|DIEZ DE OCTUBRE
VILLA CLARA REGION
Originally known as Santa Rosa, this mill was renamed Diez de Octobre (10th of October) to recall a
date notable in history as marking the official beginning of Cuba’s armed struggle for independence.
Cuba had been a Spanish colony for almost four hundred years when Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, a
landowner and lawyer, organized the uprising now remembered as the Ten Year War. On 10th
October 1868, he sounded the slave bell that indicated to his slaves it was time for work and
announced they were all free men, and invited to join him and his fellow conspirators in war against
the Spanish government of Cuba. In April 1869 Cespedes was chosen as President of the Republic of
Cuba in Arms but he was deposed in 1873 and killed by Spanish troops the following year. Although
the Ten Year War did not reach achieve the goal of independence or the abolition of slavery it
decisively influenced the revolutionary history of Cuba.
In my own limited experience Diez De Octubre was
only notable for two things - a large portrait of Che
Guevara painted on the end of the mill and a complete
lack of activity. Others were more fortunate it would
seem though I don't recall anyone ever making this is a
'don't miss' destination.
The upper picture is courtesy of Daniel Simon and
shows ALCO 2-8-0 No.1637 and Baldwin 2-8-2 No.1850
under the watchful gaze of Che in March 2003. Both of
these engines were from Ifrain Alfonso mill and it is
likely that Diez De Octubre mill was closed and that
cane from the surrounding fields was being taken from
here and along the main FCC line to Ifrain Alfonso for
The picture to the left dates from 1996 and shows
Baldwin 2-8-0 No.1661 (built 1925) doing what it
seemed to do best and resting under the water
column. Presumably it did a limited amount of work in
and around the mill yard and possibly made the odd
foray into the fields but if so I was never fortunate
enough to see it do so!