Society keeps coffee history alive at farm


Editor’s note: West Hawaii Today, in conjunction with the Kona Historical Society, is pleased to present readers a weekly feature compiled by the society called “A Guide to Old Kona.” These articles and accompanying photographs have been compiled and provided by Kona Historical Society and were published previously in a book of the same title.

D. Uchida Coffee Farm

The D. Uchida Coffee Farm in Kealakekua is home to one of Kona’s few living history programs. It is dedicated to telling the story of Kona’s pioneer Japanese coffee farmers. Homesteaded in 1900 by Japanese immigrants, Daisaku and Shima Uchida took over the farm’s lease in 1913. They and members of their family lived and worked at the 6-acre coffee and macadamia nut orchard until 1994.

The structures on this site today were built in 1925 and 1926: a single-wall, board-and-batten house; redwood tanks for water storage; a small Japanese bath house (furo); and a coffee mill typical of Kona’s rural coffee lands. The Uchidas left the house in 1994 completely intact.

With the help of the Kona coffee farming community, the Kona Historical Society has undertaken a unique project to preserve, restore and interpret this important resource. Amid pressures to urbanize and modernize Kona, the Uchida Coffee Farm recalls a way of life that is fast disappearing from the Kona landscape. Tours are offered weekdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Copyright 1998 Kona Historical Society. Reprinted by permission.