The Strange Case of Christian Bertelmann of Kauai

The story of Koolau (1862-1896), the Kekaha, Kauai cowboy, who after being afflicted with Hansen’s Disease (known also as leprosy), fled to refuge in Kalalau Valley in 1892 to prevent authorities from deporting him to the leper colony on Molokai, is well-documented in fact and fiction.

Kaua‘i’s first traffic lights

The first traffic light on Kaua‘i was installed by Kekaha Sugar Co. in the late 1950s to signal the right-of-way for the plantation’s big haul-cane trucks at the intersection of the company’s main haul-cane road just outside of Kekaha town and the Koke‘e Road.

Boxing World Champion Ceferino Garcia fought on Kauai

On Sept. 19, 1938, Filipino welterweight boxer and future middleweight world boxing champion Ceferino Garcia (1906-1981) knocked out Otto Blackwell in the ninth round of a scheduled 10-round main event at the Kaua‘i Park Athletic Field in Lihu‘e before a crowd of about 2,000 mostly-Filipino fight fans.

Isenberg Monument stands on Rice Street in Lihu‘e

German-born Paul Isenberg (1837-1903) began work at Lihu‘e Plantation in 1858 at a salary of a dollar a day, and by 1862 he’d learned enough about sugarcane cultivation to be put in charge of all outdoor work at the plantation under Manager Victor Prevost.

The Kaua‘i Filipino Rizal Day celebrations of 1936

On Jan 1 and 2, 1936, hundreds of Filipinos participated in a two-day Rizal Day celebration on Kaua‘i in honor of Dr. José Rizal (1861-1896), a Filipino nationalist during the later years of Spain’s 333-year rule in the Philippines and a hero of the Filipino people.

The old Kapaa Mom & Pop Urabe Store

Kenzo Urabe (1898-1971), the founder and proprietor, along with his wife, Shizue Urabe (1903-1959), of Urabe Store – a Kapaa landmark on Ulu St. for many decades until it closed in the mid-1990s – was born in Japan and immigrated to Kauai with his parents, Katsutaro and Chika Urabe, in 1899.

The town of Kaumakani was constructed in 1947

In 1946, Olokele Sugar Co. allocated funds totaling $1,750,000 (roughly $23,000,000 in 2020 dollars) for the rehabilitation of all of its plantation housing, in which an entirely new employee housing camp would be built to replace the company’s dilapidated camp housing erected in 1888.

The Honolulu Iron Works and Kaua‘i

The Honolulu Iron Works was established by machinist David Weston on Queen Street, Honolulu, in 1852, as a manufacturer of sugar mills and machinery for Hawai‘i’s sugar plantations.

Antonio Q. Marcallino’s tale of the coconuts

In 1933, Kaua‘i politician A. Q. Marcallino (1881-1959) shared a tale with newspaper columnist Robert Macconel that he’d been told by an aged Hawaiian woman some 20 years earlier in Waimea Valley, Kaua‘i.

The bell buoy that drifted from California to Kaua‘i

In September 1925, The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper published an account of a bell buoy that had broken from its moorings off the California coast over 30 years earlier and had drifted more than 2,500 miles until it reached Kaua‘i.

Eyewitnesses to the Hanapepe Massacre of 1924

On the morning of Sept. 9, 1924, a brief-but-furious, hand-to-hand fight broke out at Hanapepe between as many as 200 striking Visayan sugar workers and 40 policemen that left 16 strikers killed and nine wounded, with four policemen also killed and two wounded.

Barefoot Football in the Territory of Hawai‘i

From the mid-1920s, through the Great Depression and World War II years, and into the early 1950s, Barefoot Football occupied a special niche among sports in the Territory of Hawai‘i.