Dillingham; Benjamin F.

Ewa Plantation, 1891: An Overview of the New Plantation Operations and Railroad Access

Little more than a year after the debut of the Oahu Railway & Land Company, the new Ewa Plantation Mill at Honouliuli was up and running, and major changes were underway in land use, population makeup, and loss of cultural landscape.

In 1891, a number of men interested in the sugar business visited the Ewa Plantation. The excursion included a trip on the Oahu Railway and Land Co.’s line, and a tour of the new mill.

Development of the Ewa Sugar Plantation and Oahu Railway & Land Company, 1890

Henry M. Whitney’s Tourists’ Guide Through the Hawaiian Islands [33] provides readers with an overview of sugar plantation development in Honouliuli and the larger ‘Ewa District in 1890. At the time of writing, the O‘ahu Railway & Land Company (OR&L Co.) had just opened with train service passing from Honolulu to the ‘Ewa Court House; remaining track routes to be laid shortly thereafter.

Water Development, Railroads, and the ‘Ewa Plantation, 1886–1913

While ranching remained a part of Honouliuli’s history through the mid-twentieth century, the development of the Ewa Plantation Company took over as the major revenue generator, and source of the major changes on the land. Thousands of acres were cleared for sugar fields, work force populations were developed, housing and commercial interests grew, and traditional cultural resources were erased from the landscape. Sugar cultivation dominated Honouliuli Ahupua‘a through the 1970s.

Great Land Colonization Scheme

The Great Land Colonization Scheme was headed by Benjamin F. Dillingham for lands at Kahuku, Waimea, Kawailoa, and Honouliuli. He formed a joint stock company called the Hawaiian Colonization Land and Trust Company. The company would purchase the lands, and divide and develop them for convenient purchase or lease [8:151–152]. The businessmen associated with the scheme are as follows: