L. David Larsen, namesake of Kaua‘i’s Larsen’s Beach

Kaua‘i’s Larsens Beach — situated immediately north of Moloa‘a Bay between Amana and Kulikoa points — is named after Laruentsius David Larsen (1886-1944), the manager of Kilauea Sugar Plantation Co. from 1918 to 1930, whose beach house stood for many years behind the beach’s shoreline sand strip.

Larsen’s main residence for nearly four of those years, the former Kilauea Sugar Plantation manager’s house located on Kuawa Road in Kilauea, was designed and built by Larsen at a cost of $17,000 in 1926 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

A two-story structure with a living area of over 6,000 square feet sitting on a knoll of 13 landscaped acres, it was the first stone residence built on the plantation and is a fine example of the bungalow/craftsman style of Hawaiian architecture.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Larsen immigrated to the United States with his family in 1892 and was educated in Peekskill, N.Y., Bridgeport, Conn. and at the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst, Mass.

Following his graduation with a bachelor’s degree in 1908, he went to Honolulu to work as a plant pathologist at the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association’s experiment station.

There, Larsen spent “a decade of special research work with a view to discovering means of increasing the yield and decreasing production costs on sugar plantations of Hawai‘i,” and made a careful study of pineapple diseases on the islands.

He was appointed chief agriculturist at HSPA prior to his appointment in 1918 as manager of Kilauea Sugar Plantation Co.

Larsen left his managership at Kilauea for Honolulu to eventually become C. Brewer and Co. vice president of plantation and ranch operations.

L. David Larsen and his wife, Katherine, had six children: Ingrid, David, Katherine, Norma, Margit and Richard.


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