All aboard for birthday party

LIHUE — Milagros Viloria of Hanamaulu took advantage of the Grove Farm Museum Train Day to show Carmella Davis of San Diego, where she and her family lived in the former camp that is situated along the train route.

“We lived down there until we moved to Hanamaulu,” said Joy Viloria. “There’s three generations here, and the train ride brings back a lot of memories.”

Scott Johnson, Grove Farm Museum engineer, put Paulo, the oldest operating steam locomotive in Hawaii, on the tracks to do duty of providing rides during the monthly outing at the Haleko Road site.

“My uncle used to be in trains in Wisconsin,” said Karen Blazoksy of Kona. “He did work similar to what Scott is doing, restoring locomotives and keeping the trains running.”

Johnson said Paulo, named after Paul Isenberg, will celebrate its birthday today.

Isenberg was born on April 15, 1837 in Dransfeld, Germany. He joined the plantation in 1858 and became the manager of Lihue Plantation at 25 years of age, managing the plantation for nearly 20 years.

Paulo is the oldest operating plantation locomotive in the state. It was manufactured in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1887 at the Hohenzollern Works and shipped to the Koloa Sugar Company, the first commercial sugar plantation in the kingdom of Hawaii.

“We know Paul Isenberg was born on April 15,” Johnson said. “We don’t really know the date of Paulo’s birth, but because the locomotive is named after Paul Isenberg, we celebrate Paulo’s birthday along with Mr. Isenberg’s.”

The train is running tonight.

“It’s going to be another fun family fun event,” Johnson said. “The train will have a DJ on board, it’ll have lights, and we’ll run it until 10 p.m. On top of everything, the trees will have accent lighting and there will be a DJ on the ground as well.”

The public is invited to join the fun of the dual birthday celebration from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Grove Farm Museum’s Haleko train site.

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