A new exhibit opened last week at the Archives. Titled, Central Hershey, Cuba: Milton Hershey’s Other Model Town, the exhibit explores life in a model industrial town established in Cuba in 1916. The exhibit is open, free of charge, whenever The Hershey Story is open (7 days a week, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.).
The flagship of Hershey’s Cuban holdings was a new mill and town, Central Hershey, located near Santa Cruz. Much like Hershey, Pennsylvania, Central Hershey was a model industrial town. It included comfortable homes for rent, a free public school, medical clinic, recreational facilities including a baseball diamond, a golf course and sports club, and a general store.
The heart of any sugar town was its sugar mill. Central Hershey’s mill opened in 1918. It processed cane into raw sugar. A refinery was added in 1925 so that refined, white sugar could be produced in Hershey’s flagship Cuban operation.
Milton Hershey provided free public education for his workers’ children. Similar to Hershey, PA, Milton Hershey built and furnished the school buildings before donating it to the community.
Central Hershey offered its residents a variety of recreational venues, including a sports club, golf course, ball fields, tennis courts, a playground, and a botanical garden.