Ewa Plantation Company Industrial Center, Honouliuli Plain, near intersection of Renton Road, Ewa, Honolulu County, HI
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near intersection of Renton Road, Ewa, HI
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS HI-384
Building/structure dates: 1889 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1956 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1985 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1990 subsequent work
Significance: Sugar plantations had a pivotal role in Hawaii's history. They were the main economic engines that fueled Hawaii's change from subsistence agriculture to a commodity-based system. Sugar plantations "were the ruling force behind Hawaii's economy for over 110 years." They altered the landscapes with large areas of sugar cane plantings, and by the construction of the mills to process this crop and of the villages to house the workers. The importation of labor for sugar plantations is the main reason for the multi-ethnic make-up of Hawaii's current population. Ewa Plantation Company's significance was due to its large size, long period of operation, high number of intact structures, and role as a model plantation in terms of living conditions and benefits to workers. The contrast with the plantations in the southern United States, which evolved from a history of slavery, was emphasized because "of the notable strides Ewa Plantation made towards fair and just treatment of its workers." The Industrial Center of the Ewa Plantation Company grew around the nucleus of the sugar mill building. Today, even though the mill building is gone, the complex is often called the Ewa Sugar Mill. The industrial and scientific emphasis of sugar plantations is a critical aspect of their history. This emphasis is exemplified in the mill and related buildings, but it also is seen in the crop and labor management practices. The strict accounting practices and ideal of self-sufficiency in plantation management led to the construction of simple, economical buildings. The history of the buildings in the mill area is complex. The term and the plan for the "Industrial Center" date from 1938. Before that, the arrangement of industrial structures around the mill was decided on a building-by-building basis.
Dillingham, Benjamin Franklin
Laurie, W. J.
Bond, J. D.
Franzen, David, Photographer
Zagorski, Mike, Delineator
Yoklavich, Ann, Historian
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
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