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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Ermita Nuestra Senora de Ia Candelaria del Plantaje
Reference Number 15000398
State Puerto Rico
County Toa Baja
Town Toa Baja
Street Address State road PR-866, Sabana Seca Ward
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 6/30/2015
Areas of Significance Social History
Link to full file https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/15000398.pdf
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The Ermita Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria del Plantaje boasts statewide significant under Criterion A, for its unique relevance in the social history of early Colonial times in Puerto Rico. The site is the only known remains of an eighteen century hermitage plantation in the island. The ruins are the only extant resource associated with Hacienda Candelaria, an early eighteenth century sugar plantation. Between 1718 and 1735, the hacienda was owned by Miguel Enriquez. An enigmatic and controversial mulato, Enriquez overcame being a descendant of slaves, and made a successful career as a privateer, only to become the richest man among the island's white colonial elite. Even though the hermitage's precise construction date is vague, it is known that it was consecrated in 1779 and closed in 1893, founding date of the nearby Catasco Parish. Though a private hacienda's heritage, for almost two hundred years it was open to the owners and to the local inhabitants as well. As such, the property witnessed and played a significant role in the everyday life of its various owners, numerous slaves, workers and locals that stepped inside its now ruined walls. The property is eligible under Criteria Consideration A, as the site derives its significance from its association with historic events: economic and population development and the early sugar cane industry along the island's coastal plains, the successes of privateering and contraband. The Ermita was an ever-present and silent witness to these changes.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria