unable to attend that event. At the time, they said the hacienda was spacious enough to accommodate 1200 people. I heard it was gorgeous that night, all lit up with luminarias along the walls.
Well, not only was I able to take photos last night, but the hacienda was lit up with colored lights, we had a gorgeous moon and Jupiter in the sky overhead, a military honor guard and drum and bugle corps performed the national and state anthems, and the Mazatlán camerata/chamber orchestra played as well! It was a gorgeous evening! Click on any photo to view it larger or see a slideshow.
Originally owned by Francisco Echeguren, C. Corvera and Company textile mill opened in 1864, and closed its doors in 1956. The site includes the ruins of the textile factory, the family home, and huge gardens. The entire structure, or what’s left of it, is made of brick. Long corridors of arches lead to small and large rooms around at least two large courtyards. Some of the walls are still covered in tile, and trees grow from the walls in several places. A watchman also tends the gardens of the site.
To add to our good fortune, we met Jaime Coppel and his wife, who currently owns the historic site, and who kindly invited us back to take photographs during the day. Mayor Felton, Rosa María, the city’s Citizen Relations manager, and another city official kindly posed for my friend Jeanett and I in the ruins. We also met Manuel, owner of the world’s best aguas frescas, Tropico, who gave us a tasting of almost every one of the FIFTEEN water flavors he had on hand last night! He tells me he’ll bring a selection of 15 waters to any party you hold, for 1500 pesos for 100 people, and stay for four hours with his staff serving your guests. With every fresh fruit flavor you can imagine, you’ll make people happy and it’s easy enough to mix in a little piquete or liquor to add some punch to the drink if you wish!
We did not have tickets for last night’s event, so we were worried we’d drive all the way out there and not be able to get in. Fortunately, the event was open to the public and we had the pleasure of thoroughly enjoying ourselves—a great evening’s adventure for a couple of girlfriends who enjoy photography!