Inside the Cuban ghost town founded by chocolate baron Milton Hershey

Mail Online | 1/25/2019 | Chris Pleasance for MailOnline
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Cuba is not exactly the place you would expect to find an ageing monument to one of America's most famous capitalists, and yet - 30 miles outside the capital Havana - just such a place exists.

Officially called Camilo Cienfuegos, after one of the revolutionaries who fought with Fidel Castro, it is known to locals by its original name - Hershey - after American chocolate baron Milton Hershey.

Pennsylvania - Businessman - Land - Cuba - Cane

The Pennsylvania businessman first began acquiring land in Cuba in 1916 to produce cane sugar after the First World War destroyed huge tracts of land used to produce sugar beet in western Europe.

The same year, he founded the town of Hershey Central around his most productive mill, which was among the most technologically advanced in the world for the time.

Peak - Hershey - Houses - Workers - School

At its peak, Hershey featured 160 houses that were rent-subsidized for workers, a tuition-free school, baseball field, movie theater, medical clinic, social clubs and a golf course.

Mr Hershey was a well-known philanthropist and made sure that his town was kept in order, responding quickly to complains of damage to the homes or infrastructure.

Hershey - Railway - Havana - Port - Matanzas

Hershey even constructed an electric railway between Havana and the port of Matanzas to transport his supplies, parts of which are still in use today.

Speaking to the New York Times, former Hershey resident Gonzalez Bernal described it as 'a world apart' from the rest of the country, and the envy of nearby towns which lacked many of the facilities they had.

Mr - Hershey - Town - Hershey - Pennsylvania

In 1945 Mr Hershey died in the other town he founded - also called Hershey, but located in Pennsylvania - of pneumonia, and his Cuban holdings - which by then included some 60,000 acres - was sold to the Cuban Atlantic Sugar Company.

(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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