Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas!
We're in the middle of a series about two of America's most famous and successful outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In the last post Butch, Sundance and Etta were ready to board an ocean liner which would take them to Buenos Aires. The trip took 3 weeks and 3 days.
The ship had a newspaper!
I forgot to mention that those ocean liners back then even had daily newspapers. They had printing presses and writers on board. The writers would listen to radio news and information and write articles which would be printed up right on the ship!
Makes you wonder if they ever read anything about themselves or about robberies which their gang members were committing back home. At any rate, they got to Buenos Aires and checked into the best hotel in the city called Hotel Europa.
I think they should have changed their names again to make it harder for the Pinkertons but they kept the same names of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Place and James Ryan.
They also deposited $12,000 in gold notes in the main bank. What's interesting is that they had many questions about the bank's security. lol... I guess they wanted to make sure their own money was safe or else was casing the joint in case they decided to withdraw more than their own funds!
They knew the general direction they wanted to go was South as the Patagonia region was on the Southern tip of South America and covered an area of both Argentina and Chile.
But they needed more information so they went to the American consulate and talked to a man who knew of an ideal location for raising livestock and building a ranch.
In the valley of Cholila the pastures were rich and lush and virgin pastureland. The area was secluded, located at the foot of the Andes Mountains along the border of Chile.
The location was 400 miles from the nearest railroad and there were no telegraph wires in the area, the villages were few and far between and it was a 750 mile trip by steam ship up to Buenos Aires.
Well dang, is that the most perfect location for starting a ranch and hiding from authorities that you ever heard of? They loved the idea so that's where they set off to. When they got to Cholila they were amazed and impressed. It was as idyllic as they had imagined.
Snow capped mountains on the horizon, peaceful and isolated, it reminded them of Montana. The grass was tall and the land was dotted with lakes. This was the perfect place to lay down roots and start life over. They got to work buying building material and building a home. The year was 1901.
A quick trip to the States
After working on developing the property for a year Sundance and Etta took a trip back to the United States. The precise reason is unclear but apparently Sundance had some kind of recurring medical condition. No one knows for sure what it was, possibly a sinus infection issue.
But historians know that they again spent time in New York City and even went down to visit his sister in Pennsylvania. When they got back to Buenos Aires Sundance closed out their account at the bank, taking the remaining $1,100 that was left.
They're official now
During the 6 months that Sundance and Etta were in the States Butch filed the necessary paperwork with the government to purchase 25,000 acres of land in Cholila.
In his required proof of improvement to the land he listed that they were currently grazing 1,300 sheep, 500 head of cattle, and 35 horses on the land. So those guys had been busy!
They were now legitimate ranchers in their new land and life was good. They could live out their lives in peace and prosperity.
Hey, it was a good plan. In the next post we'll talk about life as a rancher in Patagonia.
Thanks for reading folks, God bless you all!