LIHUE — For the past 15 years, Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum has provided visitors and residents with free, monthly rides through history on plantation locomotives once owned by now defunct sugar companies through old Lihue Plantation lands.
But when Chris Link heard that the Lihue-based museum and the more than 100-year-old trains were falling on hard times, he immediately stepped up to help.
“It’s fun — I learned a lot from the trains,” Link said on Friday as he stood next to “Paulo,” a 127-year-old steam engine recognized as the oldest running plantation locomotive in Hawaii. “I didn’t know anything about these trains, but I soon realized there’s a lot of history here.”
To keep the trains going, Link, the owner of Links DJ Productions, and the Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum will host an event today that will showcase the century-old trains in a new light. “Winter Glow” will begin at 5 p.m. at the train holding site across the street from the Old Lihue Mill and include free rides on the holiday light-covered trains, entertainment and food from local vendors.
Ensuring that the event is free and comes at no cost to Grove Farm Sugar Plantation Museum, he added, is important for him, even if it means losing a little money to keep the history of the plantation trains alive.
“I want to keep it free just for the community because some people may not be able to afford to get in,” Link said.
Any donations will be used to maintain the trains and help the museum move forward with plans to build out the existing train route.
Info: Link at 639-8222.