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Diving into Beau Plan’s History

Published the 

29 April 2024

Categories: 

What was Beau Plan before it became what it is today? We invite you to reconnect with history and gain a better understanding of Beau Plan’s heritage, which embodies its essence through this article.

A brief but prosperous culture

Towards the end of the 18th century, Beau Plan consisted of 907 acres of cultivated land. In Auguste Toussaint’s book “Le Domaine de Beau Plan (1745-1963),” which studies archives and various sources to trace the history of the region, it is mentioned that these lands hosted an indigo plantation in 1776. This deep blue dye, highly sought after in the Western textile industry at the time, was produced there before being shipped to France.

Indigo cultivation was one of the main activities in Mauritius at that time – then still known as Isle de France. It emerged as a replacement for coffee cultivation, which abruptly declined during the same period due to an attack by a disease that decimated the coffee plants. This type of plantation was highly successful in the neighboring Isle Bourbons (La Réunion), and it was hoped to replicate this model on our island… a short-lived project, unfortunately abandoned in most regions!

Although the indigo produced in Mauritius couldn’t compete with that of Bengal, known for its superior quality and higher quantities, it nevertheless accompanied the lives of Isle de France inhabitants for several years before being replaced by sugarcane cultivation – and the success it is known for today.

This change in direction occurred following the Revolution, which greatly impacted the Caribbean colonies – from Saint Domingue to Guadeloupe. Disrupting the sugar industry in the Caribbean, the Revolution caused a significant sugar shortage in the French market. Seeing this as an opportunity, Isle de France planters began sugarcane cultivation in 1792. Beau Plan followed suit in 1794, laying the groundwork for what constitutes the heritage of the Terra group and the region today.

An inheritance still present in Beau Plan

Although indigo cultivation had a short life, its deep color remained present in the collective consciousness of the region. Nowadays, it continues to inspire Beau Plan and leaves its mark on its developments.

This is evident in the visual identity of L’Aventure du Sucre, a heritage site dedicated to the history of sugar and located in the former sugar factory of Beau Plan, which pays homage to it. More recently, a residential project in the heart of Beau Plan, named Indigo, borrows its name with the aim of perpetuating the region’s history.

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