BY Lisa Lindblad
September 28, 2009
In 1940, the village of Garzon was, in fact, a fairly robust town of 2,000 who gained a comfortable existence working in the wheat mill. It straddled the Garzon river where travelers would rest on their way to Rocha and it made good use of the railroad that ran through town to carry the milled sugar, Eucalyptus and mined gray granite to market.
And then the road came. The trains stopped running and Garzon, with its graceful station house and lovely symmetrical square, was bypassed and went to sleep.
Eight years ago Francis Mallmann, South America’s foremost chef, bought the general store on the village square and lovingly converted it in to a 5-room hotel and a sensational restaurant. Slowly, with the help of friends, the buildings fronting the square are being salvaged.
But Pueblo Garzon, now home to 250 souls, is still a sleepy place with an air of the frontier about: dusty roads; wandering farm animals; cocky dogs; hitching posts;and locals who mind their own business.
It is also my home.
Updates to Garzon: The Life of a Village will be posted frequently