Kapa‘a, like most rural towns on Kauai and many in Hawaii, got its start in the 19th century as a sugar town. But within five years, Kapa‘a’s sugar mill was gone; the little village almost disappeared. By the early 20th century, Kapa‘a was once again a thriving community. Self-reliant merchants and shopkeepers, first mostly Chinese and then Japanese, competed with the neighboring plantation store.
Homesteaders populated the hills behind Kapa‘a, and two pineapple canneries offered employment. Several movie theaters provided alternatives to the bars and taxi-dance halls. By the 1970s, pineapple too, was gone and Kapa‘a faced new challenges. Today, new entrepreneurs working alongside the old provide entertainment for a new clientele of pleasure-seekers – tourists.
This volume has benefited from the contributions of many in the town who donated pictures and offered their stories. The major contributors who are responsible for its content are all members of the Kapa‘a community and many grew up there.