The origins of the San Nicolas de los Arroyos District ( “Partido” ) dates back to the year 1608 When Hernando Arias de Saavedra, better known as Hernandarias, who governed the River Plate region gives orders to create an outpost beyond “Dos Hermanas”, a pueblo which took that name and belonged to this jurisdiction till 1864 when the Ramallo District was created. The Government of Buenos Aires approved that initiative 1 September 1608 which is taken then as the date of birth of this District.
The city head of district, San Nicolas de los Arroyos is founded 14 April 1748, which was in fact, the organizing of the pueblo by Rafael de Aguiar on the same grounds where it stands today, land which used to belong to his wife, by inheritance rights. Mrs. Juana Paulina de Ugarte donated a plot for a plaza which is today’s Plaza Mitre and the de Chapel of St. Nicholas of Bari which would be the origin of today’s cathedral. The name originates from a combination of Aguiar’s devotion for Bari’s saint, St. Nicholas, and the geographical seat of the pueblo, “Pago de los Arroyos”.
The river saw the first Argentine naval battle under the command of Juan Bautista Azopardo, an officer of Maltese origin, against the Spanish under the command of Francisco de Romarate. This was the baptism for the War Navy of the Argentine Republic.
The battles which came afterwards saw the local population as active participants which gave rise to much prestige thus the city was named a City by the General Constituent Congress gathered in Buenos Aires, 23 November 1819.
San Nicolas of Bari was declared the saint patron of the city by popular vote 6 December 1821 thus fulfilling the desires and initiative of Rafael de Aguiar in 1748. After the battle of Caseros the celebrated document known in Argentine History as the Agreement of San Nicolas de los Arroyos is signed, a landmark which took place 31 May 1852.
The aim of the document was to bring forward a day for the creation of a National Congress to ratify existing treaties with the unanimous vote of all Argentine regions, the writing of a national constitution to rule over all the regions as belonging to a same family, define national powers and establish order and inner peace as well as respectability abroad for the Nation.
The first meat packing plant for Argentina and South America, an important first step for the national economy, was founded here with name of “La Elisa” by Eugenio Terrasson in 1882. The first consignment of frozen meat to Europe was prepared here.