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History of Foz do Iguassu

The History of the Land of the Iguazu Falls

The History of the Land of the Iguazu Falls

Although the municipality of Foz do Iguassu was emancipated on June 10, 1914 under the name Vila Iguaçu, the history of the land of the Iguazu Falls begins well before that. In 1881, Foz do Iguassu received its first two inhabitants, the Brazilian Pedro Martins da Silva and the Spanish Manuel Gonzales.

Shortly afterwards the Goycochéa brothers arrived, who began to explore the yerba mate. Eight years later, the military colony on the border was founded – the beginning of the effective occupation of the place by Brazilians and what was to become the municipality of Foz do Iguassu .

The expedition of the Engineer and Lieutenant Jose Joaquim Firmino arrived in Foz do Iguassu in July 1889. A survey of the population was made and 324 people were identified, most of them from Paraguay and Argentina. But there were also Spaniards and Englishmen, already present in the region and dedicated to the extraction of yerba mate and wood, exported via the Paraná River.

On November 22 of the same year, Lieutenant Antônio Batista da Costa Júnior and Sergeant José Maria de Brito founded the Military Colony, which had jurisdiction to distribute land to interested colonists. In the year 1897 the Tax Agency was created, headed by Captain Lindolfo Siqueira Bastos.

He recorded the existence of only 13 houses and some straw ranches,
in the early years of the twentieth century the population of the place reached approximately 2,000 people and the village had an inn, four grocery stores, a rustic military barracks, a lace table and telegraph station, sugar and cachaça mills and subsistence agriculture.

In 1914, in fact a municipality – The emancipation of Vila Iguaçu occurred on June 10, 1914, having as first mayor Jorge Schimmelpfeng and being also created the first City Council of the city. The municipality was called Foz do Iguassu four years later, in 1918.

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