The Hawaiian Railroad Company was formed October 20, 1880, with Samuel G. Wilder as president and his brother William as
treasurer. Samuel Wilder had lived in Hawaii since 1858, engaging in various enterprises, including the Wilder Steampship
Company. The Hawaiian government subsidized construction of the 19-7/8 mile passenger and freight car line between Mahukona
on the west side of the island and Hart’s Mill in Niulii on the east. Work began in 1881 and was completed in 1883. Samuel
Wilder died in 1888. In 1897 the name was changed to the Hawaii Railway Company. In 1899, during the first year of existence
of the Territory of Hawaii, the Wilder family withdrew from the railroad and shipping business and sold the Hawaii Railway
to the four principal plantations it served: Union Mill Co., Halawa Plantation, Kohala Plantation, and Niulii Plantation.
In April of 1937, Kohala Sugar Co. bought out the other plantations, acquired all of the stock in the Hawaii Railway Company
and recincorporated (September 30, 1937) as Mahukona Terminals Inc. The Mahukona harbor was closed when the United States
declared war against Japan on December 8, 1941. Business gradually declined and in 1945 the Hawaii Railway was abandoned.
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