Hermann Eberhard was born in Silecia, Germany on Febraury 27th 1852. As a sailorman he had the chance to travel around the world. In this way as a worker for the Cosmos company came to Falkland Island between 1883-1886. This shipping company did the sea transport in between the archipelago and down to Punta Arenas, city located in the Strait of Magellan.
A few years later Eberhard was tired of this life and also became a bit ill, for this reason he decided to renounce and settle in Magallanes, but he did find lands for the lifestock, that’s way he went to Rio Gallegos, Argentina.
Is important to say that in those years 1890-92, Ultima Esperanza was an almost unknow territory, wich just exist in a few books of Juan de Ladrilleros, or Robert Fitz Roy. Looking for new adventures and territories Eberhard organized an expedition with his friend and brother in law Augusto Kark. Together they went to Punta Arenas to present the project to Rodolfo Stubenrauch, he was the German Consul and also Magallanes’s Governor. He entertained some doubts but anyway standed by.
They buyed a lifeboat, which they equipped with “bacon, pork fat, beans, chickpeas,, sugar, meat, cognac, good tends, some sheep fleece, rifle and munitions”
They departed from Punta Arenas on juny 12th 1892, with a ship called Africa, which belonged to Cosmos Company. The expedition group was Eberhard, the sheeper Teodoro Huelphers, Kark, and two British, called Gamme and Cattle.
They arrived on juny 14th to isthmus bay in the Samyth channel. The expedition took almost a month until they arrived in the Puerto Natales’s eastern coast, from where they started to explorer. They saw the big valleys situated to the north and they were sure that the area was appropriate for the lifestock.
Reading the Eberhard’s diary we can deeply understand how hard was this expedition, because was in winter time , with minus cero temperatures, snow, rain and of course the strong wind in the channels .
|Imagen del año 1905. De pie: August Kark.
Abajo: Hermann Eberhard W, Dorotea Eberhard W, Capitán Hermann Eberhard Schmith, Luisa Eberhard W, Rodolfo Stubenrauch, Ricardo Kruger.
This expedition also named differents points of the area, which we know until today as Natalis ( later Natales), Dorotea, Puerto Prat, Isla Guanaco, Isla Lagartija, Punta Jamón, Rio Cucharas and more.
At the end of the 19. Century they did another expedition, but there is not much information about it.
The magallanes’s governor, Manuel Señoret, on October 5th 1893 conceded the plot of land, which Eberhard asked for. “The plot of land is located eastern to the Last hope Fiord, we conceded the land as a way to improve the lifestock industry and also improve the population of this region”
With the provisions, tools, building materials and horses settled Eberhard his new cattle ranch with the help of his cousin Ernest Von Heiz, the sheepers Huelphers and Sanchez .They arrived on November 16th 1893 to the place that they called Puerto Consuelo. They did hoisted the Chilean flag, but they did not know what a big steep was for the region and for Chile
With this first lifestock settlement in Ultima Esperanza ( last hope) begins a successful process, that involved new inhabitants and ways of life, that we keep until today.
Eberhard has another relation with the local history. He did find the Milodon’s cave and its skin. The Milodon was a herbivore animal of the last ice age. With this found started the tourism and the scientific expeditions.
How we saw, the colonization in the region of Ultima Esperanza began in Puerto Consuelo, and today more than a hundred years the descendants of Eberhard still living and working there. They invite you to visit the cattle ranch and enjoy the landscapes, flora and fauna in connection with the history.
Puerto Consuelo…………A place to rest in the middle of the Nature and History….
Fonts: Mateo Martinic
La prensa Austral