This page last updated: 28 May 2018

::: Kauai Postmarks, Part 2 - Lihue to Waioli :::

Back to Islands of Kauai and Niihau.

UX3 82 - Jul 22 - Hono to France

Lihue postmark type 238.02 dated July 21, 1882 on a 3¢ postal card, Scott UX3, to France; also postmarked at Honolulu on July 22 (type 235.12) and at Calais, France on August 18. The 3¢ postal card rate was in effect from 1882 to mid-1885, when the rate dropped to 2¢.

Lihue, Lihue District
"cold chill" [Pukui]; "goose flesh" [Davey]
Post office: 1866-1900

Postmasters: Richard Peters (1858), Paul Isenberg (?), S. T. Alexander (?), A. S. Wilcox (1868), Paul Isenberg (1869-1879), O. Sholz (1879-1891) and C. H. Bishop (1891-1900).

The name "Lihue" probably was first given to the region around 1838 for the site of a new sugar plantation and mill. Lihue became the civic center for Kauai around 1851 because it was the island governor's residence. The town is two miles inland from Nawiliwili Harbor. Lihue Plantation, an extensive pioneer plantation was established at Lihue. Grove Farm and Hanamaula Sugar Plantation were nearby. In 1880, Lihue was described as the most important town on the island. In 1888, it had several stores, two schools and a livery stable. Lihue District population was at 1,615 in 1853 and fell to 1,301 in 1872 but increased rapidly to 1,832 in 1878, 1,984 in 1884, 2,792 in 1890, 3,425 in 1896 and 4,434 in 1900.

Exactly when Lihue was recognized officially as a post office is unclear. Some records put it at 1868, but PMG Brickwood mentioned Lihue as the hub for mail delivery in 1866 and other references suggest a date perhaps as early as 1858 when Isenberg moved there from Waimea, where he was postmaster. The nearby post office at Nawiliwili was the main mail distribution point before 1869, when it was closed and the postal operation there was moved to Lihue. In any event, from about 1866 Lihue was the main post office for the island and hub for distributing mail to the rest of Kauai. Isenberg was manager of Lihue Plantation and at some point he kept the post office in his plantation office. Wilcox, Sholz and Bishop were successive managers of the Lihue Plantation Store, where the post office was kept most of the time. The Lihue Store was built in the 1860s on the grounds of the plantation manager's residence and moved in 1876 to a hill across the mill valley. Letter boxes were installed in 1889. A new store was erected on the same location in 1895. Stamps of the 1864 2¢ Bank Notes were sent to Isenberg in 1869. Stamp sales in 1898 were $1,297, second only to Hilo among the post offices outside Honolulu.

Lihue eBay item

Lihue, Kauai c. 1900

30mm single lined circle; brass stamp
Color: Black
Scarcity: 1R
Usage: May __, 1880 – December 24, 1886
Eleven strikes are recorded so this mark was upgraded from 2 to 1R and perhaps it should be listed as rarer still.

Lihue 238_02 82 - Jul 21

July 21, 1882

27mm double lined circle
Color: Blue, Black
Estimated: 5
Usage: July __, 1885 – April __, 1891
In December, 1888, the postmaster requested new date types for the post office stamp. Black strikes early to January 22, 1887 and blue noted from June 11, 1887 to 1891.

Lihue 253_41 87 - Nov 12

November 12, 1887

32mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle; known with blank date
Color: Purple, Blue
Estimated: 8
Usage: January 17, 1891 – December __, 1895
Dates were not printing well in early 1891. Blue strikes in 1891 to May 4, 1892; purple noted from September 14, 1892 forward.

Lihue 282_011 91 - Jan 17

January 17, 1891

Lihue 282_011 93 - Jan 17

January 17, 1893

Lihue 282_011 93 - Jul 29

July 29, 1893

29mm double lined circle
Color: Purple
Estimated: 7
Usage: January 29, 1896 – February 15, 1898
Dark, purplish-black strikes are noted.

