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Agüeybaná, a cacique who led the region, was among those who greeted Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León when he came to the island in 1508.

Archaeological findings have identified four sites within the municipality of Ponce with archeological significance: Canas, Tibes, Caracoles, and El Bronce.

Third, the Spanish Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 attracted numerous European immigrants to Puerto Rico.

It encouraged any citizen of a country politically friendly to Spain to settle in Puerto Rico as long as they converted to the Catholic faith and agreed to work in the agricultural business.

It is also the regional center for various other Commonwealth and Federal Government agencies.

Ponce is a principal city of both the Ponce Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.

Just as with the 1878 World's Fair in Paris, the electric grid of the city of Ponce was inaugurated on the first day of the Ponce Fair. invasion and occupation of Puerto Rico in 1898 during the Spanish–American War, Ponce was the largest city in the island with a population of 22,000.

In this occasion the Plaza Las Delicias and various other buildings, including the Mercantile Union Building, the Ponce Casino, and some of Ponce's homes were illuminated with the incandescent light bulb for the first time". Ponce had the best road in Puerto Rico, running from Ponce to San Juan, which had been built by the Spaniards for military purposes.

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This was approved in 1880, and the Ponce Fair was held in the city in 1882.With such mass migrations, not only the size of the town was changed, but the character of its population was changed as well.Europeans, including many Protestants, immigrated from a variety of nations.Monterías were hilly areas located next to hatos were cattle could be reigned in or gathered together with the help of trained dogs.Criaderos were lands were cows could be herded for milk production.

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