The Other Harberton - in Tierra del Fuego

Home   Estancia history   Fearns' 2014 Visit

The following update email was received from Abby Goodall on 20 November 2012:
"I was delighted to find your web page today! I am a member of the fifth generation of the Bridges-Varder family living at Estancia Harberton, Tierra del Fuego.
I visited "Your" Harberton about 30 years ago, and have always felt a very special connection to that beautiful town, the old buildings, cozy little church and graveyard (where I found the tombstones of our relatives), all the lovely hills and green countryside... It is my dream to someday be able to take my three children there to see where our family originated from.
I was also pleased to see you have information posted about "our" Harberton, soooo far away. I would like to make a small update for you. We now have a nice restaurant on the top of the hill behind the old houses that provides a stupendous view of the homestead, the surrounding mountains and the Beagle Channel. We have also redone one of the old buildings as a simple guesthouse for visitors to stay. It houses 6 people. There is a web page you can visit for more information: and the contact e-mail is now"
[Abby is the daughter of Tommy and Natalie Goodall who visited Harberton in 2003. Natalie passed away in 2015; Tommy (born 1933) is still going strong at the time of writing 13/12/2023]

Estancia Harberton still stands out as special in a land of extremes and superlatives.

The oldest Estancia on Tierra del Fuego and the oldest house on the Argentine part of the island, it was built in 1886 on a narrow peninsula overlooking the Beagle Channel.  Its founder, the missionary Thomas Bridges, was given the land by the Argentine President Roca for his work among the local indians and for his help in rescuing the victims of the numerous shipwrecks in the channel.

Harberton is named after the Devonshire village where his wife Mary was born.  The farmhouse was prefabricated in England by her carpenter father and then assembled on a spot chosen by the Yamana Indians as the most sheltered.

The homestead features on tourist itineraries at the southern tip of America. It provides tours around the Bridges family cemetery, a small native botanical garden with replicas of Yahgan dwellings, and the estancia's wool shed, carpenter shop, boathouse and gardens. Rae Natalie Prosser de Goodall, a North American biologist who married into the family, has also created a bone museum focusing on the region's marine mammals.