Mazatlan means “place of the deer” in the old Nahuatl Indian language.
1531: A group Spaniards and Indians established a permanent colony. From the sounds of it they spent their time hunting, fishing, and co-existing relatively peacefully for the next 200 years.
1700’s: Gold and silver in the Sierra Madres were discovered and mining brought wealth, pirates, the first church and the first jail.
1810: Mexico gained independence as a country, on September 16
1847 -1848: Mexico was invaded by the U.S. and forfeited the territories of Texas and California
1830: The Filipino banker, Don Juan Nepomuceno Machado, arrived in Mazatlan and began trading with far-flung places such as The Philippines, Asia, Chile, Peru, Europe, and the US. With his financial success in Mazatlan he built and donated the Plazuela Machado.
1859-1873: Mazatlan was the capital of Sinaloa. Around this period, the Germans landed bringing their Bavarian music, which is where Mazatlan got its banda bands from, and of course, the German staple, beer. Mazatlan had no beer and the Germans taught them all about brewing and they began producing the delicious Pacifico beer. Some historians claim the Germans with their skills and capital, shaped our port and made Mazatlan a prosperous city. Literally, put it on the map.
1861-1867: The French invaded Mexico. Mexico managed to crush the French and defeat them on May 5, (cinco de mayo)1862, known as the Battle of the Puebla. The defeat was short lived, the French returned and occupied Mexico from 1864 – 1867. In 1865 with the US Civil War over, the American troops helped the Mexicans banish the French.
1871: The last invasion of Mazatlan and Mexico was from England.
1883: 2,500 people died of yellow fever, including the famous opera singer, Angela Peralta. Mazatlan drank “water from the skies”; with no fresh water and only cisterns, viral infections transmitted by mosquitoes were common.
1910-1917: Mexican Revolution. Internal revolts, upheavals and battles for political power crisscrossed the entire country.
1922: One of the first English documented evidence of tourism in Mazatlan. The November issue of The National Geographic Magazine wrote a 56 page spread, with 45 photographs, titled “Adventuring Down The West Coast Of Mexico” by Herbert Corey. Corey refers to Mazatlan as “the city of parrots…Mazatlan is the Place Where the Deer Come Down to Drink, but it might well have been called the Place of the Girls…Nor can pretty girls have a more dainty setting. The residential district of the town is set along the half-moon of the Bay of Olas Altas, or High Waves, in which the rollers from China come to break upon the beach. This will be an important Pacific port when the works now in contemplation are completed. Then large ships can come in through the island portals that protect the entrance.”