Office and Supplies Building

This building has a lot of history and surely houses many anecdotes. From the founding of the farm in 1904, Chileans, Argentines, Spaniards and also the Selk’nam, who lived in the surrounding areas, worked there. In those times, according to the chronicles, the workers were paid with merchandise and also with money; not only Argentine, but as it was a custom in those times also in Chilean or English notes and curiously also in check format.

The inventory of the warehouse as of September 30, 1919,  covers 13 sheets detailing all kinds of food: from fruit to cloves, clothing, footwear, blankets, cleaning and toilet items, mouthpieces and hookahs, gunpowder and ammunition, kitchen utensils, materials for construction and maintenance of the establishment; as well as various elements such as handkerchiefs, pens, paper, childrens pinafores, skeins of wool, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, tobacco, matches, rings, needle and thread, cloth, scissors, candles, mirrors, etc.

Over the years, the supplies provided to the workers were modified;  in the mid-50s all the houses were occupied by staff, and the role of the Cook on the farm was very important, he worked in the Kitchen and the Bakery where bread was baked daily. There is a large dining room in which the workers who lived on the farm ate and the higher-ranking staff had a separate dining room.

This building was also used as an accounting office, for all labour and salary paperwork.  It was an important place since the safe was here, and also here the two telephones were installed with which one could communicate with the neighbouring farms.

At present, due to the changes that livestock farming has undergone on the island, a supplies building is no longer necessary, since the people who live on the farm are few and we get our supplies from Río Grande or Tolhuin.

Today the Building is used to store electricity, plumbing, gas, and veterinary spare parts, and we are also putting together a museum section since we believe it is important to value all the history and  work of so many years in the area.

Shearing shed

This shed was built in 1924. The project was built with  wood extracted from the area and processed in the nearby sawmill. It is interesting today, almost 100 years later, to see the boiler and machinery brought from England in the early 1900s for this purpose. It was quite a feat to cross the Atlantic and reach these untamed lands, to build docks for the ships to dock and unload and then transport these machines inland.

Despite the passage of time and the strong winds in the area, the structure of this shed is still solid today.

At the best moment  of sheep production on the Island in 1920, according to registries and  chronicles, 48,280 sheep animals were sheared every year. 

Unfortunately, due to the history of the farm, with changes of owners, and the scourge of feral dogs that has affected sheep production for approximately 30 years, in the mid and late 1990s the farm had to change its production from sheep to cattle.

This brought as a consequence that the facilities formerly used for sheep and wool exploitation remained unused and that investments and modifications had to be made in the infrastructure and facilities of the establishment, (construction of pens, wire fences, loading docks, scales and equipment for cattle).

At the best historical productive moment, Estancia Cabo San Pablo had,  working on an area of ​​109,000 hectares, 69 people employed, including Chileans, Argentines and Spaniards. Also according to historical chronicles, Selknam people  were employed too, and as they were nomads, they moved between this central area of ​​the island and the lands managed by the Bridges family. They collaborated in shearing work and movements of flocks, according to the need for labour at each moment.  

This dynamic changed as the settlements on the island developed, and the productive activity was transformed. Finally, with the change from sheep to cattle, we can painfully say that the need for labour has been affected, since fewer people are needed for cattle farming. This has also brought changes in the identity of the rural worker, who was an excellent shepherd, and who has had to learn a new trade in recent years.