Friday, June 6, 2008

About Vertientes

Vertientes as a town came into being with the Central or Sugar Refinery established there in the early 20th century. You can buy a stock certificate to the Vertientes - Camaguey Sugar Company of Cuba, originally issued to John Jacob Astor's son here. Although owned by Americans and run by El Americano, some savvy, entrepreneurial Cubans like my great uncle reasoned that the refinery and its workers would need goods and services. Ergo, they packed up their families and settled just outside the boundaries of the refinery. I believe that in the beginning they were essentially squatters. It was this frontierlike outpost to which my grandfather first brought my grandmother, along with her widowed mother, as a new bride.

With time, the town grew and prospered. It boasted a rice processor, a school, and a Catholic church, as well as a rail depot and later, access to the central highway. Paved streets, however, awaited the future. Sometime in the late thirties, the entire town burned down, reputedly the result of a love triangle. Rebuilt, the city has grown over the decades, and the population is now roughly near 60 thousand.

1 comment:

Ms Calabaza said...

I've heard a great deal of stories involving Vertientes over the years from my parents ~ Camagueyanos.