Originally, La Carlota was an agricultural settlement called Simancas, placed under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Valladolid. On July 23, 1864, the people and territories of San Enrique, Pontevedra and Simancas were taken away from Valladolid to form the town of San Enrique. On October 15, 1869, the king of Spain issued a Royal Decree elevating Pontevedra into a parish and Simancas into a town. In 1871, King Carlos of Spain issued another Royal Decree changing the name of the town from Simancas to La Carlota upon the request of Spanish “Carlistas” in Simancas who were followers of King Carlos of Spain. On December 4, 1876, a royal order was issued creating La Carlota as a parish.
Folktales also contributed to make interesting the nascent development of La Carlota which added nuance and color to the legend. It was gathered that the settlement was actually called “Mangkas” after the tribal chief “Mantas” who adhered to Spanish rule. The old name for La Carlota is still used without confusion.
On the other hand, it was passed on by word of mouth about the Spanish couple Don Enrique and Doña Carlota who distinguished themselves to the natives for their kindness and benevolence after they settled in “Mangkas.” According to the tale, the new settlement was later named by the natives “La Carlota” in memory of Don Enrique’s wife.
La Carlota then became one of the fast growing towns in the whole island of Negros. In 1880, La Carlota had its first muscovado sugar mill. So well known was La Carlota’s growth that in 1881, one of the only two offices of the Bureau of Forestry in Negros Island was established in La Granja with jurisdiction over all agricultural lands.
When the government decided to open two model agricultural farms, one in Luzon and the other in the Visayas, La Carlota was chosen. On November 15, 1881, a Royal Decree was issued creating the La Granja AGRICOLAS. The decree was promulgated in July 8, 1884 and La Granja in Barrio Cubay, La Carlota was opened.
From a scattered establishment, La Carlota became one of the major sugar- producing cities of the country. It is home to the “Iron Dinosaurs” of the oldest and most prominent sugar mill in the province, the Central Azucarera de La Carlota established in 1918.
It is a market center for nearby municipalities and has a potential to be among the growth centers of the province. It is a prime spot for service industries, light food processing industries, vegetable and cutflower growing, housing, resorts and recreation centers. Its significance as an eco-tourism and festival destination has been recognized nationally.
The City Government of La Carlota was organized by virtue of Republic Act No. 4585— An Act Creating the City of La Carlota in January 2, 1966 after the majority of the qualified voters of the Municipality of La Carlota approved the conversion into a city in a plebiscite held simultaneously with the general elections of November, 1965.
La Carlota produced three world boxing champions: Pancho Villa (Francisco Guilledo), Little Dado (Eleuterio Zapanta) and Small Montana (Benjamin Ledesma- Gan). It is reputed as one of the producers of the best gamecocks in the country.
Classified a 4th class city, it covers a total land area of 13,729 has. chiefly devoted to sugarcane agriculture and comprises 14 barangays. Its population stood at 66, 805 based on the NSO census taken in 2010. It is accessible from the capital of the Province of Negros Occidental, Bacolod City through well-paved roads passing Bago City, and the municipalities of Pulupandan, Valladolid, and San Enrique. Travel time is reduced by about 4-5 kms by taking a shorter route through the town of Murcia.
A dreamland for nature-lovers, La Carlota is host to and protector of 1,046.1540 has. of rainforest of the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park and Kanlaon Volcano.
The City of La Carlota stands in the threshold of development opportunities. Its abundant and rich natural resources beckon those with a pioneering and adventurous spirit to rediscover the “lure” of the city: its land and people.