Lihue 255_12 96 - Jun 20

June 20, 1896

253.01 (I)
27mm double lined circle; town letters are spaced farther apart than in type 253.9a1 and 253.01 (II); distance from the top of the “L” to the period is 19.5mm.
Color: Purple, Black
Estimated: 7
Usage: January 20, 1897 - August 12, 1897
Black strikes noted from May, 1897.
This mark was listed as type 235.01 but strikes exist with clear separation between the outer lines confirming the single lined mark resulted simply from ink clogging or wear. The January 21, 1897 date is on a post office letterhead and shows clear definition between the two lines.

Lihue 253_01 I 97 - Jan 20

January 20, 1897

Lihue 253_01 I 97 - Apr 21

April 21, 1897

27mm double lined circle; town letters are spaced more closely than in type 253.01 (I); duplex cancel; distance from the top of the “L” to the period is 15.5mm.
Color: Black, Purple, Blue
Rarity: 1RR – 14 strikes recorded
Usage: October 1, 1897 - February 19, 1898
This mark with the duplex cancel removed is listed separately as 253.01(II).
Black is recorded on October1, 1897; then purple; blue is recorded on February 19, 1898.
Perhaps strikes of this mark have been confused with type 253.01 so the scarcity rating is uncertain, but I record only 14 strikes of 235.9a1.

Lihue 253_9a1 97 - Oct 1 EKU - Kay

October 1, 1897, black
(Courtesy of Phil Kay)

Lihue 253_9a1 98 - Jan 12

January 12, 1898, purple

Lihue 253_9a1 98 - Feb 19

February 19, 1898, blue

27mm single lined outer and inner circles
Color: Blue, Purple, Greenish-Blue
Estimated: 9
Usage: May __, 1895 – June 9, 1900
Greenish blue strikes noted to October, 1898, blue in 1899 to April, purple from July 22, 1899.
Year dates in 1900 are shown as “19.” Territorial use is noted to March 28, 1901.

Lihue 272_614 99 - Nov 22

November 22, 1899

Lihue 272_614 00 - Jun 1

June 1, 1900

253.01 (II)
27mm double lined circle; this mark appears to be type 253.9a1 but with the duplex cancel removed; town letters are spaced the same as type 253.9a1;
Color: Dark Purple
Scarcity: 1RRRR,
Three strikes are recorded, all dated March 6, 1900 on postal cards (one local to Honolulu and two to Germany).
Usage: March 6, 1900.

Lihue 253_01 II 00 - Mar 6 on UX8 V-P detail

March 6, 1900, black
(Courtesy David Volstrup-Petersen)

Makaweli, Waimea District
"fearful features" [Pukui]; "fearful eye" [Davey]
Post office: 1890-1900

Postmasters: E. M. Walsh (1890-1891), H. Morrison (1891-1894), Jno. A. Palmer (1894-1895) and H. Morrison (1895-1900).

Site of the Hawaiian Sugar Co., established around 1887, on former cattle grazing land. The Hawaiian Sugar Co. was one of the largest plantations in Hawaii in the mid-1890s, but it also had a reputation as "the dirtiest, dustiest, red dirt plantation in Hawaii." A plantation railroad connected the landing at Eleele to the plantation office.

Palmer was performing postal duties for Morrison as early as 1891 and may have been commissioned postmaster briefly that year between Walsh and Morrison. The Makaweli post office was located near Eleele and Hanapepe until 1892 and then it was moved three miles north west to Makaweli, about mid-way between Waimea and Hanapepe, and was located at the headquarters for the Hawaiian Sugar Co. Stamp sales in 1898 were $672.

Makaweli eBay

Makaweli Sugar Plantation, c. 1890s

32mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle
Color: Purple, Red
Estimated: 5
Usage: April 5, 1890 – April __, 1899
Purple or bluish-purple early; red noted from October, 1896 to June, 1897; then bluish-purple to 1899.

