The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum encompasses six exhibit rooms plus outdoor displays of plantation equipment.
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 deep 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 some of the pioneers who established Maui's modern sugar industry. Also includes artifacts, photos and documents (including labor contracts written in Hawaiian, Japanese and Chinese) showing the arrival of immigrant plantation workers from around the world.
The Plantation Room
Includes photos and fascinating exhibits showing the rich, multi-ethnic nature of plantation communities and plantation life, such as religious items, household artifacts and a scale model of a worker's camp house.
Maps of the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. (HC&S), Maui Agricultural Co. (MACo) and Pioneer Mill Company (PMCo) plantation camps are available to view (by appointment only), along with a registry form for former camp residents or their families to fill out. See Plantation Camp Registry
"From Cane to Sugar", a video presentation created by award-winning filmmaker Edgy Lee shows how cane is processed into sugar.
The Field Work Room
Depicts plantation workers in the fields and includes displays of surveying equipment, a cane knife, and typical items used by field workers such as a "kau kau tin" (lunch pail). A mannequin shows a Japanese woman's complete field work outfit.
The Mill Room
Offers several interactive displays including a 1915 locomotive bell, 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 sugar plantations and plantation workers, such as a Cleveland Model J36 trench digger, an outdoor Portuguese oven built in the 1920s, a "bull gear" approximately 11 feet in diameter, a cane hauler, vintage Caterpillar tractors, and a cane grab large enough for a child to walk under without bending.
One thing you likely won't see at the Sugar Museum is its most prized artifact. The historic steam locomotive known as the "Claus Spreckels." The Claus was in the service of Kahului Railroad for 47 years, from 1882 to 1929, hauling sugar, other cargo and passengers.
The authentic, restored locomotive and historic "Kalakaua" coach car are currently on long-term display at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Please contact us for more information about this exhibit.