« PreviousContinue »
blossom its plant life may not be beaten on the surface of the globe. Who that has traveled the fastnesses of Hawaii or of Maui does not remember the great fronded palms and ferns, the strange clinging vine with its deep red blossoms, the Lehua, covering the tops of trees as with a scarlet mantle. The Lehua is the poet's flower, the blossom that is celebrated in song and story: ever since love landed on these islands, and love was the first discoverer, 'way back before the days when the great navigators came from Samoa and settled on these shores.
The mountain apple, with its red and white blossoms, is another of the wonderful native flowers and when this is in blossom the sight is one that once seen is never forgotten. The honey-suckle vine is to be found in all its luxuriance, and the air is laden with its perfumes. Of course, there are thousands of the imported vines and flowers, and these do better in Hawaii than on their native heath. The Bougainvilliers vine, named after an admiral of the British navy, and a native of India, grows in profusion, and its queer flower, seemingly but the ends of boughs turned pink, cover walls and trees in a glory of color.
Of ferns of the tree and the ordinary variety there is an assortment that is positively bewildering. The screw fern is one of the indigenous varieties, and is of great beauty. In the island of Hawaii there are ferns that resemble the finest of feathers, and, in Maui, the tree fern is gorgeous. The lantana is to be found everywhere in the islands, and in the olden times I am told that the native Kahunas or witch doctors used the bruised leaves and the juices of this viburnum in cases of rheumatism or neuralgia. If this be so, it indicates that experience had really taught the Hahuna a certain knowledge of .botany-for in the Bermudas the lantana is used for the same purpose and is credited by many with sovereign qualities in disease.
Guava grows in great abundance all over the islands, and it is only a question of time when this delicious fruit will be
The pineapple plant in its various stages from field to market. The Hawaiian pineapple is the finest in the world in point of size and flavor
made one of the big commercial factors in the islands, and the jellies of guava from Hawaii will have achieved as great a repute in the markets of the world as the Hawaiian pine apple, the monarch of all pine appies.
The Papaya tree grows in great abundance, and is esteemed as furnishing one of the best of breakfast foods. Of wild bananas there are many varieties, among them the Chinese, the native or Popolou, the Australian and the lady-finger. Near Honolulu, and, in fact, near every town of any importance in the islands, where conditions lend themselves to the growing of the banana, there are large plantations of this luscious fruit.
Mangoes grow in great quantities, and the tree is of great beauty. The Hawaiian mango is not as rank in taste as that of the Orient, and is not productive of boils and eruptions as is the same fruit when eaten in gourmand quantities in the Philippines. The Durian is one of the Orient's most succulent fruits, which is but occasionally found in the Hawaiian Islands. It is a delicious morsel, when one has mastered
his reluctance to attack it, despite its odor, which is about twenty times stronger than the most fragrant limburger cheese.
The cocoanut has a most musical name in the native tongue, suggestive of cats and catterwauling-Miu. The cocoanut thrives best along the shores of the islands, and I am told that it will not grow at any place at an altitude of over two thousand feet.
The natives use the cocoanut in many of their favorite dishes. The Kulolo and the Koelepolu are all flavored with or boiled in cocoanut milk or with cocoanut water. The Kulolo is cooked under water, and is made of cocoanut and taro.
From taro, the poi, the celebrated national dish of the native Hawaiian, is
made. This is a very palatable and healthy food, and it is said that it has not its equal as an infant food and as a builder up of tissue for the convalescing invalid.
Mahukona to Niulii, in the district of North Kohala, and it handles the freight traffic for five large plantations. The length of the road is 20 miles. Track gauge is three feet.
The Hilo Railroad Company extends from Hilo to Kapoho, Puna, and, from here, there is a branch line from Olaa to Glenwood, a total of 52 miles. This road is built on a gauge of 4 feet 812 inches. While this railroad was built originally for carrying supplies to and from plantation, it runs through a most picturesque country. On the island of Maui there is one railroad, the Kahului Railroad Company. This, too is a narrow gauge line, 3 feet. This railroad serves four plantations and one fruit and plant company (pine apples.) The passenger carrying record for 1908 was 55,000 people. Considering that this road is but a little more than 26 miles long, this is not bad, even in a passenger way. Of course, the sugar tonnage carried by the railroads of the territory ranges high and forms one of the main elements of freight. This railroad is being rapidly extended into the pine apple lands being developed to the
eastward of Paia.
On Oahu, the island on which is situated Honolulu, there are two railroad companies. The Oahu Railroad and Land Company operates a line from Honolulu to Kahuku and beyond by connection with the Koolau line and with several branch lines.
This railroad runs through some of the most interesting sections of Oahu. This is a 3 foot gauge line. This road skirts the shores of Pearl Harbor for ten miles and follows the coast line along the southern, western and northern end of the island. For the year 1908 the number of passengers carried was 446,318.
The Koolau Railway Company connects with the Oahu road at Kahuku, and runs to Kahaua about 12 miles. This road is developing quite a large territory through which it passes.
Railroading and railroad building is as yet in its infancy in the Sandwich Islands but the year 1909 has seen many new projects suggested, and it is more than likely that the trackage in operation at the end of 1909 will nearly double that of 1908. While the railroads have not been built