Get in Touch
Thanks for contacting us! We'll respond as soon as possible.
 
 

Suggested Articles

 
 
 
Subscribe Pin with Us
5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Abandoned Old Koloa Sugar Mill Hawaii

#1 This Old Sugar Mill of Koloa has been around since 1835.

Flickr User Michael Rubenstein

Flickr User Michael Rubenstein

It wasn’t an easy beginning for this mill found on the island of Kauai, though. William Ladd, Peter A. Brimsmade, and William Northey Hooper, founders of Ladd & Co., had a lot of difficulty establishing their mill. Although ancient Hawaiians were used to raising their own small personal plots of sugar cane, the Old Sugar Mill of Koloa would become part of the first large scale, commercially productive sugarcane plantation in Hawaii!

#2 Getting the first lease for the mill took connections.

Flickr User john guzzi

Flickr User john guzzi

Ladd & Co. worked with Joseph Goodrich and Samuel Ruggles, leaders of the Hilo and Kona missions, respectively. These missionaries had been experimenting with agriculture not only as a means of supporting their missions but also as a source of employment for their students. Hooper, part of Ladd & Co., wanted Reverend Goodrich to manage his company, but his offer was refused, and instead he was forced to manage the land himself, with no training to speak of in agriculture or engineering. The local Hawaiians initially refused to lease the land to the men and wouldn’t even sell them provisions. But, Ladd & Co. created a partnership with the missionaries, who diligently worked to halt the distillation of molasses into rum, and this finally yielded Ladd & Co. the lease they needed.

#3 The lease they finally obtained was in a great location.

Flickr User Die Monkey

Flickr User Die Monkey

The location for the Old Sugar Mill had a lot to offer. Not only was the soil incredibly fertile and the climate temperate, but it was also located near a good port. Not only this, but Maulili Pool and it’s waterfall were conveniently located nearby, and would be able to provide the mill with the power needed to process all of their sugar cane. The original lease, obtained from King Kamehameha III, covered 980 acres, but only twelve acres were actually planted on in the first year. Using traditional wooden rollers which they quickly wore out, the mill produced a small amount of molasses in its first year of production. In only a handful of years, though, the company was making great strides. They changed the wooden rollers to iron ones, which allowed them to increase their production to more than 4,000 pounds of sugar and 2,700 U.S. gallons of molasses by 1837. The company was doing so well that they spent $16,000 building another mill on nearby Waihohonu Stream.

#4 Not every part of the company was so great, though.

Flickr User blacklabdad

Flickr User blacklabdad

Though production at the sugar mill increased promisingly, the managers of the mill had many disputes with their laborers. They claimed that the Hawaiian workers were “completely worthless… as laborers,” and even went so far as to say that the work of 400 Hawaiian laborers couldn’t even compare to the work of only ten white men. The plantation workers were hardly making out, though. They were paid just $2 per month, and not even in standard currency. Instead they were paid in “Kauai Currency,” which they could only use at stores on the plantation. Of course, these stores commonly marked their prices up at least a few percent. On top of this, they were even forced to pay for their living accommodations — just a penny a day, but a significant amount at that time and on such a low wage. Workers revolted in 1841, demanding higher wages, but they were not successful. This would be only the first of many strikes to come.

#5 Ultimately, this mill didn’t last long. 

Flickr User Anne Canright (tsallam)

Flickr User Anne Canright (tsallam)

After Ladd & Co. tried and failed to colonize other Hawiian islands, they were shut down only eleven years after opening. They plantation was repossessed by the Hawaiian government and resold to Hooper’s brother-in-law. This man added a steam engine in the 1850’s — the first to be used in Hawaii — and ran the mill until 1874. The old mill traded hands a number of times, and was eventually replaced by a larger mill. It stands vacant today. The Old Koloa Sugar Mill is now an National Historic Landmark, so be sure to explore options for getting a tour! Even if you’re unable to explore it, chances are you can get close enough for some awesome photos of this hauntingly empty structure that was once quite a happening location.

Cheyenne Reed

Cheyenne Reed was born and raised in Ohio. She recently relocated to rural Wyoming to try out working at an exclusive guest ranch. She graduated from Kent State University with an English degree, and most enjoys writing about travel. If she has free time, you may run into her anywhere, because she is always itching to explore new places. Her personal motto is, "Any day can be an adventure if you make it one!"

