Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1930s – sugar production peaks, Pan-Am Clipper service begins, Hickam Airfield is constructed, ‘Aloha Shirt’ is trademarked and Doris Duke builds Shangri La. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.
A shortage of laborers to work in the growing (in size and number) sugar plantations became a challenge. The only answer was imported labor. Starting in the 1850s, labor shortages were eased by bringing in contract workers from Asia, Europe and North America. By 1884, Hawai‘i Island counted more than thirty plantations, many of them in the Hilo area. Immigrants were arriving by the thousands, mostly from Asia. They fulfilled labor contracts and afterward stayed on.
There used to be a Japanese plantation workers camp associated with Wainaku Mill known as Nikai Camp – for most, it was referred to as the Japanese Village. It became an attraction. “A mile and a half from Hilo, above the Wainaku mill, there is to be found, in a green, fern-clad valley with a sparkling stream and a dashing waterfall, a complete Japanese village, with thatched roofs and bamboo walls for its houses.” However, tragedy struck the village … “During Monday afternoon, the 15th (January 15, 1895,) the Japanese camp at Wainaku was completely destroyed by fire.”
Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1860s – Queen’s Hospital formed, Hansen’s Disease patients to Kalaupapa and first Japanese contract laborers. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.
Māhukona (lit., leeward steam or vapor,) a seamount on the northwestern flank of the island of Hawai‘i, is the most recently discovered shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands. Māhukona is a nearby port on the Island of Hawai‘i. Māhukona Harbor was developed and expanded as a port for the sugar plantations in Kohala and as a landing for interisland steamers. In the late nineteenth century, sugar plantations were prospering on the Big Island.
Six plantations in North Kohala used a couple of crude landings along that rugged coastline for exporting their products. In winter, the use of the landings was often too risky due to large breakers, so the sugarcane byproducts were transported over the hill to Māhukona. Samuel G Wilder secured a charter for a narrow gauge railroad from the port of Māhukona for 20-miles to Niuliʻi. In April of 1937, Kohala Sugar Co bought out the other plantations, acquired all of the stock in the Hawai‘i Railway Company. Business gradually declined and in 1945 the Hawai‘i Railway was abandoned. Kohala Sugar closed in 1973.
Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1830s – death of Ka‘ahumanu, first successful commercial sugar, first English language newspaper and Declaration of Rights. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.
A Comparative Timeline illustrates the events with images and short phrases. This helps us to get a better context on what was happening in Hawai‘i versus the rest of the world. I prepared these a few years ago for a planning project. (Ultimately, they never got used for the project, but I thought they might be on interest to others.)