Sotirios Anargyros – The founder
Sotirios Anargyros was born in Spetses in 1849, originating from the glorious Spetses generation of Anargyra.
He was the most important personality of Spetses of the last century. He embodied the classic type of the young Greek immigrant.
His thirst for success leads him from a young age to wanderings with stations in Istanbul, Romania, Egypt, France and finally England. It is there that he deals for the first time with tobacco.
In 1883 Anargyros, driven by his commercial instinct, immigrated to New York, USA. There he was hired by the large American-Jewish tobacco industry Thomson, which he eventually inherited after being adopted by the large industrialist.
Based on this business, Anargyros builds a real trade in tobacco and expands to almost the entire American market.
In 1894 he returns for the first time to Spetses.
He remarries next year when he meets and a little later he marries his second cousin Eugenia Th. Anargyros. The couple is returning to America for another three years. However, his wife’s nostalgia for Spetses forces Anargyros to sell his business in America and settle in Spetses.
From the sale of his tobacco industry alone he then received the staggering sum of 650,000 dollars.
The return of Anargyros to the island is the beginning of the development of Spetses.
His commercial activity continues in Greece, but Spetses is the focus of his actions.
In 1904 the construction of a luxurious mansion, neoclassical style, in the center of the city is completed. In 1907 he builds, at his own expense, the first aqueduct of the island.
In 1913-14 the offer of the great benefactor to the island is great. First he buys a large area which he reforests, thus creating again the pine forest of Spetses which was then in danger of extinction due to uncontrolled logging and cultivation, second he opens ring roads on the island and third he builds the hotel “Poseidon”.
This last project gave a great tourist impetus to Spetses and made the island a resort center for the upper classes. Kings, princes, prime ministers and prominent personalities from all over the world were in Spetses every summer, as guests of this exquisite hotel.