You May Also Like

These 5 Amazing Skyline Views In Hawaii Will Blow You Away

Hawaii

These 5 Amazing Skyline Views In Hawaii Will Blow You Away

Of course Hawaii is known for its prime, beach front territory, but that isn’t all there is to see! Check out these gorgeous skyline views that you wouldn’t expect from this tropical state! #1 This is Honolulu — one of Hawaii’s most well known cities. Honolulu can be found on the island of Oahu. It’s

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 16, 2016
Here Are 5 Of the Most Expensive Homes In Hawaii That Will Make Your Jaw Drop.

Hawaii

Here Are 5 Of the Most Expensive Homes In Hawaii That Will Make Your Jaw Drop.

#1 3190 S Kihei Rd This impressive home in Maui was just finished in 2015, so you know that everything is state of the art! This home sits on Keawakapu beach in Maui, which is famed for it’s calm surf waters and phenomenal weather. Four out of five of the bedroom suites in this home directly

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 12, 2016
Here Are 5 Photos of Hawaii During Fall That Will Take Your Breath Away

Hawaii

Here Are 5 Photos of Hawaii During Fall That Will Take Your Breath Away

#1 Ahhh, Hawaii in the fall. The days of summer are over, clearly. #2 Look at the gorgeous colors of the season. Hmmmm, actually… Now that we think about it, you can see these colors each evening. #3 It certainly looks like Jack Frost is waiting just around the corner. Everyone loves fall, but we

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 8, 2016
Here Are 10 Sunset Photos In Hawaii That Will Take Your Breath Away

Hawaii

Here Are 10 Sunset Photos In Hawaii That Will Take Your Breath Away

It’s common knowledge that  Hawaii has sunsets to die for, right? We’ve compiled a list of 10 here for anyone who might be needing a reminder. Check it out! #1 This is a typical Hawaiian sunset. *Totally* no big deal, right? #2 There’s a gorgeous sky over a beautiful ocean…. Pretty amazing, in our humble

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 6, 2016
10 Incredible Facts About Hawaii That You Should Know

Hawaii

10 Incredible Facts About Hawaii That You Should Know

Everyone knows Hawaii is the home of awesome tropical weather and relaxing beaches, but here are ten interesting facts you might not have known about the Aloha state! #1 Hawaii is home to the most isolated population on Earth! Remember, Hawaii is out on it’s own in the Pacific ocean. California is 2,390 miles away,

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 5, 2016
There’s No House In The World Like This One In Hawaii

Hawaii

There’s No House In The World Like This One In Hawaii

Skye, who calls himself The Treehouse Guy, gets the credit for building this awesome tree house home in Hawaii. Though it might come as a surprise, since Skye is originally from New Jersey, he’s an avid nature lover, and has come to have quite the relationship with the volcano near his tree house. In fact,

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 1, 2016
Here Are 10 Jaw Dropping Photos From Hawaii To Get You Through Your Week.

Hawaii

Here Are 10 Jaw Dropping Photos From Hawaii To Get You Through Your Week.

Some weeks you’re feeling motivated and productive, and other weeks, well, it just isn’t happening. If this week is feeling more like the latter for you, take a minute to enjoy these ten beautiful photographs from Hawaii. What better place to dream about escaping to than this island paradise? #1 If a sandy beach is

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedAug 26, 2016
Here Are 4 Of The Oldest Restaurants in Hawaii You Must Try

Hawaii

Here Are 4 Of The Oldest Restaurants in Hawaii You Must Try

Everyone knows Hawaii has plenty of traditions that have been carried on for years and years. But, traditions aren’t the only old things on this island. Check out these four old restaurants where you can not only have a delicious meal, but also learn about Hawaii’s history. #1 Manago Hotel The Manago Hotel Restaurant is

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedAug 24, 2016
Here Are 10 Stunning Hawaii Sunsets Photos That Will Leave You in Awe

Hawaii

Here Are 10 Stunning Hawaii Sunsets Photos That Will Leave You in Awe

Are you heading to Hawaii soon? Awesome! Maybe you’re just feeling stressed and need a 5 minute break from work. No worries, the weekend is almost here. Either way, you should probably look at these 10 gorgeous photos of Hawaiian sunsets. #1 If you’re heading to Hawaii any time soon, you can expect to see

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedAug 19, 2016