Villa Alba was founded on 16 August 1901. The name was changed to General San Martín in 1944, in honor of Liberator General José de San Martín (1778-1850).
General San Martín is located in the heart of Argentine wheat country. It is also an important production center for salt with the nearby "La Colorada Grande" salt mine. In November each year there is a festival called the "Salt Feast."