In 1869 Mr. Robert Ross Lang, a British immigrant, acquired the property that includes what is now the Santa Ana Conservation Center. The Ross Family took advantage of the existing sugar mill on the farm for processing sugar cane, a tradition that was continued by their descendants. The sugar cane processing consisted of three operations: the extraction of juice, purification and concentration. Sugar cane was taken to the refinery in carts and then to the sugar mill, which was aimed to crush the cane and extract the juice.
This sugar mill had a small steam plant that moved the juice extractor, and then the sugar refinery machinery. The plant consisted of two boilers and a steam engine. From the twentieth century, owners of the farm began to produce sugar, which imported and assembled the necessary machinery to carry out this process. The Ross family sugar mill began with energy provided by steam. Currently, the entire invaluable historical legacy that this family left to the Santa Ana Canton and the people of Costa Rica is available through the Agricultural Historical Museum (Museo Histórico Agrícola de Santa Ana) located at this Conservation Center.
For the preparation of the work that preceded what is now the museum, there was historical research, buildings structural assessments and determination of the elements to restore, machinery movement to the exhibit site and mounting the museum exhibit. The museum has agriculture machinery from the 19th century in a 1757 farm house, small plantations, a traditional sugar mill and a coffee processing plant. Today the museum consists of the following elements:
• The Casona: Historical building of approximately 250 years old, consisting of a main hall, one bedroom, an area of cabinets, a kitchen and a chapel that served as the first Santa Ana church in 1850. This house has been declared National Historic Heritage.
• The Trapiche: houses the machinery from the late nineteenth century, used for the production of honey and sugar. It has a small steam plant, a “pailas” area and ovens and the equipment that make up a small refinery.
• The Coffee Benefit: located within the same trapiche includes containers which receive the coffee and where fermentation happens, some pulping machines for grains and a hydraulic system that through the power of water from the Uruca River operates other machinery of the same benefit.
• The Exhibit Hall: This is a collection of the machinery used for sorting and hulling coffee, a small collection of pulleys and elements of plows and harrow, and a panel depicting the history of agriculture in the Central Valley.
• Five Ranch Exhibit: these ranches store the heavy machinery used in farm work.
• The Coffee Benefit Courtyards: Shows the typical coffee benefit system called “de correteo”, and it includes the pipes through which the coffee was taken to the courtyards where it was extended for drying.
• The Plots: These are eight micro plots showing the different crops to represent the agricultural production that was developed at the ranch. In these plots are maintained at different times of the year, crops of rice, beans, maize (corn), yucca, coffee, sugarcane, tomato, cilantro, radish, carrot and onion.
• Walking trails connecting all the above elements.
Address: from Santa Ana High School 200 meters north on Ross Street in Rio Oro, district: Uruca, canton: Santa Ana, province: San José, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 10904.
GPS Coordinates of the Rio Oro Road : 9.933519,-84.189772 (9°56’00.67″N, 84°11’23.18″W)
Schedule: from Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Telephone: + (506) 2282-8434 / 233-6701
Fax: + (506) 223-1817