Makaweli 282_013 92 - Apr 9

April 9, 1892, purple

Makaweli 282_013 96 - Oct 2 - red

October 2, 1896, red

29mm double lined circle; duplex cancel
Color: Purple
Scarcity: 3
Usage: March __, 1898 – June __, 1900
Bluish purple and reddish purple strikes are noted, but no date patterns for these shades have been identified and they may be random.

Makaweli 255_9a1 98 - Aug 13

August 13, 1898

Makaweli 255_9a1 99 - Aug 4

August 4, 1899

Mana, Waimea District
"arid" [Pukui]; "power" [Davey]
Post office: 1893-1900

Postmasters: Gregers Borchgrevink (1893-1898) and E. Powell, Jr. (1898-1900).

Headquarters of Mana Plantation from about 1880; earlier use of the area was for farming and as a stock ranch. Prior agricultural efforts at Mana included tobacco as early as 1853. In 1893, when the post office was opened, the population of about 250 people was largely Japanese and Hawaiian. Hans Peter Faye, the owner of Mana plantation, agitated for a post office and it was opened in September, 1893. In 1898, Mana Plantation merged with Kekaha Plantation and the post office was nearly discontinued.

The post office was conducted at Borchgrevink's store, a branch of Hofgaard's store in Waimea. When the Mana and Kekaha plantations consolidated in 1898, Borchgrevink’s store was taken over as a branch of the Kekaha plantation store and Borchgrevink resigned as postmaster. Powell was the head luna for Mana Plantation. Mail service was by train from Waimea to Kekaha and then by horseback to Mana. Stamp sales in 1898 were $141.

Note: Mana on Kauai is not to be confused with Mana Ranch, the “home ranch” of the Parker family on the Big Island. A double circle private marking “Mana/date/Ranch” used in 1884 belongs to the Big Island Mana Ranch (see Auxiliary Marks/Private Sender Marks/Plantation or Ranch Marks).


manuscript in Borchgrevink's handwriting
Rarity: 1RRRR; two strikes are recorded
Usage: October 6, 1893

Mana 807 93 - Oct 6 ms

October 6, 1893

Mana 807 93 - Oct 6 Sugimura

October 6, 1893
(Courtesy of Gannon Sugimura)

33mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle
Color: Purple
Estimated: 3
Usage: September 28, 1894 – November 16, 1899
In December, 1898, the device was reported to be "in bad condition."

Mana 282_012 95 - Mar 14

March 14, 1895

Mana 282_012 98 - Dec 2

December 2, 1898

29mm double lined circle
Color: Purple
Scarcity: 1RRR; five strikes are recorded, including two on post office letterhead; the earliest and latest dates reported by Burns are included, but neither of them has been seen by me.
Usage: May __, 1897 – May __, 1900
This mark was rated 2, but it is rare. When the bottom portions of strikes are missing, Hana, Maui, type 253.01 is similar to this mark. They can be differentiated by the length of the town name: the word “Hana” measures 16mm from the top left of the “H” to the bottom right of the “A” and the word “Mana” measures 18mm from the top left of the “M” to the bottom right of the “A.” Some Hana, Maui marks might be mis-identified Mana, Kauai marks, or vice versa.

Mana 255_01 98 - Oct 14 ex-Davey

October 14, 1899

Mana 255_01 00 - Feb 7

February 7, 1900 on post office letterhead stationery

Moloaa, Hanalei District
"matted roots" [Pukui]; "parched" [Davey]
Post office: 1864-1870

Postmasters: F. Bertlemann (1864), E. Witscher (1864-1869) and F. Bertlemann (1869).

A landing and village to the east of Hanalei near Anahola. This land was grazing land for stock ranches in the 1860s. At Moloaa was a Catholic church and the immediate area was planted in taro and rice.

Bertlemann was appointed postmaster in 1864 so he could open mail bags left at the landing by interisland schooners. This place was the location of an unsecured letter box used in the 1890s for local residents to drop mail that would be picked up by the overland carrier.

No postmarks known.

