“A Day at the Hawaii Plantation Museum” book signing

Hawaii Plantation Museum

June 2015 Vol. II No. VI


• On Saturday, May 16, 2015 we had a book signing at the museum for Cynthia Inouye and her 20 students from Kalanianole School who wrote the book “A Day at the Hawaii Plantation Museum.” We sold out the first order of books but we reordered and the book is now available at the museum store for $14.00 plus SH $6.00 (USA). The teacher and students were given Lifetime Passes to the museum. Few teachers from other schools came to the book signing and are interested in school projects for students about the Sugar Plantation Days.

• The museum will setup another exhibit at the Hawaii County Library starting June 16th about plantation days. Our talk at the library on June 24th will be about Heroes from the Island of Hawaii. Do you know any plantation Heroes? Let us know.

Why was the sugar company located in Papaikou named Onomea Sugar Company?

In 1876, E.C. Hitchcock & Company established a plantation at Papaikou, on 11,000 acres five miles north of Hilo. Hitchcock was a son of Harvey Hitchcock (1800-1855), who arrived in Hawaii in 1832 with the fifth company of missionaries. The plantation got off to a rough start when the mill burned down, and had to be replaced before the first crop was ground in 1877. Production reached 800 tons of sugar in 1880 and was projected to increase to over 1,000 tons. In 1886 the plantation's name was changed to Papaikou Sugar Company. Two years later, in 1888, C. Brewer & Company, Ltd. merged its lands with its northern neighbor, Onomea Sugar Company, and the Papaikou Sugar Company name was no longer used.

Until today in Papaikou, we have the Onomea Sugar Office built in 1927, the Onomea Federal Credit Union chartered in 1939 and the old Onomea Sugar Company Store built around 1892, which in 1950 became the Yoshiyama Store, closed in 1997. The Papaikou Post Office which opened in the late 1800’s was originally located in a small building on the Hamakua side of the Onomea Sugar Company Office. Around 1903, the post office moved into the Onomea Sugar Company Plantation Store but kept the name Papaikou Post Office. In 1976 the Papaikou Post Office moved into a separate building between the old store and the Onomea Sugar Company Office until today. The Hawaii Plantation Museum opened in 2013 in the old store.


• REUNIONS: Special group rates for visitors having a family or a class reunion. Contact the museum at (808) 964-5151 to schedule your visit.

• The Other Day” Museum 2015 Calendars are now available for $10. The calendar has information of Mules, Horses and Oxen used in the old days by all sugar plantations before trucks and tractors.

• T-shirts are also available for $20 each.