Aloha! The Sugar Museum will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-2 beginning June 2. Admission is free, but you will need to use our online reservation system to reserve a spot here. Take 10% off your total purchase in the gift shop, too! We will be adhering to best business practices, including social distancing and sanitizing public spaces. See you at the museum!
The Sugar Museum is home to a wide variety of exhibits. These exhibits depict 168 years of “King Sugar,” a chapter in Maui’s history that impacted the island’s landscape and multiculturalism. Visitors can peer into this influential time through the exploration of The Geography Room, The Water Room, The Human Resources Room, The Plantation Room, The Field Work Room, The Mill Room, and outdoor exhibits.
The Geography Room
Explains how Maui’s geography and weather patterns influenced the development of the sugar industry and presents information about the extensive irrigation system and network of tunnels and wells developed by the plantations.
The Water Room
Shows how water was arduously brought from the island’s windward slopes to the sunny central isthmus, and highlights the bravery of the men who accomplished this tremendous feat.
The Human Resources Room
Displays historical information about the pioneers who helped establish Maui’s sugar industry. This room includes artifacts, photos, and documents – including labor contracts written in Hawaiian, Japanese, and Chinese. These documents show the arrival of immigrant plantation workers from around the world.
The Plantation Room
Includes photos and fascinating exhibits portraying the multi-ethnic nature of plantation communities. Household artifacts, religious items, and a scale model of a worker’s camp house provide a well-rounded look at plantation life.
The Field Work Room
Provides an in-depth look at plantation workers in the fields through displays of surveying equipment, a cane knife, and a “kau kau tin” (lunch pail). In addition, a mannequin shows a Japanese woman’s complete field work outfit.
The Mill Room
Offers several interactive displays. These interactive displays include a 1915 locomotive bell, a model of a Cuban sugar mill, and an impressive working scale model of cane crushing machinery. A narrative with special lighting and sound effects accompanies the operation of the model.
Visitors can get a close-up look at some of the intriguing equipment and items used by the sugar plantation and the plantation workers. The equipment on display includes a Cleveland Model J36 trench digger, a 1920s outdoor Portuguese oven, an 11 foot diameter Bull Gear, a cane hauler, vintage Caterpillar tractors, a Caterpillar 660 cane hauler cab, and a cane grab that is large enough for a child to walk under.
The Sugar Museum’s gift shop is situated inside the Sugar Museum, in what was once the private kitchen of a plantation superintendent. The gift shop features Made-in-Hawaii gifts and souvenirs. The most popular items include real Hawaiian sugar cane sticks, coffee, and books and DVDs which emphasize sugar’s history and plantation life. There are books for children with stories and activities. The gift shop also sells exclusively designed t-shirts and hats, which are inspired by the sugar mill and Maui’s multi-ethnic plantation roots. Satisfy your sweet tooth with an assortment of sweet treats like Wow Wee candy bars, nuts, and rich, delicious fudge. If you would like to purchase any of the items mentioned on this page, or to find out what else we have in store, please call or email us with your contact information and what you would like to purchase. We will then arrange a secure phone order.