Driving Adventures: Day Trips From San Miguel

31 Jan
Download all five "Driving Adventure" books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

Download all five “Driving Adventure” books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

An excerpt from my, “Driving Adventures: Day Trips From San Miguel”

These are easy one day trips from San Miguel de Allende. Trips to historical, ecological, archaeological, and just plain magical places that can be enjoyed only if you immerse yourself in the history of the region and its people first. It’s their story….


Table of Contents
Dolores Hidalgo……………………….1

Mineral La Luz………………………..9


Cerro de San Pedro…………………..29

Hacienda, Jaral de Berrio…………..46


History and Walking Tour of Dolores Hidalgo

by William J. Conaway

Just 24 miles from San Miguel de Allende is the city of Dolores Hidalgo, named for the Virgin, Our Lady of Sorrows. The area was named Cocomacán, or Hunting place for Herons by the nomadic Chichimecas. It’s an easy drive, or bus ride from San Miguel, and a pleasant way to spend a day. In addition to its history Dolores offers a huge assortment of ceramics and tile to tempt you.
As you enter the city either by car or by bus you will pass a huge cantera stone monument dedicated to the heros of Mexico’s Independence: Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama, and Morelos. It was designed by sculptor Jorge González and architect Carlos Obregón Santacilia.

Throughout the political area of present day Dolores Hidalgo artifacts of ceramics and stone tools continue to be found; relics of Pre-Hispanic campgrounds that lined the Río Laja, a major tributary of the Río Lerma. The Spanish settlement began in 1570, with the formation of the Congregation of Our Lady of Sorrows, established by Viceroy Enriques de Almanza. Its first priest, Father Alvaro de Osio y Ocampo enlarged the area of the Congregation by purchasing, from the Viceroy, neighboring lands. This formed the limits of the original settlement. It wasn’t until the XIX century that it received its designation as a city.

In 1710, Viceroy Marquis of Montecarlos, began the Hacienda de Erre just eight kilometers from town. The lands were dedicated to the raising of cattle, horses, mules, etc. for the growing population of the colony as a whole, and more specifically for the mining operations in nearby Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí.

Father Miguel Hidalgo, the Father of México, was sent here from nearby San Felipe at the beginning of the XIX century moving into the House of Tithes, Casa del Diezmo, in 1804. (The house now serves as a museum.)

Father Hidalgo immediately began promoting economic and social development. He began the ceramic industry, planted vineyards, and tried to begin a silk making trade by planting mulberry trees and importing silkworms.

His House in San Felipe had been nicknamed «Little Francia,» by the locals because of the concerts, balls, and the intellectual discussion groups that Hidalgo hosted there. He was to initiate the same sort of social setting in Dolores. It has been suggested that these discussion groups formed the basis for the strong, local independence support Hidalgo later received.

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