Although Ushuaia was settled by its native people for thousands of years, it was settled by Europeans in the late 1800s when explorers and others began arriving.

There were several expeditions to Ushuaia, including those who were sea lion hunting and true explorers, like Captain Fitz Roy, who discovered a channel that is now named after him. Around this time missionaries began arriving as well, who made attempts to introduce religion to the natives.

In 1884, the town was honored with the notice that Oct. 12 would be its birthday; that year a national flag was hoisted for the first time as well. Shortly thereafter, the town’s prison was built and, in essence, the town itself. Through the labors of the prisoners, the town had electricity soon after it was first common, and the prisoners built a post office as well.

The town quickly built up with a variety of stores and services suddenly flourishing. Before long, the town also had medical offices, drug stores, and a printing house. When the prison closed in 1947, the town’s population was more than 2,000 residents.

Once the town was somewhat built, it’s prime location and beautiful surroundings brought in immigrants from a variety of countries including Italy, Spain and Croatia and their numbers increased the population considerably.