Tuesday, December 20, 2016

getting a bit of history at Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is an old property whose current owners are sixth generation members of the original family. Throughout its history and because of its size and location, Kualoa Ranch has figured quite significantly to the history the shaped Hawai'i. 
Long time ago, the ranch was owned by the king of Hawaii, Kamehameha III. An American doctor became the king's adviser and translator. He was able to buy from the king a few hundred acres at a time. Eventually, the total ranch area reached 4000 acres, covering three valleys. A sugarcane farm was established and Kualoa Ranch used to have a first steam-powered sugarcane mill (back in the 1860s). It's supposedly the first of its kind in O'ahu. 

However, it fell into disrepair when one of the owner's children fell into the boiling liquid sugar. It also just became too dry for sugarcane in Kualoa Ranch. And so the family decided to switch to other agricultural produce... like vegetables, ornamentals, fruits, and animals (cows, prawns, and fish, mostly).

Then during World War II, after Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, Kualoa Ranch served as an airstrip for fighter planes, albeit temporary, only to be used over the duration of the war. There's even a gun battery up in the cliff called Battery Cooper. It's supposed to be used to defend O'ahu in case enemy forces showed up on this side of the island.

I thought that this aspect of my tour at the ranch was a good way to catch up on my walking world history lesson... because I was bent on finally making one of my dreams come true on this trip: visiting Pearl Harbor.