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Hawaii's Scenic RoadsPaving the Way for Tourism in the Islands$
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Dawn E. Duensing

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839284

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839284.001.0001

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Pathways to “Progress”

Pathways to “Progress”

(p.35) Chapter Two Pathways to “Progress”
Hawaii's Scenic Roads

Dawn E. Duensing

University of Hawai'i Press

Lorrin Thurston became Minister of the Interior in 1890 and increased the pressure for Western economic development. Thurston maintained the focus on roads for agriculture and to “civilize” Hawai`i, but also introduced tourism as a new incentive. His administrative reforms guaranteed that Caucasian sugar planters would control Hawai`i's road program. The needs of Hawaiians and others were generally ignored. Roads were essential for sugar's success, but in many cases, railroads became the key to company fortunes. Hawai`i's road program became increasingly professionalized and relied on engineers. The era's technical challenges were to convert horse trails into carriageways and wagon roads, and by 1900, to accommodate motorcars. The needs of the automobile, not sugar, became paramount. The territorial government altered the road administration, handing authority to county governments and loan fund commissions in an effort to determine a better way to build the islands’ road system.

Keywords:   Hawaiians, scenic roads, tourism, railroads, politics, engineers, automobile, County Act, Loan Fund Commissions, territorial government

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