Pioneer Mill Co. formed in 1860 as the first plantation to grow sugar commercially in Lahaina. A century later, the mill processed 60,000 tons of sugar annually. In 1928, the company built a 225-foot-tall smokestack, which became a landmark for both motorists and boaters. The company transported its cut sugar cane via rail until trucks replaced trains in the 1950s. The company shuttered operations in 1999, but a question remained about how to preserve the landmark smokestack. Lahaina Restoration Foundation took over the $600,000 restoration project. Today, the chimney is part of a small park that includes a pair of locomotives — “Lahaina” and “Launiupoko” — once used on the plantation.
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