Central Pellejas

Date Established: 1910
Date Ceased Operations: 1949
Annual Production Graph
Average Annual Production: 1,962 Tons
Best Production Year: 1949/7,800 Tons
Family Ownership: Valdivieso
It has been sometimes reported that Central Pellejas was established in 1907, however, the Louisiana Planter and Sugar Manufacturer edition of May 28, 1910 states that "A new corporation entitled The Pellejas Sugar and Coffee Co. has been constituted in Ponce, with local capitalization and dedicated to the cultivation of cane and coffee in the Adjuntas district."  The publication Correspondencia de Puerto Rico  in its edition of May 25, 1910 states that The Pellejas Sugar & Coffee Co. has just been incorporated with a capital of $180,000.  Its Board of Directors is comrised of José Lacot, President; Xavier Mariani Palmieri, Vicepresident; Mr. Morales Lebrón, Secretary; Fernando Luis Toro, Treasurer and Messrs. Sanchez, Clavell and Guillermo Cortada, Vocals. The article states that in addition to 350 cuerdas planted with coffee trees, it had available 1,200 cuerdas of its own to cultivate sugarcane that will produce about 45,000 sacks of raw sugar.  Three important tracts of land were acquired from Messrs. Mariani, Sanchez & Caballero who are shareholders of the new venture.

Though not mentioned in the information above, the majority owner and promoter of the enterprise was Jorge Lucas P. Valdivieso of Ponce. The machinery for the sugar mill was acquired abroad and installed in time for the 1911-1912 grinding season which is the first one for which there are production numbers available.  Based on annual production, Pellejas was one of the smallest sugar mills on the island due to the rugged terrain surrounding it and the limited area suitable for growing sugarcane up in the mountains.  It is one of the few sugar mills established in a valley up in the mountain range where land is more suited for growing coffee and tobacco than sugar. 
Its muscovado sugar production was sold locally and any excess was transported to Ponce to be refined at Central Mercedita  where the Valdivieso's were one of the major colonos.  Molasses produced by Pellejas were used in the distilling of Pellejas Rum sold throughout Puerto Rico as early as 1907.   After its closure in 1949, its machinery and equipment was sold in 1952 to Tomenzeau Sugar Mill in Haiti.
The film  Flight of Fancy  starring  Dean Cain  was filmed at the remains of this sugar mill in 2000,  The "El Coqui" lettering on one of the pictures was added to identify a bar in the movie.  The picture of the town of Adjuntas was taken from nearby where the remains of this sugar mill are located, the mountainous terrain mentioned above can be clearly appreciated in this photo.