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on the Patagonian authorities whenever needed. If that wasn’t enough, he would recur to the Argentine or Chilean government.

During those years the Development Company of Tierra del Fuego, owned by the Braun-Menedez family, had 7 million acres in Chile alone. Meanwhile, in Argentina, two of their ranches gave birth to the city of Río Grande.

During the invitation to bid for the Pampas de Ultima Esperanza (in 1905) said company is granted all the lands in the Chilean border, while bidding for the same lands on the Argentine border.

They established, in Boires, the greatest manufacturing plant of Magallanes, for the production of both countries. In 1908, José

Menendez together with Braun & Blanchard, established the Import & Export Company of Patagonia. It had headquarters in Chile, as well as in Argentina. The company involved commerce, shipping, cattle and financing interests. It had branches in the main Patagonian ports, where new and vast ranches were acquired.
This unusual concentration of riches in the hands of a few, would give rise - during the 1920’s - to the most tragic and violent incidents, between workers and land owners, in Argentine history.
Menedez died in 1918. His name, and that of his relatives, is remembered in statues, buildings and streets in Punta Arenas. This only seems fair in light of his contribution to the growth and history of the town and of Patagonia, for better or for worse.


Chapter 12
Dreams of Gold

We are now in Buenos Aires in the midst of the 19th century. The Recoleta Cemetery is the last resting place of a not very large, but very well off, Argentine elite. The sumptuous combination of its mausoleums’ architectural styles encloses notorious last names that walked on this city.

Among the Anchorena, the Alzaga Unzué, the Viale del Carril families, there lies an intruder that - because of his history - seemed to have no connection whatsoever to this place. Nevertheless, in the Ayerza family mausoleum, Julius Popper rests in peace. He was once defined as a "tough and talented adventurer with an unbridled energy".

He was born to an intellectual Rumanian-

Jewish background on December 15, 1857.

His home was located on 27 Vacarestu street, a very important commercial street of Bucarest. Born to Peppi and Neftalí, a teacher, journalist and editor of the only bilingual newspaper in town. The liberal paper was published both in Yiddish and Rumanian under the name of "Timpal – di Zait" ... "The Time".

Under the influence of this intellectual environment, it was not surprising that Julius learned Rumanian, Yiddish, French and German fluently, along with some Greek. He also wrote in perfect Spanish. At a very young age his independent character was palpable. It would become obvious when, twenty years later, he would become "king", "dictator" or


      page 23  
1-2-3-4-5-6     INTRODUCTION  
7-8     CHAPTER 1 - From Far West to Patagonia - BUTCH CASSIDY  
9-10     CHAPTER 2 - Tragedy of the Cervantes - THE “MONTE CERVANTES” SHIPWRECK  
11     CHAPTER 3 - The First Flight over Tierra del Fuego - GUNTHER PLÜSCHOW  
12     CHAPTER 4 - The Promised Land - THE ROAD OF THE WELSH PEOPLE  
13-14     Chapter 5 - The Watchman of the South - LUIS PIEDRA BUENA  
15-16     Chapter 6 - The Prison of the End of the World - Ushuaia’s Prison  
17     Chapter 7 - The Perito Moreno Glacier - FRANCISCO PANCRACIO MORENO  
18     Chapter 8 - THE FATHER DE AGOSTINI  
19-20     Chapter 9 - Long Live the King! - ORLLIE ANTOINE  
21     Chapter 10 - No Place for Women - ELLA HOFFMAN de BRUNSWICK  
22     Chapter 11 - The Boundless Empire - JOSE MENENDEZ  
23-24-25     Chapter 12 - Dreams of Gold - JULIUS POPPER  
27-28-29-30     PRESS ISSUE