Filipino guerrilla leader Courtland E. Ashton

Courtland E. Ashton (1903-1980), an employee of Lihue Plantation from 1945 to 1948, was the commanding officer of a company of Filipino guerrillas on Negros Island for more than two years during World War II.

Mrs. Dora Rice Isenberg recalls first Japanese on Kauai

Born in Lihue, the child of Hannah Maria Rice, who was the daughter of missionaries William Harrison and Mary Sophia Hyde Rice, and Lihue Plantation manager Paul Isenberg, and the wife of the Rev. Hans Isenberg, the pastor of Lihue Lutheran Church, Mrs. Dora Rice Isenberg (1862-1949) recalled, in 1935, the arrival of the first Japanese on Kauai in 1868.

The Wailua Fairgrounds and Race Track

In July 1938, a park equipped with a horse race track, judges’ stand, baseball field and volleyball courts was opened in Wailua just north of the site of the original Lihue Airport, which had been in operation since 1934 and would cease operating in 1950, and what would become, during World War II, Marine Camp, which the county would purchase in 1946 for $10,000.

Kauai Civil War veteran Samuel N. Hundley

American Civil War veteran Samuel Napoleon Hundley (1846-1932) came to Kauai in 1878 to set up Kauai’s first sugar diffusion mill for Col. Zephaniah Spalding’s Makee Sugar Co. in Kealia, whereby sugar is extracted by repeated hot water washings of sugarcane that has been cut into small pieces.

The Menehune of Wainiha Valley

The Rev. John Mortimer Lydgate (1854-1922), pastor of Lihue Union Church and an authority on Hawaiian history, literature, folklore and legends, wrote an article published in the 1913 edition of “Thrum’s Hawaiian Annual” in which he discussed the Menehune of Wainiha Valley, Kauai.

The McBryde Sugar Company mill at Numila

In 1899, Eleele Plantation, the McBryde Estate and the Koloa Agricultural Company merged to create McBryde Sugar Co., which ground its first crop of sugarcane at the Eleele Plantation mill, located in the vicinity of today’s Eleele School.

Professional baseball player Andrew Vidinha

Born at Grove Farm, Kauai, the son of Joseph and Virginia Vidinha, and raised in Kekaha, Andrew Vidinha (1929-2007) was the first ball player from Kauai to receive a professional baseball contract.

The introduction of rainbow trout into Kauai

At a meeting of the Kauai Board of Supervisors on May 5, 1920, Kapaa homesteader Elmer M. Cheatham’s request for an appropriation of $200 to bring rainbow trout to Kauai and to distribute them at Kokee was received, and upon the motion of Walter Duncan McBryde, seconded by Joseph F. Bettencourt Jr., the request was approved.

Kauai politician Louie “Smokey” Gonsalves

My wife, Ginger, remembers seeing politician Louie “Smokey” Gonsalves (1907-1985) at chicken fights held at her grandma’s place in Kapaa Stable Camp on Kaapuni Road, Kapaa, when she was a kid growing up on Kauai in the 1950s.

Henry Tai Hook, the unofficial mayor of Hanalei

During the 1960s, when my mother-in-law, Julie Beralas (1928-1992), worked as a bartendress in the “House of Happy Talk” bar at the Hanalei Plantation Hotel, she would sometimes go to Black Pot at pau hana to talk story and drink with Henry Tai Hook (1909-1976) and her other Hawaiian friends.