The Atkins Family in Cuba: A Photograph Exhibit

E. Atkins & Co.'s Estates in Cuba

On February 23, 1881, Edwin Atkins wrote to his mother about a new piece of land, the Soledad estate near Cienfuegos, Cuba, that he was soon to acquire for E. Atkins & Co. from the Torrientes Brothers sugar planters:

Last Friday and Saturday I spent on Soledad... It is a beautiful spot. You will have an idea if its size if I can describe a trip up a little hill which we took in order to see the lay of the land. The hill is about the middle of the estate and very near the building. It is very steep and about as high as our hill in Belmont. You can imagine about the same country as Belmont with sugar cane planted all over the valley as far as Arlington and Cambridge, and nearly up to Waverly... It is a beautiful scene and well deserves its name 'Solitude.'

Edwin Atkins chose Soledad as his home for his family's annual visit to Cuba. The estate grew considerably over the years, and by the turn of the century, it comprised nearly 12,000 acres, 5,000 of which were planted with sugar cane. The panoramic views above of the estate testify to its beauty.

In the late 19th century, Atkins increased E. Atkins & Co.'s land holdings in Cuba in order to turn the company's interests towards sugar manufacturing, as well as trade.  Along with his other business venture, the Trinidad Sugar Company, the companies owned and leased many estates along Cuba's southern coast. Below are some of the views of the companies' Vega Vieja, Limones, and Torrientes estates.