Kaua’i Museum Collections
April 6, 1936 – Loading Cane – Hanamaul Kauai T.H. – Nawiliwili Studio
This plantation partially owned by Lihu’e Plantation in 1876 with mill belonging to GN Wilcox from Glasgow, Scotland for Grove Farm that was having problems with milling contracts with LP. Solved before machinery arrived, so Hanamaūlu plantation was set up independently on Lihu’e Plantation lands with Albert Spencer Wilcox manager. Eventually turned back over to Lihuʻe. Note in LP that mill train went to Lihuʻe mill. The factory burned down, the rest of the buildings used as repair shop buildings thereafter – called Hanamaūlu Shop. Buildings were still there in 2009.
Kaua'i Museum opened its doors on October of 1960 with a simple mission of telling the story of Kaua'i and Ni'ihau which it still continues to do today. Its collections include:
Over 1000 stone implements and and tools including canoe weights, grinders, sinkers, poi pounders, mortar and pestles, oils lamps, adzes, game stones, religious vessels and objects. They include collections assembled in the early 20th century by Emma Mahelona Wilcox, Alexander McBryde, Walter McBryde, and William Hyde Rice. Some of the objects are very rare or exclusive to Kaua’i and Ni’ihau such as ring and stirrup poi pounders, decorated gourds and makaloa sedge mats made only at Mana and Ni’ihau, and artifacts that belonged to notable historic people.
Ethnic and historic clothing from Kaua’is multicultural heritages including kimono, work cloths, terno gowns and holoku’u and accessories. Home furnishings from Kaua’i homes including carpets and quilts. The Hawaiian quilt collections numbers over 60 with many over 100 years old. There is also a sizable collection if hats made of lauhala sugarcane, makaloa, maidenhair fern and other materials.
Hawaiian saddles, Asian dolls, ceramics and household furnishings from Europe and the Orient including those of the early missionary-era, WWII memorabilia, Hawaiian Monarchy period furnishings including “Iolani Palace tableware, plantation-era furnishings and industry artifacts, Tourist promotional and souvenir materials including music sheets and postcards, Asian weapons, bottles and more.
Available by appointment only, over 5000 photographs of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau dating from 1866 including well-known and/or prolific photographers valentine, King, Severin, Senda, Fujimura, and Funk along with historic photographic equipment, glass plate negatives, movies and albums. Images include major places, people and cultures, industries, and family collections. The library and archives files contain many rare and not generally available books including commemorative programs, plantation records, sailing-era sea captains and ships, card catalogues of historic businesses and people of Kaua’i, Grace Guslander Coco Palms Resort collection if photographs, Ruth Knudsen Hanner Archaeological Researches, Frederick B. Wichman’s place name research, a small number of maps and special collections.
On permanent and rotating display: drawings paintings, prints by Alfred Richard Gurrey, Ruben Tam, Theodore Wores, Laka Morton, Lloyd Sexton, Edward Morse, Maud Knudsen Garstin, Louis Choris, Charles Bartlett, Madge Tennet, Juliet May Fraser, Charles Furneaux, Otto Wix, Geraldine Tam, Alfred Gray, Evelyn Ritter and others. The collection includes sculpture, folk art and jewelry from the orient, japanese woodblock prints by Kunisada, Hiroshige, Bartlett and other artist, contemporary Ni’ihau shell lei and more.
The exhibits in our Main Gallery and Mezzanine Gallery changes regularly.
The Kaua’i Museum is a private non-profit 501 (c) (3) non-organization. It receives funding for operations and activities through admission, membership, shop orders, photographic reproductions, grants, and donations.