Nawiliwili, Lihue District
"the wiliwili trees, erythrina"
Post office: 1854-1870

Postmasters: E. P. Bond (1852-1854), H. A. Widemann (1854-1857), D. H. Hitchcock (1858), H. A. Widemann (1859-1865), W. N. Wilcox (1865) and Paul Isenberg (1865-1869).

Nawiliwili is the principal harbor for Kauai and was the site of the earliest post office on the island. Apart from the landing itself, Nawiliwili had a few houses, storehouses and a general merchandising store.

Bond began accounting to the Honolulu Post Office in 1852 and was granted free postage as compensation for performing postal services at Nawiliwili. Constables appointed by J. F. B. Marshall, sheriff of Kauai, distributed mail before 1854, but the post office accounting was done by Bond. Bond resigned in 1854 and left Hawaii in early 1855. Widemann was made sheriff of Kauai in 1854, succeeding Marshall, who returned to Massachusetts. In August of 1854 Widemann was appointed postmaster of Nawiliwili to replace Bond. At that point, the post office at Nawiliwili gained a more formal recognition. Stamps of both values of the Boston Engraved Issue were sent to Widemann in September, 1854. Twenty sheets (@25 stamps per sheet) of the 2¢ Numerals were sent to Widemann in July, 1859 and the post office was regularly supplied with stamps thereafter. About 1869, Isenberg moved the post office to the island’s administrative center at nearby Lihue, closed the Nawiliwili post office and was appointed postmaster of Lihue.

No postmarks known.

Nawiliwili eBay item

Nawiliwili, early 20th Century image

Wahiawa, Koloa District
"milkfish place" [Pukui]; "place of awa" [Davey]
Post office: 1855-1874

Postmasters: none listed

A valley between Hanapepe and Koloa with a small population and the residence of Duncan McBryde.

It is uncertain what, if any, postal facility was here but there may have been a letter box for local residents to leave mail to be picked up by the overland carrier.

No postmarks known.

Waimea, Waimea District
"reddish water" [Pukui]; "yellow water" [Davey]
Customs office 1850-1856; post office 1856-1900

Postmasters: R. S. Hollister (1850-1851), Rev. G. B. Rowell (1851-1852), J. R. Opitz (1852-1855), R. S. Hollister (1855-1856), Paul Isenberg (1856-1858), Rev. G. B. Rowell (1859-1867), Salem P. Handchett (1867-1883), Rev. G. B. Rowell (1883-1884), Mrs. G. B. Rowell (1884-1886) and Christopher B. Hofgaard (1886-1900).

Site of the first mission station on the island, established in 1820 by Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Whitney. Henry Whitney, Hawaii's first postmaster, was born here in 1824. Capt. Cook made his first Hawaii landing at Waimea in 1778 and it was at that time the residence of the reigning king of Kauai. A fort was built here in 1817 by a Prussian adventurer under service to the czar of Russia. Until Lihue emerged as the administrative center of Kauai around 1851, Waimea was the capital of Kauai. An 1867 visitor described a small village. Whitney, who lived his early boyhood years there, described Waimea in 1875 as a "wreck of a once populous capital" and in 1880, another traveler described it as evoking "melancholy" when compared to its prior greatness. Few Westerners lived in the region until about 1880 when Waimea Plantation was formed. Waimea Sugar Mill was built in 1884. In 1888, Waimea had three general stores, with Hofgaard running the largest one. There was also a coffee saloon, a Chinese store and a small sugar estate with a mill. Waimea District had a population of 2,082 in 1853 and decreased to 1,197 by 1878. The sugar industry increased the population significantly: 1,762 in 1884, 2,739 in 1890, 4,431 in 1896 and 5,996 in 1900.

