Sugar cane was first planted on Saint Kitts in 1643. By 1775, over 200 estates harvested the very profitable crop. Although many Caribbean islands also had cane plantations, Saint Kitts was one of the wealthiest. The fields were worked by African slaves until their freedom was proclaimed in 1834. This emancipation greatly impacted the leverage of cheap labor. Simultaneously, prices began dropping. As the industry declined during the 19th century, many estates went out of business. The last ones closed in 2005. You will see plantation ruins scattered across the island. An example is this former windmill used for grinding cane. It is located in Beaumont Park in Dieppe Bay Town within Saint John Capisterre Parish.