In the seventeenth century the sugar district of Izucar became the most important sugarcane area for the state of Puebla. This in virtue of the technologies provided by the Spaniards that contributed in the great development of channels and aqueducts for the use of the water, improving the distribution for the irrigation of the cane fields, and the used for energy ends that gave the force to the machinery of the mills, achieving larger productions of sugar cane derivatives. This make the region a key point for trade; In addition, its geographical position, the weather and the crossing of roads placed Izucar in the perfect area. It was then that the Spaniards called it the port of Izucar, even though it wasn´t at sea, it became part of the maritime trade route, Mexico - Puebla - Izucar - Acapulco and the port to China, the Philippines and Peru.
There is a record of sixteen production units in the region, including mills known as "trapiches", sugar factories known as "ingenios" and distilleries, one of sixteen was Hacienda San Felix Rijo or how we call it today Hacienda Rijo.
- The cane sugar mills were operated by the force of animals, their process were simple and they were only able to generated piloncillo and brown sugar.
- A smaller number were mills operating by means of hydraulic energy and later on by steam energy. All of them produced brown sugar, with one exception, the Ingenio in Hacienda Rijo, was able in its third stage of modernization to produced refined sugar.
Hacienda Rijo began its construction at the end of the 17th century. After having obtained the license by Royal Charter on May 30, 1684 to build a sugarcane mill, or in spanish a "trapiche". Its founder, Don Juan Rijo Briceño, was the one who gave the name to the Hacienda and later on to the town of Rijo, that was conformed by the workers of the mill. Don Juan's vision was so great that he achieved a very quickly development in his technologies, allowing him better and greater productions. Factors that led him in 1710, exactly in a period of 24 years, to grow from a sugar mill to a sugar factory best known in Mexico as an "Ingenio".
The Hacienda went through several hands over the years, achieving at each stage different developments that gave life to the full construction known as "casco"..
In 1731 it was owned by Don Pedro Calvo Viduales who kept working the "Ingenio".
In 1786 the Hacienda's ownership passed to the convent of "Del Carmen" in the city of Puebla, being for almost a century, property of the church. Later on, in the Juarista period (Time during which Benito Juarez ruled Mexico) with the confiscation of the goods of the clergy, the Hacienda becomes property of the asturian spaniard, Don Jose Diaz Rubin in the year 1883. Who with great vision, ten years later grows and modernizes the "Ingenio" with scottish machinery from Watson Company & Glasco, that used steam energy that allowed it to have shorter and higher quality processes, becoming the first producer of refined sugar and the first distillery in the region; detonating a great economic development. This earned him recognition in an article where the important industrial progress of "Rijo's Ingenio" was mentioned, capturing the facts in a photographic record. (The three pictures we see down here are from that newspaper).
The developments turned the "Ingenio" in a prominent space of the region, for which they were granted a monumental clock in the year of 1910, as a gift for their magnificent job, and to commemorate the centenary of the independence. The clock was lost during the revolution, but now a days we have and exact replica.
Between 1908, Jose Diaz Rubin, having privileged information that an armed movement was about to explode in Mexico, he sold his Haciendas and the "Ingenio de Rijo" passed by to "Don Agustín de la Hidalga", achieving in his course as owner, the best production of cane in the Hacienda, obtaining in just one period of zafra 1500 tons of sugar.
At the end of 1910 the revolution was unleashed, and in 1911, when the Southern Caudillo, Emiliano Zapata, raised in arms. Violence escalated quickly and his movement was characterized for being very aggressive against the landowners, the ideal they followed "The land is for who works it - La tierra es para quien la trabaja ". By the year 1914, the Zapatista forces arrived in the region, destroying, bandaging and burning the Hacienda, leaving it almost in ruins.
Years later, in 1924, Doña Hermelinda Llera, widow of Hidalga, sells the property to William Jenkins, alias "El gringo". Who acquires the sixteen sugar industrial units of the region to process and obtain cane liquor, which he sold to the americans. Rumors indicate that he sold everything to the well-known american gangster Al Capone during the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. He was able to trade under the protection of his dear friends, the Avila Camacho. Don Manuel, president of the Republic and Don Maximino, governor of the state of Puebla. During that period he created great profits, he even financed to the Mexican government the construction of the four-lane highway Mexico-Puebla and Mexico-Queretaro.
The social, economic and political position of Jenkins was so great that during the post-revolutionary period he was not affected by any agrarian division. It was until President Lázaro Cárdenas's government, when he sells all his lands to the government to be distributed. The Haciendas become property of the federation, losing their hectares, leaving only the "casco" and 10 meters of protection to its perimeter.
In the 1940s, with the social policy of the government of the time, many sectors of the economy nationalized, including oil, railroads and sugar. Created for its operation and control of the sugar, the parastatal "Azúcar S.A." Which in the decade of the eighties had operational problems and was forced to be liquidated. Being in the year of 1993 when the Haciendas of this region were put on sale in and auction, being bought by different companies. From that date, the Hacienda Rijo is again private property and gradually regains its original splendor due to its restoration, which after several years of work achieved its resurgence as a phoenix, which after almost a hundred years of abandonment resurges from its ruins in the most splendid way.
THE MONUMENTAL CLOCK OF THE HACIENDA
On the threshold of the centenary of Mexico's independence, President Don Porfirio Diaz instructed state governors to highlight the most notorious advances; considering within these, the projects that put the nations to the vanguard . For which he ordered to manufacture 300 monumental clocks in France, that were imported through the watchmaking "La Esmeralda" in Mexico City. These clocks were granted to beautify and commemorate the hundred years of independence with the ringing of their bells. Being located in government palaces, train stations, universities, hospitals, churches, barracks, parks and remarkable industrial developments.
One of those clocks, arrived to Hacienda Rijo. We do not know exactly what happened next, but it was in the revolutionary period that it was lost, and during the restoration of the Hacienda and its historical research, that photographs were obtained. Thanks to one of those pictures, it was possible to recreate an exact replica of the three bell clock. The piece was assembled by the Olvera´s, a family of Mexican watchmakers from Zacatlán de las Manzanas, Puebla, with more than three generations in the art of watchmaking.
A MAGNIFICIENT RESTAURATION
Each day the Hacienda evolves, regains its strength and enhances its beauty. The passion of the hands that work, the love and the supreme detail that has been lent in its restoration have turned it into a magical place.
We invite you to visit us, know the Hacienda and enjoy the services we offer for events and weddings.
THE HACIENDA REBORN FROM RUINS
HACIENDAS OF MEXICO
Hacienda Rijo is part of the National Association of Haciendas of Mexico. Which already has Haciendas representatives from several states. Our task is to promote the conservation, restoration and recovery of the Mexican Ex-Haciendas, based on their undeniable historical and cultural value.
NOW A DAYS
Day by day the Hacienda continues to evolve, developing new projects and expansion areas to offer more and better services to our clients, you can follow us in our social networks to know our progress.
HACIENDA RIJO IN THE TELENOVELA OF TELEVISA "LAS AMAZONAS"
Hacienda Rijo is the main location of the telenovela, being in the plot the home of the main character, Victoriano (César Évora) and his three daughters, the Amazons (Danna Garcia, Gretel Valdez and Mariluz Bermudez).
Let yourself be wrapped up in history and watch great characters (Andres Palacios, Victoria Ruffo, Gabriela Vergara, Jaquelin Andere, Rene Casados, Guillermo García Cantú, etc.).