1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Santa Catharina

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SANTA CATHARINA, a southern maritime state of Brazil, bounded N. by Parana, E. by the Atlantic, S. by Rio Grande do Sul, and W. by Rio Grande do Sul and the Misiones territory of Argentina. Pop. (1900) 320,289; area 28,633 sq. m. The Serra do Mar rises not far from the coast and leaves only a narrow coast zone, and the plateau above is much broken with irregular ranges of mountains. The coast region, though in the temperate zone, is hot and humid. It is densely forested, is broken by swamps and lagoons, and is crossed by numerous short streams from the wooded slopes of the serras. The plateau is less densely wooded, but has some highly fertile plains, the open campos being partly devoted to stock raising. Except in the malarious coast zone, the climate is temperate, bracing and exceptionally healthy. The drainage is westward to the Parana, the rivers being tributaries of the Iguassú, which forms its northern boundary, and of the Uruguay, which forms its southern boundary. A number of prosperous German colonies—the largest and best known of which are Blumenau, Dona Francisca, Joinville, Itajahy, Brusque, Dom Pedro and São Bento—are devoted chiefly to agriculture. There is no cultivation on a large scale, as in São Paulo and the northern provinces. Coffee is produced to a limited extent. Indian corn, beans, onions, fruit and mandioca are the principal products. A prominent industry is the gathering and preparation of maté or Paraguayan tea (Ilex paraguayensis), which is an article of export. The mineral resources include coal, iron, silver, gold and petroleum, the first alone is mined. The only railway of the state, the Dona Thereza Christina, runs from Laguna, at the mouth of a lagoon of that name on the southern coast, northward to the port of Imbituba (about 4 m.) and thence westward up the valley of the Rio Tubarão to the coal fields of that name (69 m.). The coal is of inferior quality and the development of the mines, which were discovered in 1841, has not been a success. A later investigation shows that there are beds of better coal at a greater depth extending from Rio Grande do Sul to São Paulo. The capital of the state is Florianopolis (q.v.) also called Santa Catharina and Desterro, and its other towns are Blumenau, Lages (9356), Laguna (7282), Joinville (13,996), Itajahy (8875), Brusque (8094), São José (11,820), opposite Florianopolis, Tubarão (5495) and São Francisco (5583), a good port in the northern part of the state in direct communication with a majority of the German colonies.