During the 1980s, when a yearly harvesting season was complete at McBryde Sugar Co., I would be temporarily reassigned from my job as a haul cane truck driver to the Koloa mill electric shop, where I assisted journeymen electricians and became acquainted with a maze of mill machinery designed to produce raw sugar from sugarcane.
Hawaiian sugar plantations provided free medical care for their employees and dependents at hospitals and at plantation dispensaries, several of which were located on Kaua‘i.
The first television broadcast to residents of Hawai‘i occurred on Dec. 1, 1952, the day Honolulu’s KGMB-TV Channel 9 began broadcasting a regular daily telecasting schedule.
The origins of Kaua‘i’s Soto Zen Buddhist Temple date back to McBryde Sugar Co.’s Wahiawa Camp in 1903, the year the Rev. Ryoun Kan arrived there to begin preaching Soto Zen Buddhism in Tsuneo Takai’s home.
Local author, Keith Smith, who was born in Pepeekeo, Hawai‘i, and raised in the plantation town of Kilauea, Kaua‘i, during the 1950s and 1960s, where his father, Ernest Smith, was Kilauea Plantation manager, has recently published his second book titled “Plantation Stories.”
In 1952, a survey of private collections of Hawaiian artifacts was made on Kauai by Miss Mary Stacey, a member of Dr. Kenneth Emory’s class in anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i.
While serving aboard English Captain Nathaniel Portlock’s “King George” as steward and cooper, Scotsman John Nicol (1755-1825) visited Kaua‘i twice in 1786 and once in 1787, during Portlock’s whaling and fur collecting voyage of 1785-1788 in the Pacific and Alaska.
Born and raised on Kaua‘i, Mike Faye is the grandson of pioneer Kaua‘i sugar planter Hans Peter Faye, and his father and an uncle managed Waimea Sugar Mill Co. and Kekaha Sugar Co.
Around 1900, Lihu‘e Plantation built Hanama‘ulu Camp to provide housing for its employees working at its Hanama‘ulu sugar mill and in its cane fields in the vicinity of the mill.
In 1899, McBryde Sugar Co., named after Judge Duncan McBryde, was incorporated as a consolidation of Eleele Plantation, the McBryde Estate, and Koloa Agricultural Company.
In 1887, Theo H. Davies & Co. opened a general merchandise store at Kealia, Kauai and appointed George Tweedie as its storekeeper.
The Taniguchi ohana is among the most numerous of families on Kaua‘i.
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.