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Honolulu Star-Bulletin from Honolulu, Hawaii • 90

Location:
Honolulu, Hawaii
Issue Date:
Page:
90
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

I fun fa as CM Sugar Mi vr- 1 ''fx in Towering over Kameha-meha Highway near Kualoa in Windward Oahu is a big brick chimney, rising above crumbling mortared lava wall pierced with windows which sketch the base of a large building that once dominated the Kualoa countryside. The chimney is a landmark for visiting tourists and local residents alike, and crowns what is left of a suqar mill almost 100 years old. The mill operated for only citjht years and was shut down finally in 1871 when suar-cane farming in the area proved unprofitable. Now high grass crowds the foundations, lichens mellow the building stones and kiawe trees are rooted in the mill floor where heavy stalks of cane were once turned into raw sugar. The mill ruins are marked by a warrior sign of the Hawaii Visitors Bureau.

But the silent warrior only hints at the history of this early and unsuccessful Island business venture. ITS HISTORY The mill was the brainchild of three men Dr. Ger- ritt P. Judd, his son Colonel Charles II. Judd, and Samuel G.

Wilder. The land on which the mill stands was originally owned by Dr. Judd, who received it by grant from Ka-mehameha III in 1850. In 1860 Colonel Judd and Wilder bought adjacent land from Jacob Fox and built a ranch house. The mill was constructed in 1863 and cane was planted by the Judds and Wilder.

The story goes that imported bricks at the top of the chimney were mortared in by S. G. Wilder himself because his Hawaiian workmen refused to work so high up on the scaffolding. But obstacles of transportation, labor and low rainfall proved too much for the operation and grinding stopped in 1871. NUMEROUS INCIDENT The Kualoa mill has humor in its history, also.

The mill was known far and wide by Hawaiians around Oahu as Wili-ka-a-L The name was originated by a Hawaiian worker who had lost sight in one eye. Working on the mill A novel sight for visiting tourists on th eir 'round-the-lsle trips, the towering chimney of the old sugar mill has become so familiar a landmark to local residents that many drive past it dail with little thought for the story it tells of effort expended and failure nearl a century ago. waii trial and failure. In 50 years the number of plantations has been cut in half. Despite sufficient land on which to grow cane and a mill to turn it into sugar Kualoa plantation never became economically stable.

What remains is a monument to an expenditure of money and effort that did not pay off; and a reminder that in a great industry where many succeed, some must also faiL foundation excavation, he had been given a shovel to replace the o-o a Hawaiian single-bladed hole digger he was used to using, and found rt necessary to twist bis head back and forth to follow with his one eye each spadeful of dirt he shoveled out. By nightfall his neck was so stiff he could hardly move it. With a comical but sad look, he exclaimed "Wjli-ka- Crass, shrubs and trees crowd the fou ndations and creep in through the windows of the old sugar mill. A bit of greenery even crowns the top of the chimney. Star-Bulletin Photos.

a-i!" Freely translated, this means, "This is a regular twist-the-neck!" a nickname that stuck with the mill for many years. TRAGIC EVENT Kualoa mill had tragedy, also. In the late 1860's, a boy who had visited the mill to watch the men make sugar fell into a sugar boiling vat and was killed. The history of Kualoa plantation is similar to that of many plantations in Ha 4 T.V 1 IS- I I ll Saturday Only, $1 per Daily, $2 per month Address. I City.

0 jut -V month i K. fc v-. Keep ever-fresh your memories of these lovely isles Th itKirt otd faavr tor't Sit nW Saturday Stor-lwRetin prfct for yowr acrapboolt or to kp yo wp-to-da until yow ratwrn (and yov will, mf cowmI). Tn Saturday Stor-BuBliw Is juit $1 par wonHi moifad onywharu en tha Mainland, or if you prufar our fgular ownSfy ulxcription rat is only (2 par month. Send your subscription along with chock or monsy order to Honolulu Sfor-uWfm, Carrwlatioa Dopt, 115 Mot chant St, Honolulu PAGE 22 THE SATURDAY STAR-BULLETIN.

HONOLULU. T.H.. APRIL 4. 1959.

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About Honolulu Star-Bulletin Archive

Pages Available:
1,993,314
Years Available:
1912-2010