The Utopian Town of Soria
By Magdalena Copado
Soria has a really interesting history. It arose around an existing hacienda called El Molino (the mill) and later, with the establishment of textile mills, became known as Soria. How the name arose is under discussion, though it is said that the last of the owners, Eusebio González, originally came from Soria in Spain. But there is another person, who was also owner of the hacienda, whose name was Florencio Soria, which is the more likely reason for the name.
Hacienda Arias, Hacienda De Virela, Hacienda Santa Marta, and the Soria textile factory
Tuesday, May 31
Information: 152 0293 and 415 113 9676
“The exact date of the founding of Soria is uncertain. In the newspaper El Siglo XIX (No. 79, April 3, 1851) mention is made in one of its columns that the engineer Antonio Maria Leyva of Celaya was murdered in El Molina de Soria 10 days previously by persons from Ibarguren. This was the first time the name appeared in print. Colonel Florencia Soria was political chief of Celaya (what we would today call the mayor) and was the owner of the property and surrounding lands. It is probable that the name comes from him, because formerly it was just known as El Molino, for the flour mill there.”
On the site, the Providencia blanket factory was built. It used looms purchased in England by Lucas Alamán for the Textiles Cempoala factory in Celaya, Eusebio González acquired the looms, thereby creating a new textile center in the Bajio.
Sr González married Emeterio Valencia, one of the wealthiest women in the Bajio in the second half of the 19th century, and he went on to create a veritable textile empire, with factories in Salvatierra, Celaya, and Soria. The childless couple used their wealth to help the poor and establish schools throughout the region.
Today, Soria is still there and the factories are still in production. They are not as profitable as before, perhaps because of cheap imports from China. However, they have survived thanks to their cashmere products, which are said to be the best in Mexico.
The Biblioteca’s Hacienda Tour will take place on May 31, visiting three beautiful haciendas,
Hacienda Arias, Hacienda De Virela, Hacienda Santa Marta, and the Soria textile factory. A talk about the tour will be given by an expert on haciendas, Santiago González, on May 24 at 4pm in the Sala Quetzal at the Biblioteca.
Tickets are on sale at the library’s tienda. Call Magdalena Copado for more information at 152 0293 or 415 113 9676.