The town of Hershey once supplied the US chocolate giant with sugar for its bars and Easter eggs and the railway line built for it is an original route to get around an region, east of Havana, rich in beaches and beauty
We had the best sugar in the world and we lived like monarches. We had our own baseball club, bands, dances, concerts and movies, 93 -year-old Amparo de Jongh told me in her house in the model town of Hershey, Cuba.
De Jongh, the first person to be born in Hershey, went on: We would go to the hotel for ice-cream, where they had lace tablecloths, English porcelain, and chocolate and cigars were sold. And when we were young all the girls would go and swim in the Hershey Garden. This place was amazing.
In 1917, chocolate innovator Milton Hershey came to Cuba for sugar to furnish his US chocolate company, and opened a factory here. He bought several sugar mills, established a town of 180 homes on this place 40 miles east of Havana, and constructed a golf course, a sports field and an electric railway that operated from the Bay of Havana at Casablanca to the port of Matanzas 52 miles to the east. His Cuban sugar business furnished his chocolate empire, sent molasses to the rum mill up the road, and sold sugar to Coca-Cola.
Hershey would ride a sugar boom created by the desolation of beet fields in Europe during the first world war, that would become known as Cubas Dance of the Millions. It saw the price of sugar more than double in two months: Cubas total crop was worth $ 455 m in 1919, and a cool$ 1bn in 1920. But oversupply hit hard in 1921, and in 1946, Hersheys sold its Cuba business.
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