Engenho São Jorge dos Erasmos was the third sugar mill to be built in Portuguese America, in the center of the village of São Vicente, today in the municipality of Santos in São Paulo.
It was probably built around 1534 by order of Martim Afonso de Sousa, grantee of the then Captaincy of São Vicente, together with the first Portuguese settlements in the area.
Engenho is one of the most remarkable monuments of Brazil's economic past, being the only one in the state of São Paulo. The monument was listed by the Historic Heritage in all instances.
According to historians, its foundation came together with the formation of the local population around 1534.
The owner of the Captaincy of São Vicente, Martim Afonso de Sousa, founded what was then called Engenho do Senhor Governador, or Armadores do Trato, with his brother Pedro Lopes and others, such as Johan Van Hielst, representative in Lisbon of the Schetz family trading house , from Antwerp.
In mid 1540, after Martim Afonso de Sousa went to India, it was renamed Engenho São Jorge dos Erasmos both because of its buyers, called Erasmos Schetz de Antwerp and his children, and because of the São Jorge Chapel that existed there. , which gave its name to the São Jorge (Santos) neighborhood that covers a site on the outskirts of the border in both the city of São Vicente and Santos.
The saint was one of the patron saints of Portugal at that time.
With good structure at the time, it was one of the first three mills to be built in Brazil, it had a water mill, chapel, mill or mill house, furnace house, boiler or copper house and purge house.
The Engenho São Jorge dos Erasmos also had a pasture beside the mill, which extended with ox carts that ran all the way to the cane fields.
The mill was responsible for prospering the Captaincy of São Vicente and the sugarcane product, then spreading to other captaincies in Brazil, leveraging the country due to the settlement of the inhabitants on the land.
According to the USP researchers, sugar loaf forms were found under a layer of ashes, probably coming from the 1615 fire caused by the Dutch pirate Joris Van Spilbergen due to the refusal to provide it with the provision it needed.
In 1958, the land, located at Rua Alan Cíber Pinto No. 96, in Santos, was donated to USP by Octávio Ribeiro de Araújo, from the firm that developed Vila São Jorge, in order to preserve it on merit. Its facilities were restored and reopened in 2005.
The Engenho São Jorge dos Erasmos Ruins are located on the border of the municipalities of Santos and São Vicente in the state of São Paulo, at the foot of Morro da Caneleira, in Santos and facing the sea, and make up an archaeological site.
Engenho São Jorge dos Erasmos was built in the newly founded village of São Vicente