Kauaʻi A History


Kauai A History paints a portrait of Old Kauai in words and images, bringing back to life the rich heritage and independence of an island portrayed as the Separate Kingdom by historian Edward Joesting.

The narrative and images concisely offer informed accounts of Kauai’s history, both island-wide and individual towns. Explored are the mythical ancient days of a primordial island and the arrival of Polynesian settlers voyaging from Kahiki, their homeland in the South Pacific; the western discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Captain James Cook landing at Waimea, Kauai; the bringing of Christianity and literacy by New England missionaries; Baja California cowboys of the 1830s establishing the paniolo ranching culture; the establishment of the first commercially-run sugar plantation at Koloa, the first ever in Hawaii; the Victorian Era of the monarchy at Princeville; the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and annexation by the United States opening the floodgates of federal funding to develop the island; the drama of World War II in the Pacific bringing extended stays of thousands of off-islanders modernizing local ways; Hollywood choosing Kaua‘i as its favorite tropical location island; tourism displacing sugar plantations in the economy.