Hollister, Rowell and Opitz were customs collectors and performed postmaster duties to 1856. Hofgaard arrived at Waimea in 1885 and was a retail merchant, local magistrate, road supervisor and auditor in addition to being the postmaster. From 1863-1874 mail for Niihau was dispatched by the Niihau boat hired by the Waimea postmaster. Frances Sinclair on Niihau took over arrangements for the Niihau boat in 1874. Prior to post offices being established at Kekaha and Mana, Waimea was the distribution point for mail to those villages and carriers were hired by the Waimea postmaster. Twenty sheets (@25 stamps per sheet) of the 2¢ Numerals were sent to Rev. Rowell in July, 1859. Bank Note stamps of the 2¢ value were sent to Handchett in 1869. Stamp sales in 1898 were $594.50.

Waimea Valley eBay item

Waimea, Kauai, c. 1900

30mm single lined circle; brass stamp
Color: Blue,Black
Scarcity: 3
Usage: July 9, 1880 – December 1, 1889
Black is noted to August, 1884; blue from March, 1885 to April, 1888; black again in November to December, 1889. In 1890, the postmaster reported he used the device without date stamps in 1889 and 1890; no 1890 usage has been noted, but off-cover no-date strikes likely would be from 1889-1890. Purple has been dropped as a color for this marking because the shade really is a purplish-blue – more blue than purple.

Waimea 238_02 82 - Oct 13

October 13, 1882

Waimea 238_02 83 - Aug 31

August 31, 1883

Waimea 238_02 85 - Mar 14 date inverted

March 14, 1885

Waimea 238_02 89 - Dec 1 dateline LDU

No date, dateline December 1, 1889

27mm double lined circle; the device broke down with wear; single lined arcs above and beneath date
Color: Purple, Black
Scarcity: 4
Usage: April __, 1884 – July 19, 1890
Wear was apparent by February, 1889. In May, 1890, the postmaster reported the dates were "too easily knocked out of order if used for stamping letters." By July, 1890, the outer circle above “AI” broke out.
Purple is noted to 1890; black in 1890.

Waimea 253_61 85 - Jul 10

July 10, 1885

Waimea 253_61 90 - Jul 12

July 12, 1890

33mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle
Color: Purple, Black
Estimated: 9
Usage: December __, 1888 – October 29, 1898
In October, 1898, the postmaster reported this device "is very much worn out and some of the date types are entirely obliterated." The dates are faint and illegible on many strikes. Black early; purple from May 13, 1892, but purplish-black or dull purple strikes are noted in 1894-1896.

Waimea 282_011 __ - Mar 16 on 39, ex-Davey

March 16, 1891, black

Waimea 282_011 96 - Dec 16

December 16, 1896, dull purple

Waimea 282_011 97 - Jan 10 OFF

January 10, 1897, purple

29mm double lined circle; duplex cancel
Color: Purple
Usage: November 11, 1898 – December 28, 1898
Scarcity 1RRRR
2 strikes are recorded, but more might exist, confused with 255.01.

Waimea 255_9a1- 98 - Dec 28 duplex Shaffer

December 28, 1898, duplex

29mm double lined circle
Color: Purple
Estimated: 6
Usage: January 18, 1899 – June 17, 1900 (territorial use)
The duplex cancel attachment creating type 255.9a1 was removed in January, 1899. No strikes in 1899 or 1900 have been recorded with the duplex attached.
Many strikes made with this device are faint and illegible.

Waimea 255_01 99 - Feb 8

February 8, 1899, no duplex

Waimea 255_01 99 - Aug 10

August 10, 1899, no duplex

Waimea 255_01 00 - Mar 8

March 8, 1900

Waioli, Hanalei District
"singing water"
Post office: 1884-1886

Postmaster: J. Kakina (1884)

Neighboring Hanalei, Waioli is where a mission station was established in 1834, as a branch of the mission at Waimea.

No post office is listed here in the official records so it is unclear what facility, if any, was at Waioli. Rev. Wilcox may have conducted the Hanalei post office from the church here while he was postmaster of Hanalei.

No postmarks known.

Back to Islands of Kauai and Niihau.

Copyright © 1999 - 2018 POST OFFICE IN PARADISE. All rights reserved.