Koloa - Historic Old Koloa
Trip Start Dec 27, 2008
235Trip End Ongoing
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Koloa - Vestiges of an Industrial Past
Today we left the Kauai Sands Hotel in Wailu headed in a
southerly direction intent on exploring more of the southern coast
time we traveled this route we were in a hurry to get to the Waimea Canyon and
to the western end of the road at Polihale Beach. This meant that we had
bypassed anything of interest in between. Today we were out to correct that
On the west side of Lihue we made a stop at Costco to buy
some gifts for family and friends back home. While in Hawaii we had fallen in love with the macadamia
nuts and that seemed like a nice gift from Hawaii. Costco had the best prices
as usual so it made for easy and quick shopping.
I have often said that we are weak in advance preparation
for our trips which means that we kind of drift along looking at the map for
inspiration. This means that without advance knowledge, that which we came upon
often pleasantly surprised us
Our next stop, the town of Koloa located just north of Poipu
certainly fell into that category. It is described as historic Old Koloa Town -
a plantation town. That's exactly what I wanted to see, some vestiges of the
day when sugar was "king" on this island.
Sugar cane was introduced to the island in the 1830's
through western contact, meaning it was not a plant native to Hawaii. Where
other "western" crops failed, sugar took to the islands like there was no
tomorrow. As it turned out, that was a good thing as at some point following
World War II "tomorrow no longer came" for the sugar industry as production
dropped off drastically due to competition from other parts of the world.
Sugar had another profound effect on Hawaii and that is its
present day multi-ethnic population had its roots in the import of badly needed
labour to work in the sugar cane fields and factories
streamed into Hawaii from the Philippines, Japan, Korea, China and Puerto Rico
and eventually they and their descendents spread all over the islands.
A third point that should be mentioned is that the "sugar
barons" were the main force behind the overthrowing of the Hawaiian monarchy in
1893 to eventually align the islands with the United States of America.
The first "successful" sugar plantation in Hawaii was
established here in Koloa and the story is told at the History Center in the
form of artifact and photos.
As the photos show there was much of interest in the town of
Koloa. In the forefront was its rich history that was in ample evidence. For a
history buff like myself that was a delightful experience
Koloa is also famous for its huge banyan trees that locals
are fighting to save from developers.
Coming Soon: Poipu and Spouting Horn