The area occupied today by the City of Durazno used to be known as “Entre Ríos Yí y Negro” (Between the Yí and the Negro Rivers). The first dwellers, Minuanes, Charrúas and some Yaros, settled down in these lands up to the XVII century.
With the appearance of the horse and cattle, the commercialization of leather between the natives and the Portuguese began. But in 1702, the battle of the Yí ended with the Indo-Lusitanic alliance and set the decline of the Indian presence in the area.
In the early XVIII century, field workers and cattle drivers from Corrientes, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires and Entre Ríos came along attracted by the exploitation of leather and set their mark upon the region.
The settlement was not properly founded until 1821 by the then Colonel Fructuoso Rivera, under the name of Villa San Pedro de Durazno with the aim of raising a defensive fortification to secure the army campaign and to provide a home for the humble criollo families. Therefore, it was once sustained that Durazno was founded with the “orphans of the Fatherland”.
Very significant historical facts took place in these lands. In 1825, the “Monzón Embrace” between Rivera and Lavalleja sealed their alliance to fight for the independence of this eastern nation. Also in Durazno, in 1836, the battle of Carpintería was fought between the followers of Manuel Oribe and the revolutionary men led by Fructuoso Rivera. The white and red emblems were worn for the first time in this battle. This was the formal beginning of the two political parties that would dominate Uruguay in the future.
Independence brought along times of peace and prosperity. As a result of the booming cattle activities and the fertility of the soil, the area flourished and became a strategic point to join the four cardinal points of the country in its very center.
It was not until 1906, that Durazno was declared a city.