October 15, 2018

HAWAII: Antique Bottles at the Sugar Cane - Maui


Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum in the former Puʻunēnē Mill manager's house

Antique bottles at the Sugar Cane Museum, Maui, Hawaii

the Sugar Cane Museum
aloha state

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum is located in the small sugar cane growing and milling community of Puʻunene, Hawaii, Kahului, Maui. The museum exhibits the history of Hawaiian sugar plantations and Alexander & Baldwin and its role in the sugar cane industry in Hawaii. The company itself continues in business and though it has diversified, it continues to produce sugar cane. The museum itself in the former mill manager's house.

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum
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Samuel Thomas Alexander (1836–1904) was a reverend and co-founder of an agricultural company. He met Dwight Baldwin in Hawaii. Alexander became manager of the Waiheʻe sugar plantation near Wailuku in 1863 and hired Henry Perrine Baldwin (1842–1911) as assistant. In 1870 he formed the Pāʻia plantation under the name Samuel T Alexander & Co. With Baldwin, he purchased 561 acres (227 ha) (2.3 km²) between Pāʻia and Makawao, where they cultivated sugarcane. As of 1871 he also managed the Haʻikū sugar mill which had been constructed in 1861 by Castle & Cooke.

The Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 removed tariffs on sugar exported to the United States. But to raise their production a steady supply of water was needed for the semi-arid dry forests of Pāʻia. Rain was plentiful miles away in the rainforests on the windward slopes of Haleakalā mountain, so Alexander proposed a 17-mile long irrigation aqueduct that diverted water from that part of Haleakalā to their plantation. Alexander knew about irrigation systems used since ancient Hawaii while he was at Lahainaluna, but this was on an a much larger scale. He negotiated a lease of water rights from King Kalākaua and raised financing from other partners. It was initially a 20 year lease for $100 per year. His brother James did a survey.

Work started on the aqueduct in 1876 and was completed two years later in 1878 (at over three times the estimated cost), just before a deadline in the lease.

In 1883 the Alexander family moved to Oakland, California to get medical attention for his father, who died there August 13, 1884.

After completion of the aqueduct, the company grew by selling water to adjacent plantations, and was eventually renamed Alexander & Baldwin Plantation. In 1884 Alexander arranged for the partners to buy the small American Sugar Refinery in California and later organized a group of Hawaiian planters called the Sugar Factors which became the California and Hawaiian Sugar Company (C&H). Between 1872 and 1900, the company took over more land and sugar mill operations. In 1898, Alexander and Baldwin purchased a controlling interest in one of its rival companies, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) from Claus Spreckles. By 1899, the company bought two of Maui's railroad lines. On June 30, 1900, Alexander & Baldwin, Ltd. was incorporated.

Alexander eventually left off running the company and became an adventurer. In 1893 he bicycled through Europe. He traveled through the Pacific Ocean in 1896, including the Marquesas Islands where his parents traveled before he was born, China, and Japan. He also had a winter home on Maui called Olinda, and a summer home in Shasta County, California.

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