In 1836, an adventurous young man named Herman Widemann (1822-1899) from Hanover, Germany signed on board a whaleship and sailed off for a cruise through the vast Pacific.
ISLAND HISTORY: Isaac Kaleialoha Brandt – Koloa Plantation timekeeper and Inter-Island Steamship Co. purser
Born in Koloa Plantation’s German Camp in Kaluahonu Valley, east of Waita Reservoir, Kaua‘i, Isaac Kaleialoha Brandt (1905-1992) was the grandson of German immigrants Gerhard and Margretta Brandt, and the son of Herman Brandt Sr., the assistant manager of Koloa Plantation between 1913 and 1922, and Lillie Nauele Hart Brandt.
Mitsugi Nishihara (1906-2004), the son of Hichiro and Fusa Nishihara, was born in Lihu‘e at Halehaka Camp, not far downhill from the Japanese cemetery on Halehaka Road, and attended Koloa School until the eighth grade, after which, at age 15, he began work at Koloa Plantation.
The son of Taichi and Shigeno Kawamoto, Tadao “Barber” Kawamoto (1911-2000) was born and raised in what was then the fishing village of Kukuiula on the shore southwest of Koloa, Kauai.
ISLAND HISTORY: Hard working Koloa Sugar, Grove Farm, and McBryde Sugar employee Louis Jacintho, Jr.
Louis Jacintho, Jr. (1924-2008), the son of Louis Jacintho, Sr. and Rita Jacintho, was born in Koloa Sugar Co.’s Portuguese Camp, once located about a half-mile east of Koloa town along the road leading towards the sugar mill.
Andres Labrador (1901-1996) was born in Cebu, Philippines and worked there as a fisherman and carpenter’s helper until 1922, when he signed a contract with a labor recruiting agent to emigrate and work on a Hawaiian sugar plantation.
Nowadays, Huleia Valley is a peaceful place with only four residences.
Born in Koloa, Isuke Matsunaga (1902-1982) was a longtime employee of Lihu‘e Plantation known for his prowess as a hapai ko (carry sugarcane) man in his younger days, who represented Lihu‘e Plantation in hapai ko contests with other Kaua‘i sugar plantation hapai ko men.
Until 1917, when the Lihu‘e Armory was built, Kaua‘i’s 1st Battalion 4th Infantry Regiment of the Hawai‘i National Guard had no armory and was therefore compelled to store its equipment in inadequate accommodations inside the County Building.
Born in Washington D.C., Navy Commander John Rodgers (1881-1926) was a graduate of the Naval Academy, Class of 1903, and served on various ships before training to become only the second Navy flight officer.
In May 1968, when my fiancée, Ginger Beralas of Lihue, first took me to Kaua‘i, there were eight sugar plantations in operation on the island: Kilauea, Lihu‘e Plantation, Grove Farm, McBryde, Olokele, G & R, Waimea, and Kekaha.
Born in Pennsylvania, William Reynolds (1815-1879) joined the Navy in 1831, was promoted to midshipman and lieutenant in 1841, and served as an officer with the U. S. Exploring Expedition, or Wilkes Expedition, as it is also referred to, which explored the Pacific from 1838 to 1842.
Herewith is a brief historical account of the recruitment and importation of foreign laborers, some with wives and children, under contract to Hawaiian sugar plantations, which was first authorized by the Kingdom of Hawai‘i in 1850:
For 36 years, until 1985, when they retired from taro farming, Shoichi Nagamine (1920-2001) and his wife, Shizuko Nagamine (1924-2008), raised taro in Hanapepe Valley on their 12-acre farm.
In 1896, Ernst Lindemann planted a grove of coconut trees to produce copra on leased land that would later become the property of the Coco Palms Hotel.
Wailua Valley rice farmer Au Tai Hon (1888-1940), of Chinese ancestry, was born at Kapaa, Kauai and was educated at Mid-Pacific Institute and Iolani.
ISLAND HISTORY: Kaua‘i-born Ruth Ochiyo Tanabe was incarcerated in an internment camp during World War II
In Feb. 1942, during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that authorized the forced removal of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to inland relocation centers.
William Whittington (1842-1929), a blue water skipper of the old sailing days, witnessed the evolution at sea from racing clippers of the Victorian Age (1837-1901) through to the era of motorized ships.
Historian Rubellite “Ruby” Kawena Kinney Johnson (b. 1933), daughter of Ernest Kaipoleimanu Kinney (1906-1987) and Esther Kauikeaulani Kaulili (1913-1979), was born and raised on Kaua‘i and educated at Kaua‘i High School, the University of Hawai‘i and Indiana University.
In her forward to “Kanuka of Kaua‘i,” the biography of west Kaua‘i konohiki (king’s agent) Valdemar Knudsen (1820-1898), which she co-wrote with Valdemar’s son, “Kaua‘i’s Teller of Hawaiian Tales” Eric Knudsen (1872-1957), Isle author and poet Gurre P. Noble (1902-1989) wrote the following in referring to Valdemar Knudsen: