The Habitation La Salle is an old sugar factory that was founded in the 17th century in the commune of Sainte-Marie. It used to produce pure sugar cane juice used for the distillation of tafia which is the ancestor of rum.
Archaeological excavations on the site have shown that it was an ancient Amerindian village where the Kalinagos had lived since the 5th century. The remains found even allow us to think that it was the capital of the Arawaks in Martinique.
It takes its name from the Seguin de la Salle family who was the owner of the place since 1786 and this until 1885.
Previously, this habitation was known as the Survilliers sugar factory, after its owner, Claude de Lagarrigue de Survilliers. Born in 1668 in the island of Saint-Christophe (old name of St. Kitts), he had taken refuge in Martinique in 1690 after being chased by the English who had taken the island of Saint-Christophe from the French. He settled in Sainte-Marie, at the Habitation Concorde to which he gave his name. Five years later, he married Luce de la Salle.
In 1786, Jacques Guillaume Seguin de la Salle bought the Habitation and gave it its final name.
It reopened its doors in September 2019. It is part of the Saint-James distillery. The purpose of its reopening is to make better known the history of agricultural rum in Martinique.
It is possible to visit it via the little Train of the Plantations which will allow you to know more about the various stages of manufacture of rum of the sugar cane to the bottling.
Tastings will be offered for free exclusively to adults. It is possible to buy bottles of LA SALLE cuvées.
To visit it, you will have understood, head for the town of Saint-Marie and then follow the signs to get to Saint James distillery.