Kauai is the oldest of the eight main Hawaiian islands, and the island consists of one main extinct shield volcano( estimated to be about 5-million years old), as well as numerous younger lava flows (between 3.65-million years to 500,000-years old). The island is characterized by severe weathering. (DLNR)
Historically, the Island was divided into several districts and political units, which in ancient times were subject to various chiefs – sometimes independently, and at other times, in unity with the other districts. These early moku o loko, or districts included Nāpali, Haleleʻa, Koʻolau, Puna and Kona (Buke Mahele, 1848; Maly)
Located along the north coast of Kauai, Haleleʻa today is commonly referred to as the Kauaʻi “north shore”, which today encompasses the communities of Kilauea, Kalihiwai, ‘Anini/Kalihikai, Princeville, Hanalei/Waiʻoli, Wainiha and Haʻena.
Some suggest Hanalei ahupua‘a extended up onto the bluff to the east; others suggest Pupoa appears as the ahupua‘a in this area (between ʻAnini Beach to the east and Hanalei Bay to the west).
In 1831, Richard Charlton, British Consul to the Hawaiian Islands, leased lands between Hanalei and Kalihiwai from Governor Kaikioewa of Kauai to be used as a cattle ranch. Charlton brought in longhorn cattle from “Norte California,” and by 1840 the herd numbered 100 head.
In 1842, British sea captain Godfrey Rhodes (1815-97) and his partner, Frenchman John Bernard, established the first commercial coffee plantation on Kauai at Hanalei, on 150 acres of government-leased land along the banks of the Hanalei River. (Soboleski; TGI)
By 1846, Rhodes’ plantation and Yankee Charles Titcomb’s neighboring plantation had more than 100,000 coffee trees in cultivation. (Soboleski; TGI)
Yet, beginning in the late-1840s, coffee production suffered. Flooding damaged the coffee crop in 1847, workers were lost to the California Gold Rush beginning in 1848, a severe drought struck in 1851 and epidemics killed Native Hawaiian laborers.
By the time the rains finally returned and immigrant Chinese had eased the labor shortage, a blight caused by aphids ruined the coffee crops in Hanalei. (Soboleski; TGI)
In 1845, Charlton sold the ranch to the Dudoit family (later French consular agent). By this time, the number of cattle increased to an impressive 1800 head. The Dudoits salted beef locally to sell to whalers as well as shipped cattle to Honolulu for beef.
In 1855, Robert Crichton Wyllie (a Scottish physician who served as foreign minister under Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V) bought the Rhodes Coffee Plantation, which included 1700 acres in Hanalei.
He continued to acquire land and in 1862 purchased the remaining ranch lands as well as Titcomb’s Hanalei Sugar Plantation. (PrincevilleRanch) Wyllie abandoned the entire coffee planting of Hanalei and planted the land in sugar cane.
By 1860, coffee literally disappeared from Kauai and the decline continued in the other islands in the Kingdom. Sugar took its place. (Goto)
In 1860, Robert Crichton Wyllie, hosted his friends King Kamehameha IV, Queen Emma and their two-year-old son, Prince Albert at his plantation estate for several weeks.
In honor of the child, Wyllie, founder of the plantation, named his estate the “Barony de Princeville,” the City of the Prince (Princeville on Kauai.)
Alexander Liholiho and Emma had hoped to have Albert christened by a bishop of the Church of England. However, the prince became ill. As Albert became sick, and the bishop’s arrival was delayed; he was baptized on August 23, 1862 by Ephraim W. Clark, the American minister of Kawaiahaʻo Church. (Daws)
On the 27th of August, 1862, Prince Albert, the four-year-old son of Alexander Liholiho and Emma died, “leaving his father and mother heartbroken and the native community in desolation”. (Daws)
Albert Spencer Wilcox (1844-1919, son of eighth company of missionaries Abner Wilcox (1808-1869) and Lucy Eliza (Hart) Wilcox (1814-1869) was born in Hilo on Hawai‘i Island and grew up at Waiʻoli in Hanalei, Kauai.
He worked with his brother George Norton Wilcox (1839-1933) in a sugarcane business in Hanalei, before working as the manager of Hanamāʻulu Plantation; for many years (1877-1898) he managed that section of Līhuʻe plantation.
In 1892, Albert purchased an interest in the Princeville Plantation, and by 1899 had complete ownership; he sold the Princeville lands in June of 1916.
Līhuʻe Plantation expanded in 1910 with the purchase of controlling interest in Makee Sugar Company. Expansion again occurred in 1916 when Līhuʻe Plantation and WF Sanborn purchased the 6,000-acre Princeville Plantation.
Today, Princeville is a 2,000-acre resort and residential community along the sea cliffs between ʻAnini Beach to the east and Hanalei Bay to the west.