Santa Clara

According to Archeologist Luis Pumarada O'Neill, in 1978 Hacienda Santa Clara was the best remaining example of a 19th Century coffee hacienda in Puerto Rico.  It was established ca. 1820  and acquired ca. 1860 by Corsican immigrant Domingo Mariani Dominicci (1816-1902) who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1846 and also owned Hacienda Asunción , Hacienda Malatesta/Santa Clara II   and together with his nephews Tomás (1835-1918) and Antonio Santiago Pietri Mariani established Hacienda Esperanza.

Hacienda Santa Clara consisted of some 1,300 cuerdas ca. 1895 and included other haciendas, one of which today is known as Malatesta or Santa Clara II located some 2 Km away.  Domingo also owned Hacienda Santa Rita in Guánica. 

After almost 50 years since it last produced coffee, Pablo Muñoz a descendant of the Mariani family, has resumed operations and is producing coffee grown at Hacienda Santa Clara under the name Café Cuatro Sombras .  Today, one of the oldest remaining coffee production facilities on the island, still has the water wheel with all its gears and machinery used in its glory days.  It is the only wooden water powered mill (tahona) known to be in its original condition.  Also remaining is the chimney of the sugar mill used in processing sugarcane.

These pictures are part of a 1987 study by Archeologist Dr. Luis Pumarada O'Neill, source: Puerto Rico State Historic Preservation Office.