HISTORY OF PUCÓN
The 27th of Febuary 1883 the army who occupied the Araucania region advance to Pucón. They install a military camp to control the passage of the cordillera and to exert its sovereignty in this zone.
This military establishment is the beginning of Pucón. Very quickly, German traders arrived and began to sell leather and wood.
In 1904, the Chilean government sold the north Territory of Villarica Lake and its extension in the north of Tolten River, to a company of entrepreneurs from Santiago. That allowed to German families to immigrate in Chile. They moved to the zone of Llafencom, in the north of Trancura River. The Mapuche population was reduced and concentrated next to the Quelhue River, Palguin Bajo and Currarehue.
The main activity of Pucon was the trade of wood and cattle. The merchandise was embarked at the port of Pucon. The tourism started in 1934 with the inauguration of the Grand Hotel Pucon, a luxurious facility with a park and a golf course. The passengers arrived by train from Villarica, crossed the lake by boat and landed on the quay in front of the hotel. In 1940, a road was built between Villarica and Pucon. Later, other hotels and residences saw the day. Some of them were directed by German families which were visited by artists from the Experimental Theatre and the Nacional Ballet of Chile.
The fishermen frequented the place since 1930 and Pucón became the place the most recognized for fishing in Chile. In 1945, the Antumalal Hotel opened and attracted many foreign fishermen. Moreover, thanks to artists and intellectuals, Pucón became a recognized seaside resort. Between 1967 and 1969, the paths between Freire and Villarica and the road connecting Pucón to Villarrica became roads of practicable paving stones. In the years 1970, the roads let to access at Pucón, opened in the direction of Caburga lake, Huife, Currarrehue, Puesco and Lican Ray. This was the beginning of the mass tourism, which explain the rising of the actual tourism. Today, there are a lot of hotels, hostals, camping, restaurants, cafes, travel agencies, a casino… and one ski resort on Villarica’s volcano.
HOTEL PUCÓN, BUILT BETWEEN 1933 - 1936
In 1936, the year that the Hotel Pucón opened its doors.
It marked an exclusive seal for its luxurious services, gastronomy, outdoor activities, night galas, among other attractions that made it a unique place in Chile. The Hotel Pucón received the visit of passengers who arrived mostly by Train to the Villarrica Station, then they crossed in Boat to Vapor by the lake and disembarked in the dock of the same hotel.
The Hotel Pucón since its inception sought and included workers from the area, on behalf of the company were trained in different areas to cover the work areas of their facilities. Entire families of Pucón turned to the hotel activity as: maintenance, electricity turbine, transport of passengers, laundry, hotel services, gastronomy, bartender, musicians and others linked to hotel services but externally as: fishing guides , boatmen, boogie guides, horseback riding, mountain guides, among others.
HISTORY OF THE ERUPTIONS
In April 1948, the Villarica volcano woke up. The habitants of Pucón were able to see lava through the volcano’s smoke. During the first days of October, the lava reach 300 meters height. The 16th of October 1948, the explosions were repeated every 3 to 5 minutes. 2 days later, at 6.20 a.m. Pucón knew one of the most violent explosion of his history. The explosions ended at the end of October: the summit end up without snow and the crater was cracked.
The two last weeks of Frebruary of 1963, the volcano was in activity. There was earthquakes, huge clouds of smoke and some explosions. Finally, the 1st of March, there was a violent volcanic eruption. The eruption took the direction of the south-east, toward the village. Trees, stones, woods and lava avalanche went down fast to the the Chailluen lake. It represented 12 million of tonnes with a speed of 20km/h, a width of 400m and a height of 5 m, which traveled 17 km. This eruption damaged 50% of the population of Coñarip: 22 peoples died and this had materials damages: houses, schools, shops, bridges, cars, public facilities were destroyed.
The 29th of October 1971, around 4 a.m., the volcano began to emitting white smoke, which turned black, added with violent explosions.
The 29th of December of 1971, at 11.45 p.m., the effusion of the Villarica volcano stopped. The top of cratere cracked ejected red lava. In one hour, the bridges of the Turbio, Narquimalal, Correntodo and Chaillupen rivers were destructed and also woods. 15 people died.