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Kaua'i - Lihu'e: Kaua'i Museum - Steam Plough engine | by wallyg
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Kaua'i - Lihu'e: Kaua'i Museum - Steam Plough engine

This steam plough engine is from the John Fowler & Company (Leeds) Ltd from Leeds England, Number 11232, weight 17 tons. It was used at Honokaa Sugar Company from 1904-1935. Theo H. Davies & Co. LTd. gifted it to Bishop Museum in 1968 where it was exhibited out on their front lawn. Due to increased deterioration from weather exposure Bishop Museum gifted it to Grove Farm Museum in 1984 who has housed it under cover at the Puhi Roundhouse. An assessment and cosmetic restoration was completed in 1997. Today it is on display as part of a shared exhibit created by the Kauai Museum and Grove Farm Museum, "Kaui's Industrial Revolution-Steam Power & Other Innovations" at the Kauai Museum until April 26, 2010.


In Hawaii, it was thought that deep tillage would increase sugar production, and cable ploughing began in 1880. Eventually, more than 200 engines, all of them Fowlers, were in use on Hawaiian plantations. For cane field preparation, these engines were used in pairs to draw by cable a double-ended plough back and forth across a field. Each engine was operated by a driver and one assistant. Water and fuel was supplied by another crew and a third crew rode and operated the plough. About ten acres a day could be ploughed. Steam plowing stopped in Hawaii around 1935 and it is believed most of these engines were scrapped during World War II. This is the last sole surving intact steam plough engine in Hawaii and was last being used along the Hamakua Coast as recently as 1968.


The Albert Spencer Wilcox Building, at 4420 Rice Street, was built in 1924 as a free county library and today houses half of the Kaua'i Museum collection. The building was funded by Emma Mahelona Wilcox in memory of her husband, Albert Spencer Wilcox, Designed by noted Hawaiian architect Hart Wood, the building features a lava rock exterior, sloped roof, barrel vaulted ceilings, and a mezzanine with a balcony overlooking the first floor. After a new library was built in Lihu'e in 1969, the Wilcox Building became a dedicated part of the Kaua'i Museum


The Kaua'i Museum, consisting of the Albert Spencer Wilcox Building and the William Hyde Rice Building, was established in 1960. The museum focuses on local history and art for the islands of Kaua'i and Niihau, featuring a permanent exhibit of geology, flora, fauna, pre-contact Hawaiiana, and artificats from the missionary and plantation periods.


National Register #79000760 (1979)

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Taken on May 21, 2010