We could say that this Rio suburb ccame to life when Estácio de Sá donated to the Jesuits the Sesmaria de Iguaçú – an enormous land extension which included the present day neighborhoods of Grande Méier, Grande Tijuca and São Cristóvão. The area from Benfica to Engenho de Dentro became gradually fulfilled since the Freguesia de Nossa Senhora da Conceição of Engenho Novo, by the middle 18th century. Country houses, chapels and warehouses formed small centers, on that predominantly rural occasion. Since the D. Pedro II railroad opening (1858) amd the intermediary stations until Cascadura, the suburbs grew in parallel to the railroad, gaining land lots and more urban surroundings.
The Assistant Line (E.F Rio Douro) increased this expansion in a different and more irregular way, allowing the erection of the now existing neighborhoods of Cachambi, Maria da Graça and Del Castilho, thoe last ones presently integrated to it’s neighbor Região Leopoldina. In 1879, the Cachambi Ferro-Carril Company, with mule pulled streetcars, started to do the connection between those neighborhoods and access to the surroundings industries, all the Grande Méier region notably grew in demographic terms, causing the mixing, and even it’s “fading”. But where did Cachambi go? That’s what we’ll be discovering in this Rolé Carioca, outstanding the little treasures that the suburbs keep on it’s view.
Image: Méier, 1957, Acervo IBGE