In the Northern part of the State of Guanajuato, the San Felipe (city) jurisdiction is the location of the most outstanding and incredible, ancient large and beautiful hacienda in the country. The origin of the hacienda goes back to the end of the 16th century, Juan de Zavala was a Spanish settled in the area of San Luis Potosí and started livestock activities in the San Francisco Valley. This is the beginning of the “Zavala Hacienda”.
The hacienda kept growing, and in the 18th century the owners of the hacienda were doña Teresa Josefa Zaldívar y Retes de Paz y Vera and her husband Captain Andres de Berrio y Diaz Palacios Ortiz de Landázurri y Ayala (please note all those name are real), the hacienda kept that name until their son Miguel Berrio y Zaldivar was given the Royal title of Marquee of the Jaral by King Charles III, then the name of the hacienda was Hacienda del Marqués de Jaral de Berrio. During this time, the hacienda grew so much that its livestock could be put to pasture the property and be in 4 different states of Mexico form the State of Durango to the Mexico City Valley.
The horses from Jaral de Berrio were famous for their beauty and presence. Several of them were models for sculptures. There were also famous saying phrases that mentioned Jaral de Berrio in old Mexico. In 1810, Juan Nepomuceno de Moncada y Berrio, grandson of the first Marquee, was the owner of the hacienda and joined the Independence (war) revolt. When the independent troops were going to confiscate the property, he joins the royal army to defend his property.
In 1817, Francisco Javier Mina and his independent troops take control of the hacienda. At the end of the independence war the Emperor Agustín de Iturbide gave Jaun Nepomuceno the title of Knight of the Royal Order of Guadalupe and returned his property. In 1855 the hacienda had a population of 6500 people, it had a mail and a tax office, two schools, two hotels and its chapel was given a higher status, it became a church. In 1890, the railroad served the Haciendas with 2 train stations Juan Isidro de Moncada y Hurtado de Mendoza was the owner in those days.
The last owner of the hacienda in the beginning of the 20th century was Rutilio Rojas Rodríguez, he owned 5000 hectares of land. He bought the property form Doña Margarita, Juan Isidro´s daughter in law. After the land reform act was enforced the excess property of the hacienda was divided into an ejido property regime, the owner abandoned the house and the small property given to him. The ejido requested extension of ownership in order to rescue the house and repair it, they obtained such ownership and in 1991, based on the land-ownership act the ejido members gave property of it to Mr. Pedro Morales who is the current owner.