Pahala Sugar Company
The first commercial sugar company was founded in
1868. The Reciprocity treaty of 1876 opened up the islands to
free trade of sugar and molasses. The company owned 19,500 acres
of cane which were all planted and harvested by hand. Mules, horses
and bullocks provided the power for transportation and cultivating
sugar cane. The cane was carried to the mill by carts. Later flumes
were used to bring the cane to the mill.
Over 50 miles of flume carried all the cane to the
mill in Pahala before 1928.
Railroads were introduced in Ka'u in 1880. Cane was
brought to loading stations where special cane carts were loaded
for the journey to the mill. The railroad also ran from Pahala
to Punalu'u to load up ships with the sugar.
This is a picture of the L. Chong store which was
built at about 1935. The building at the far right is the administrative
This is a picture of the old Ka'u cottages that were
built for the workers.
This is the Hawaiian Agricultural Company mill at
Pahala about 1900. This mill could process 120 tons of cane per
hour with a few upgrades. Unfortunately the mill has closed in
March 27, 1996.
Pictures are from Pahala Sugar Plantation,Inc. Pahala,