Central Cayey

Date Established: 1911
Date Ceased Operations: 1967
Annual production Graph
Average Annual Production: 10,243 Tons
Best Production Year: 1953/22,39 Tons
Family Ownership: N/A
Corporate Ownership: Cayey Sugar Co., United Puerto Rican Sugar Co., Eastern Sugar Associates, C Brewer Puerto Rico, Inc.
Cayey originated from the expansion and modernization of Hacienda Lucia which between 1853 and 1873 was owned by Spanish immigrant from El Ferrol, Galicia, Manuel Nuñez Romeu (1810-1889).  Central Cayey began as a family owned mill, the only information we have related to its owners prior to 1927 when it was acquired by the United Puerto Rican Sugar Co., is that in 1918 its Vicepresident and one of its Directors was Spanish immigrant Mateo Rucabado Arguinosa (1850-1920) who arrived in Puerto Rico ca. 1879 and in 1922 Carlos Benitez Santana (1845-1922) son of Eusebio Benitez Guzmán whose family owned Central Arcadia and Central Playa Grande in Vieques was appointed in charge.  

The Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer  in it edition of january 27, 1912 reports that : "The Cayey Sugar Company central which was built last year is situated very close to the center of the island...This Cayey central is quite a well designed plant and was was one of the highest in rendiment...The house was designed by Mr. Geo. P. Anderson who has since made his headquarters in Porto Rico where he has been retained as consulting engineer for a syndicate controlling some half dozen of the important centrals."  The syndicate referred to were the seven factories owned by the McCormick-Fabian interests. 

In its edition of July 8, 1916 a letter from E. P. Moore, Central Cayey's Superintendent is published  where he highlights the production of white granulated sugar from cane juice at the central stating; "We have led the island in low purity of our final molasses.  Our crystallizer work has been splendid, our average purity of final molasses will be under 24%.  Possibly some of your readers may be interested in knowing that not only in Louisiana, but in Porto Rico, white granulated sugar can be successfully produced directly from the cane juice." 

In 1927 Cayey was one of the five sugar mills acquired by the recently established United Puerto Rican Sugar Co.  The production numbers we have do not show any production between 1923 and 1927, we do not know if numbers are not available or the mill did not operate during those years.  In 1933 the United Puerto Rican Sugar Corp., which owned  Juncos , Cayey, Defensa, Pasto Viejo and Santa Juana , filed for Bankruptcy and was sold to its major creditor; The First National City Bank of NY or what today is Citibank.  The bank then created and was the main shareholder in Eastern Sugar Associates which ran all five sugar mills until 1958 (except Central Defensa which closed in 1939) when Eastern merged with the  Fajardo Sugar Company .  In 1961 all were acquired by C. Brewer Puerto Rico, Inc., a subsidiary of C. Brewer & Co. , a corporation that owned sugar mills in Hawaii.  C. Brewer Puerto Rico, Inc. was acquired in 1969 by the Sugar Corporation of Puerto Rico.
Today its remains lie within the property used as a wholesale distribution center by a now defunct furniture company.  The only pictures we could take were from outside the fence of this complex.  We were told the structures behind the smoke stack, which date from the sugar mill days, are being used by an auto mechanic repair shop.
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