March 19th 2003
This wonderful place
in Hilo, Hawaii
bt Reggie and Joed..
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In the hills above the Garden are relics
of the Onomea Sugar Mill.
Rusty iron trestles and flumes once stood
where hand-cut cane was floated to the mill.
Sacks of unrefined sugar were then
loaded on donkeys and taken
down a trail to the docks.
Another remnant of this era is a
Portuguese bake oven, discovered on
Cook Pine Trail when the jungle
was being cleared. Made of heat resistant rocks,
the igloo-like structure was
used to bake bread on a flat shovel.
Onomea Valley was deserted in the early 1900s,
and the vegetation grew so densely that
few signs of former habitation could be seen.
The last resident of the valley was Lono Waikii.
Legend has it that Lono's wife would
get angry at his all-day fishing and drinking
adventures and hide his whiskey
bottles in a banyan tree.
The tree grew up around the bottles,
where they can still be seen today.
We highly recommend
that you stop and enjoy
this wonderful playground.
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