“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, recuerdos de sus alrededores”
Rosa E. King, writer and businesswoman, was born in 1865 when India was still in the hands of the British. She came from a wealthy family of an excellent educational level. Her father planted and distributed the famous Ceylon tea and was outstanding in business. She lived in England before immigrating to the United States where she married Norman Robson King. She traveled to Mexico in 1905. She and her husband lived in Mexico City and went to Cuernavaca which charmed her. When her husband died in 1907 she decided to live there. She opened the first tea room in Cuernavaca. She also opened a small arts and crafts workshop in the town of San Anton and marketed her products. Encouraged by the state governor, Pablo Escandon, she decided to invest all her capital and purchased the hotel La Bella Vista, on the northern part of the Jardin Juarez. On the 9th of June, 1910 Rosa E. King inaugurated a luxurious establishment decorated with great care. The hotel flourished from the beginning; it became a point of reference for travelers when the railroad station began its activities in 1897 in the middle of the porfirian era. The tram led by mules began working in those days and the hotel was so important that these trams stopped exactly in front of the hotel so that tourists and other travelers could stay there. Doña Rosa also built a lovely terrace to greet visitors; thanks to all of this the bonanza of this lady began in Cuernavaca. Because of her graciousness and courtesy she made relations with a great deal of persons who stayed at her well known hotel, such as Francisco I. Madero, Victoriano Huerta or the Guggenheims. It is said that she maintained a close friendship with General Felipe Angeles and his wife. From her hotel La Bella Vista, Ms. King lived the Mexican Revolution very closely and firsthand. She wrote her memoirs in 1935—Tempest over Mexico—an impressive testimony of the Mexican Revolution and the Cuernavaca of the beginning of the Twentieth Century.
When Madero became President of the Republic, he and Zapata had a serious break and the siege on the surroundings of Cuernavaca became an everyday happening. This disrupted the stability of Doña Rosa’s business because the coming and going of travelers diminished and the place was invaded by the federal officers who were fighting against those of Zapata. Finally, on the 1st of June of 1914, Cuernavaca was besieged by those of Zapata and hunger, illness, and suffering devastated the city that desperately awaited help. At dawn of the 13th of August, after 43 days of devastation, eight thousand persons, among them Ms. King, fled towards Temixco. Those of Zapata chased the fugitives with the full intention of finishing them off. This continued during several days. The group went by Miacatlan and arrived at Malinalco, in the State of Mexico where they were rescued by the forces of Carranza. One of the two thousand survivors was precisely Rosa King. Later, from the balconies of her emblematic hotel La Bella Vista, Rosa E. King witnessed the entrance of the revolutionaries to Cuernavaca; Emiliano Zapata at the head. In her memoirs Ms. King says: “. . . the undomesticated troops —undisciplined, half naked and mounted on skinny and exhausted nags. Their arms were grotesque and ancient… crossed over on their belts or pending from old and outlandish saddles. However, they rode like heroes and conquerors…” Her ill health kept her away from Cuernavaca until 1923 when she returned only to confirm that she had nothing left. Although she visited Cuernavaca frequently, she spent her last years in Orizaba, Veracruz, and in Mexico City. However, her children always heard her say. “…I’m going back to Cuernavaca, I’m from there.” She finally died in Mexico City in 1955.
Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz: http://www.facebook.com/delapantle.
Muebles Zeromadera: http://www.ramsol.com