Central Oriente

Date Established: 1896
Date Ceased Operations: 1910
Annual Production Graph
Average Annual Production: 5,112 Tons
Best Production Year: N/A
Family Ownership: Westphaling
Corporate Ownership: Central Oriente Co, Cambalache

Oriente was established in 1896 by Carl Westphaling after he left his employment at Central Los Caños  where he had worked since 1884 when he arrived from Bremen, Germany.  It was established on the banks of the Santiago River between  Cambalache  and Los Caños very close to the latter on what used to be the Hacienda San Gabriel of Felipe Correa.  Central Oriente was the first to contract any of the land recovered by drainage from the 5,000 acre tract under reclamation in the Caño Tiburones.
On 9/14/1897, Westphalling & Co. received permission from the Government to use waters from the Santiago River.  According to information provided by Bernhart Westphaling, grandson of Carl, in 1910 Oriente had three mills, one used as a crusher with extraction of 75%.  Milling Capacity was 500 tons of sugarcane per 24 hours or production of 50,000 bags or 6,250 tons of sugar per 6 month crop from about 3,500 to 4,000 acres of sugarcane.  Average annual production from 1904 to 1908 was 26,560 bags of 200 pounds each 
The original corporate name of Oriente was Westphaling & Co., in 1909 Westphaling & Co. sold all its assets to Central Oriente Co. which incorporators were: Carl Westphaling, David Wilson, a Scottish immigrant from Glasgow and Mendel Donchi, a Russian educated in Berlin where he received a PhD in chemistry and who later worked at  Aguirre .   The Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer Volume 44 No. 9 dated February 26, 1910, states "The latest Central to join the ranks of active grinders has been the recently incorporated Central Oriente of Arecibo, under the management of Mr. F. Ferrer Barreras.  The owner of this Central, Mr. David Wilson, died last year in Glasgow, as advised in the columns of the Louisiana Planter."  In 1910, a year after the death of David Wilson while traveling in Scotland, Carl Westaphaling and the heirs of David Wilson decided to sell Central Oriente, Central Cambalache  came up with the best offer and acquired Oriente for $250,000.  Since Cambalache was only interested in its land, they immediately sold Oriente's equipment to the Oliver family for their new Central Alianza in Camuy.
David Wilson was a very good engineer from Mirrleess Watson, well kown among the sugarmen of Puerto Rico a the time and the British Consul in Puerto Rico.  He had previously been an investor and Member of the Board of Directors of  Central Altagracia  in Añasco.  In 1909 the Courts decided in favor of Wilson a libel suit brought against Mr. Wilson by Central Altagracia, Inc. alleging that he caused significant losses by his statements about Altagracia's President mismanagement and incompetence.  This libel suit was a sequel to a previous suit filed by Mr. Wilson against Cenral Altagracia in which he requested the Court to appoint a receiver due to Altagracia's President mismanagament and incomepetence.
We thank Bernhard Westphaling of Bremen, Germany who provided valuable information regarding his grandfather Carl Westphaling,  Central Los Caños  and Central Oriente and who shared the following pictures from that era.  The painting is Carl Westphaling's own painting of his Central Oriente.  The person on one of pictures is David Wilson.

It is uncertain if the remains photographed below are from the sugar mill, however, they resemble in a way the base of the sugar mill's chimney base and are located in the general area where Oriente was.
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director