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The House of "The Three Garcia", Its True Story

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The House of "The Three Garcia", Its True Story

San Luis de la Paz, Gto. Wednesday, June 6, 2012.  Although for many people, the old mansion located at Matamoros Esplanade is the one from the 1946 film "The Three Garcia", the reality is different.  Seven years ago, we, the creators of Sanluisdelapaz.com, discovered that the movie was not filmed in San Luis de la Paz, but somewhere else.  We shared our research then, and republished it a year and a half ago.  Now, we will narrate here the true story of this building, which has served as a house, hotel and a school.

In the Colonial Era, the land where it is located was owned by the Jesuits.  It was donated to them in the mid-17th Century, and ranged from 5 de Mayo Street in the North, to Victoria Street in the South, and from the Matamoros Street in the West to the Chorrito Hill in the East.  The missionaries built there the San Luis Rey Parish, the cemetery (now is the parish atrium), two chapels (of the Souls and San Jose), their home and a large orchard.

When the Jesuits were expelled from San Luis de la Paz and all New Spain in 1767, the property with the exception of what today comprises the parish, its atrium, the chapels, and the CECOM was surrendered to private individuals. By the end of the 19th century, the land passed into the hands of Don Antonio Huerta, who built a mansion in 1876.  In addition, he ceded part of the big orchard to the municipality to form the Alameda.

The building also served as a hotel during the Bonanza of Mineral de Pozos and as campus of the San Luis Rey School in the first two decades of the 20th Century.  It was later abandoned, and the heirs of Mr. Huerta sold it to Luis H. Ducoing Gamba, Governor of the State of Guanajuato from 1973 to 1979, and San Luis de la Paz native, who is its current owner.

Due to its resemblance to the house that appears in "The Three Garcia", which supposedly was filmed in San Luis de la Paz, a large number of people identify it with the film. Since we have proved it is a mistake, then it is more appropriate to call it "The Orchard House", as several name it.  Today, the abandoned edifice gives some mystery and interest to the historic center of the city.

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