The construction of the Wainiha Powerline

On Jan. 1, 1905, the original Kauai Electric Company — a subsidiary of McBryde Sugar Company — was incorporated for the purpose of using the water of Wainiha Stream to generate electric power for McBryde, located some 34 miles away with its main office at Numila.

Mrs. Adele Kauilani Robinson Lemke

One of the best-known pictures ever taken by Ray Jerome Baker (1896-1954), Hawaii’s premier photographer during the first half of the 20th century, is of a 14-year-old pa‘u rider, Miss Adele Kauilani Robinson, posing on horseback at Old Plantation, Honolulu in 1910 – a reproduction of which is published with this story.

Kauai’s Spalding Monument

On Sunday afternoon, April 20, 1930, dedication services chaired by K. Miyasaki and S. Takata were held at Kauai’s Spalding Monument, which had been recently erected by Japanese residents of Kealia in honor of former Makee Sugar Co. owner Col. Zephaniah S. Spalding (1837-1927).

The CCC on Kauai

During the Great Depression some 3 million American men found work in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which established over 3,000 work camps throughout the Mainland United States and in the territories of Alaska and Hawaii, including a camp still in existence and use in Kokee.

Filipino guerrilla leader Courtland E. Ashton

Courtland E. Ashton (1903-1980), an employee of Lihue Plantation from 1945 to 1948, was the commanding officer of a company of Filipino guerrillas on Negros Island for more than two years during World War II.

Mrs. Dora Rice Isenberg recalls first Japanese on Kauai

Born in Lihue, the child of Hannah Maria Rice, who was the daughter of missionaries William Harrison and Mary Sophia Hyde Rice, and Lihue Plantation manager Paul Isenberg, and the wife of the Rev. Hans Isenberg, the pastor of Lihue Lutheran Church, Mrs. Dora Rice Isenberg (1862-1949) recalled, in 1935, the arrival of the first Japanese on Kauai in 1868.

The Wailua Fairgrounds and Race Track

In July 1938, a park equipped with a horse race track, judges’ stand, baseball field and volleyball courts was opened in Wailua just north of the site of the original Lihue Airport, which had been in operation since 1934 and would cease operating in 1950, and what would become, during World War II, Marine Camp, which the county would purchase in 1946 for $10,000.

Kauai Civil War veteran Samuel N. Hundley

American Civil War veteran Samuel Napoleon Hundley (1846-1932) came to Kauai in 1878 to set up Kauai’s first sugar diffusion mill for Col. Zephaniah Spalding’s Makee Sugar Co. in Kealia, whereby sugar is extracted by repeated hot water washings of sugarcane that has been cut into small pieces.

The Menehune of Wainiha Valley

The Rev. John Mortimer Lydgate (1854-1922), pastor of Lihue Union Church and an authority on Hawaiian history, literature, folklore and legends, wrote an article published in the 1913 edition of “Thrum’s Hawaiian Annual” in which he discussed the Menehune of Wainiha Valley, Kauai.

The McBryde Sugar Company mill at Numila

In 1899, Eleele Plantation, the McBryde Estate and the Koloa Agricultural Company merged to create McBryde Sugar Co., which ground its first crop of sugarcane at the Eleele Plantation mill, located in the vicinity of today’s Eleele School.

Professional baseball player Andrew Vidinha

Born at Grove Farm, Kauai, the son of Joseph and Virginia Vidinha, and raised in Kekaha, Andrew Vidinha (1929-2007) was the first ball player from Kauai to receive a professional baseball contract.

The introduction of rainbow trout into Kauai

At a meeting of the Kauai Board of Supervisors on May 5, 1920, Kapaa homesteader Elmer M. Cheatham’s request for an appropriation of $200 to bring rainbow trout to Kauai and to distribute them at Kokee was received, and upon the motion of Walter Duncan McBryde, seconded by Joseph F. Bettencourt Jr., the request was approved.

Kauai politician Louie “Smokey” Gonsalves

My wife, Ginger, remembers seeing politician Louie “Smokey” Gonsalves (1907-1985) at chicken fights held at her grandma’s place in Kapaa Stable Camp on Kaapuni Road, Kapaa, when she was a kid growing up on Kauai in the 1950s.

Henry Tai Hook, the unofficial mayor of Hanalei

During the 1960s, when my mother-in-law, Julie Beralas (1928-1992), worked as a bartendress in the “House of Happy Talk” bar at the Hanalei Plantation Hotel, she would sometimes go to Black Pot at pau hana to talk story and drink with Henry Tai Hook (1909-1976) and her other Hawaiian friends.

The Kekaha Sugar Company railroad

In 1898, sugar planters Meyer, Kruse and H.P. Faye combined their holdings with Kekaha Mill Co. under Otto Isenberg to form Kekaha Sugar Company Ltd., which remained in business until 2000.

Nuclear fireball seen in the sky south of Kauai

On Friday, Oct. 19, 1962, at 10:29 p.m., a number of Kauai residents observed a brilliant, green-rimmed, orange fireball that burst low over Kauai’s southwest horizon, remained visible for about 10 seconds, and then faded into a reddish glow before disappearing.

A Menehune was seen at Waimea School In 1929

In Hawaiian folklore, the Menehune are a legendary race of small people, only very rarely seen, who live deep within the woodlands and seldom frequented valleys of the Hawaiian Islands.