The remains of the original Old Sugar Mill of Koloa are located within the town of Koloa, in a field across from the town center. A 30-foot tall stone smoke stack and partial foundations are all that remain. Today, a food truck court operates nearby. In 1965 the Old Sugar Mill was designated a Registered National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service.
The original sugar mill was part of the first successful sugar plantation in Hawaii, founded by Ladd & Company in 1835. The mill was built between 1839 and 1841, but Ladd & Company shut down in 1844. The mill was sold but remained in operation throughout the 1800s.
The original mill was replaced by a much larger mill to the east of Koloa in 1912 and remained in operation until 1996. This huge mill, abandoned and rusting, looms over the landscape, a testament to a bygone era. When people speak of the “Old Sugar Mill of Koloa,” many people are talking about this mill instead of the older mill near the Koloa town center. Today, the abandoned mill and land is reportedly owned by Stephen Case, the co-founder of AOL. Case’s grandfather, A. Hebard Case, worked on the sugar plantation.
The 30-foot tall stone smoke stack of the original mill is easily accessible, however the larger mill east of Koloa is off limits and ringed by a fence. On our recent visit in late 2017 we photographed the mill from outside the fence with no problems.
Old Sugar Mill of Koloa Photos
Above and below: The original sugar mill location near the center of Koloa Town.
Below: The abandoned sugar mill east of Koloa.
PHOTO: A horse (with a bird on its back) grazes on the old sugar mill property.