Mayor Maritza Melendez Nazario
According to scholars, the name Naguabo is derived from the
territory which was governed by a cacique, and extended from Humacao to
Fajardo. The territory was known as Daguao and headed by cacique Yukibo.
In the mid-1490s the Caribs came to the region from other parts of the
Caribbean. By 1511, after a Taino uprising, the conqueror Juan González
Ponce de León built a fortified house in Daguao that was eventually
In 1513, Viceroy Diego Colón, ordered a settlement to be founded at the mouth of the Daguao River, under the name of Santiago de Daguao. The purpose of the settlement was to serve as a frontline against attacks from the Indians. A year after it was founded, King Ferdinand, the Catholic King, ordered the settlers to leave. Peace was made with the caciques of the area in 1516, and settlers once again came to the territory of Naguabo, with a view to raising cattle. The Caribs attacked, killing the settler Cristóbal de Guzmán, seizing his cattle and destroying his ranch. The sparse population left the region open to contraband with the Dutch, French and British who had settled in other parts of the Caribbean. In order to prevent this trade from continuing, the Spanish government encouraged settlements on the eastern end of the island. The Luquillo Range was a refuge for Indians well into the 16th century.
In 1794, Naguabo was founded as a town, in an area now called Pueblo Viejo (Old Town). In 1821, the town was officially founded for a second time; a few years later the residents requested authorization to move to a flatter area, and they were granted permission to do so. There are a few remains of the original settlement, the hermitage of the cemetery, some mausoleums, and the church, founded in 1856. A year after it was founded, there was an attempted uprising directed at making Puerto Rico independent. It is said that the idea came from abroad through Pedro Bignet and Pedro Dubois, the latter being an emissary of Simón Bolívar, who in spite of being a French citizen, resided in Naguabo. Bignet and Dubois, with the help of some supporters, were able to incite the slaves to revolt, although the Spanish authorities quelled the uprising. In spite of these difficulties, by 1828, the population of Naguabo was 3,078, including 378 slaves.
By 1878, according to Manuel de Ubeda y Delgado, the town of Naguabo comprised Daguao, Duque, Húcares, Maizales, Mariana, Naguabo Pueblo, Peña Pobre, Quebrada Palma, Río, Río Blanco, Santiago, and Lima wards. Quebrada Palma ward disappeared towards the end of the 19th century, and Río Blanco ward was divided into Río Blanco Abajo and Río Blanco Arriba, although it was later reunited. During the 20th century there were other changes, including the expansion of the urban area in parts of Maizales, Húcares, and Río wards.
During the early years, the economy of Naguabo included mining operations and sugar cane plantations. The town depended to a degree on cattle and fruit and vegetable production. By 1828, it was estimated that agricultural production consisted of about 1,400 hundredweight of sugar (from 21 small mills), rum produced at five stills, and coffee for export. This activity continued until the end of the 19th century. Those years were marked by the cholera epidemic of 1885, which according to some historians was brought to the island by ships that stopped at Naguabo.
At the end of the 19th century a full-scale sugar mill was established (1894), and as the 20th century began, there were further advances including two other sugar mills (1901 and 1917), an aqueduct (1910), electric power (1914), a public hospital, a modern town hall, schools (1917) an other works. Although the town saw significant progress, in 1912 a large part of the settlement was burnt to the ground in a devastating fire. The town hall was only finally finished in 1924.
Maps and Pictures
|MAYOR||Hon. Maritza Meléndez Nazario|
|POPULATION||26,720 inhabitants (Est. 2010)|
|TOWN'S PATRON SAINT||Nuestra Senora del Rosario|
|PEOPLE KNOW AS||Naguabenos|
|ISLE KNOW AS||The Town of Enchumbaos (the wet)|
COAT OF ARMS
Accommodations at Naguabo
Sierra Palms Villa
State Road 191 Km. 22
Naguabo, P.R. 00718