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ISLAND HISTORY: Brief history of Lihu‘e Plantation’s Hanama‘ulu Store

Around 1900, Lihu‘e Plantation built Hanama‘ulu Camp to provide housing for its employees working at its Hanama‘ulu sugar mill and in its cane fields in the vicinity of the mill.

At that time, Lihu‘e Plantation also constructed a general merchandise store at Hanama‘ulu to serve the needs of those employees.

That store, the Hanama‘ulu Store, was a branch store of Lihu‘e Plantation’s Lihu‘e Store, which was originally located at Koamalu west of and above the Lihu‘e Plantation mill.

In 1913, Lihu‘e Plantation’s Koamalu store was moved to and rebuilt in Lihu‘e across from the Isenberg Monument. It was closed and razed in 1964.

Bickmour’s Gall was sold at the Hanama‘ulu Store in 1902, as a cure for sores and wounds in horses and cattle.

Also, in 1902, Max Bergau became store manager.

Antone Nobriga was the manager of Hanama‘ulu Store in 1909.

A few years later, he would become Hanama‘ulu’s first postmaster.

In 1910, the long building the store occupied was moved so as to face Hanama‘ulu’s main street, instead of being situated endwise to it.

A newspaper column published in 1911 praised the store.

It read: “Here a window is enticingly filled with bicycles, sporting goods, etc., there with equally attractive displays. This clean and well-regulated store is under the supervision of Mr. Antone Nobriga and Mr. Takeo Seike, the former having charge of everything but the Oriental Department, while the latter looks out for this one line. This store is by far the coolest and airiest of any we have seen. The 800 or more families who depend on this store for their monthly supplies are certainly fortunate.

A modern soda fountain was installed in 1915.

In 1920, the nearby Hanama‘ulu sugar mill shut down and was later demolished.

William Grote was appointed store manager in 1934 and continued in that position until his death in 1948.

Over the years, other Hanama‘ulu Store employees included James Ishii, Miss Ann Napoleon and Alfred Souza.

Hanama‘ulu Store was closed by Lihu‘e Plantation in 1967, and the old Hanama‘ulu Store building it once occupied was destroyed by fire in 2013.
Source: The Garden Island

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