jaimemontilla.com

Central Cortada
Santa Isabel

 
Date Established: 1906
Date Ceased Operations: 1973
Annual Production Graph
Average Annual Production: 19,197 Tons
Best Production Year: 1953/36,146 Tons
Family Ownership: Cortada
Corporate Ownership: Santa Isabel Sugar Co., Aguirre Sugar Company
 
Cortada was established on what used to be Estancia Descalabrado owned by Catalonian immigrant Juan de Quintana.  After his death in 1789, it was inherited by his granddaughter Monserrate Quintana, who married another Catalonian immigrant, Juan Cortada Manzo (1800-1865), therein the name Cortada.  On August 27, 1868 ownership was in the name of their son Juan Cortada Quintana (1833-1889) when he received a water right to use water from the Descalabrado River for irrigation purposes.
 
After being "colonos" or sugar planters for Central Aguirre , in 1906 the Santa Isabel Sugar Co. was established with Juan Cortada Tirado (1864-1937), son of Juan Cortada Quintana and Grandson of Juan Cortada Manzo as the majority stockholder.  Other stockholders were; A. Hartman & Co. which was owned by the McCormick-Hartman brothers; Rafael Fabian Fabian, also part owner of Central Roig Constancia  and Pasto Viejo; Sucn J. A. Alcaide, part owner of Central Machete;  Luis Francisco Vergés, part owner of Central Columbia;  Hugh Guillén; Isidro Abarca; Antonio Álvarez; George T. Parker and Leopoldo Cabassa Pica (1864-1910).
 
In 1918, the Chemist for Central Cortada was Antonio Sala Rosado (1885-1956) who was married to my 2nd cousin 2x removed Mercedes Negroni Sanchez.  Sometime between 1930 and 1940, after both Cortada and Central Machete  had been acquired by the  Aguirre Sugar Company , he became the the Chemist at Central Machete .
 
In 1924 the majority stockholder in Santa Isabel Sugar Co. was Juan Quintana Toro, son of Juan Cortada Tirado and Rita Toro Labarthe and Jacobo Cabassa Hernandez (1891-1978), the son of Leopoldo Cabassa Pica was its Vicepresident.  That year the  Aguirre Sugar Company acquired a 62% majority interest in Santa Isabel Sugar Co., by 1930 the Santa Isabel Sugar Co. had been liquidated and all its assets consolidated with those of Central Aguirre Sugar Co. who from then on operated the sugar mill until its closure.  There are no production numbers for Central Cortada between 1939-1941 and 1042-1944 for an unknown reason.
 
In some of the pictures you can see a modern windmill in the background, there are quite a few of these installed as an alternate method of generating electricity in nearby land where sugarcane was grown . The houses pictured below in a bad state of disrepair, are near the remains in the small community surrounding the sugar mill.  They were right behind me from where I was taking the pictures of the smoke stack.  The design of these houses is different from those of Central Aguirre  and the Guanica Centrale .
 
In 1911, Juan Cortada Tirado received permission to build a dock in Santa Isabel.  Later on a community called "Playita Cortada", which still exists today, developed around where the dock was and is today one of the few remaining memories of Central Cortada's legacy in the area.