September 30, 2008|Cynthia Saylor|Big Island: History and Culture
Between Kamuela and Hilo, there's a very good highway. So good, in fact, that it's easy to focus on "getting there," wherever "there" is, and drive right by some of the most interesting historic villages in the state.
In recognition of the cultural riches tucked away along the Hamakua Coast, Hawaii County has designated this stretch of road a Cultural Corridor and has posted road signs proclaiming it the "Hilo-Hamakua Heritage Coast."
It certainly qualifies. From Honoka'a to Hilo, former sugar plantation villages still cling to the hillsides, unwilling to let go of their way of life despite the demise of the sugar industry.
In its day, Honoka'a was the third largest town in the Islands, according to Hal Hisa Yamato, a Honoka'a native and historian. Because of its position along the Coast, it functioned as the hub of Big Island sugar activity. Honoka'a followed only Honolulu and Hilo in population during the 1930s, Yamato explained.... Read More
TagsBig Island, Cultural Corridor, farm, Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, Hilo, Honokaa, Kamuela, plantation, sugar cane, sugar industry, village