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Austin's Hawaiian weekly. [volume] (Honolulu [Hawaii]) 1899-190?, June 17, 1899, Image 6

Image and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047152/1899-06-17/ed-1/seq-6/

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Growth of Honolulu.
Honolulu's beautiful suburb bv the sea.
James Creehuan, the world-renowned war
correspondent, while standing on Punchbowl
heights a few months ago said: "I have visited
nearly every tropical city in the world but this
is the most romantic and beautiful of them all.
Furthermore, it is the only one I have seen
that is clean even approaching cleanliness. If
the United States continues to annex such pos
sessions as this every American ought to have a
'swelled head.' " Mr. Creelman's compliment is
deserved and highly appreciated.
Honolulu has passed through many stages of
development. The first commercial activity in
Hawaii was the sandal-wood period and trade
with China. After the sandal-wood trees die 1
out the whaling period made business lively un
til the whaling fleet was destroyed during the
civil war.
In the early sixties the manufacture of sugar,
even in its crude state became a factor in the
commercial history of the islands. Hut it was
not until the reciprocity treaty went into effect
in 1876 that the sugar industry began to boom.
During the ten ears that followed Mr.
Clans Spreckels, through Irwin & Co., became
the greatest factor in the development of the
Sugar industry. The revolutionary period from
1887 to 1804 put a stop to the rapid develop
ment of this the most fertile spot on earth. But
even during this period commercial activity did
not cease. The methods of sugar manufacture
were constantly improved so that to-day even
with more expensive labor Hawaii can produce
sugar cheaper than any other sugar district in
the world.
The fourth industrial period in Hawaii may
be said to date from the rise of Mr. B. F.
Dillingham as a great promoter of new enter
prises. His first effort was constructing the
Oahu Railway and promotion of the Ewa plan
tation. The Oahu Railway in five years with
the assistance of irrigation has turned a desert
waste into highly cultivated fields of sugar-cane
with great sugar factories of the most modern
type. In his railway enterprise Mr. Dillingham
was assisted by the government, but the enter
prise does not' owe the people anything, for, in
the few years that the road has been in operation
the increased valuation of the property along
the line (70 miles) has returned in taxes more
than the government subsidy.
The story of Mr. Dillingham's trials and tribu
lations preceding his successes will probably never
lie told. He began as early as 1885 to agitate the
Oahu Railway enterprise and the irrigation, of
the then, desert wastes between Honolulu and the
Waianae mountains, by pumping to higher levels
from the sea-shore, where fresh water made large
out-cropping!,. His project in those days was
practically laughed at by local capitalists and he
met with the fate of all genius that of being
considered a crank. But tin's is the fate of genius
whether in literature, art, music or finance. Yet.
genius ever perseveres against all obstacles until
its object is attained. So it was with Mr. Dilling
ham. Finding that he could not float his scheme here
he went to England and received great encourage
ment from people in the highest financial circles.
But here again he met with misfortune.
The revolutionary period in Hawaii had begun
and the rumors of an unstable government gave
him another set back. It was some five years
later, that, through the strength of his forcible
personality and tensity of purpose, he then com-

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