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Near Puunene, Hawai’i, where feral chickens roam, is a small museum tucked away near an old mill that once processed sugar cane. The sugar mill closed its doors a few years ago, but the museum remains.
Sugarcane was introduced to the Hawaiian islands in the early 19th century, and quickly became a big business. The industry was largely controlled by foreign businesses and the descendants of missionary families, and the rapid expansion of sugarcane plantations and processing plants led to massive population growth.
Alexander & Baldwin is part of Hawai’i’s “Big Five,” a group of sugarcane processing corporations that held considerable political power. The company was founded by Samuel Thomas Alexander and Dwight Baldwin in 1870, when the sugarcane industry was expanding in Hawai’i.
The 1,800 square foot museum houses artifacts, documents and photographs from the era when sugar was big business. Exhibits the history of Hawaiian sugarcane plantations and Alexander & Baldwin, a company that helped shape in the sugarcane industry in Hawaii. Inside, visitors are educated on the history of the sugar industry on the island, plantation life, and the effect the industry had on immigration to the island. The museum also explores how the industry and immigration helped shape modern island culture.
Know Before You Go
Located close to Hwy 311. Open daily from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.