By the end of the 18th century, Las Piedras' parish had jurisdiction over all of the territory from Caguas to Humacao. According to historians, the first documentation referring to the population of the Ribera de Las Piedras is from the year 1773, when Brother Fray Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra visited Puerto Rico.
In 1797, an order by the civil government and the church caused the parish to be moved to the Juncos sector. The residents of Las Piedras asked the government to allow construction and creation of a new parish church on the site of the old one. The petition was granted once the residents committed to donating 16 cuerdas of land for the development of the town, paying for the decoration of the temple and gathering 325 pesos a year to pay the priest and the sacristan.
In 1801, the town of Las Piedras was founded and construction of the new parish church, devoted to Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, was begun. In 1827, residents began an effort to buy land and build a Kings House. In 1868, the process of restoring the Kings House was undertaken. It had been destroyed by a storm in 1825, along with the church and the church archives.
Las Piedras was originally divided into the sectors of Las Piedras Pueblo, Río, Montones and Tejas. By 1878, those sectors had been subdivided and the municipality then consisted of the sectors of Pueblo, Río, Boquerón, Collores, Montones, Tejas, Quebrada Arenas and Ceiba. Las Piedras maintained those same divisions until 1898.
On September 12, 1898, Las Piedras was occupied by troops of the United States Army. Because of the precarious economic condition of the town, Las Piedras became part of the municipality of Humacao from 1899 until 1914, when its independence was restored. In 1948, the Puerto Rico Planning Board decided to expand the urban zone of the municipality. The Collores, Montones, Quebrada Arenas and Tejas sectors were annexed to the urban zone of Las Piedras.
During the 1970s, two thirds of the agricultural land of Las Piedras (14,300 cuerdas or 13,888 acres) was dedicated to pasture for cattle and 26 percent (5,300 cuerdas or 5,148 acres) was dedicated to growing crops. Sugar cane was produced almost entirely in the land of the valley, while food crops were grown in the mountainous area. In the central part of the plain in that era 350 cuerdas (340 acres) were planted in pineapples and 100 cuerdas in guava trees. Tobacco was planted mainly on 125 cuerdas (121 acres) in the southern part of the municipality. The municipality's economy also included more than twenty manufacturing industries producing toothpicks, textiles, clothing, children's products, electronic terminals, chemical products, feed for livestock, construction materials, shoes, cardboard tubes, watch faces, winter clothing, hair barrettes, floral arrangements, and other products.
Today, the dominant industries are manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. Agriculture has declined considerably, although there are still 130 farms that produce flour and raise livestock.
The flag of Las Piedras consists of three horizontal bands of equal width: white on top, green in the center and blue below. In the center of the flag is a Taino sun in yellow.
Coat of Arms
The coat of arms has a silver field with the blue monogram of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, to whom Las Piedras parish church is devoted. In the green border are seven silver stones and, in the bottom at the point, a gold Taino sun called the "Sun of Las Piedras." The silver stones on the green background represent the rocks scattered around the region that gave the municipality its name. The Taino sun is a stylized version of an indigenous petroglyph in the Indian Cave. The figure alludes to the original inhabitants of the site.
Version: 09032601 Rev. 1