An interesting piece of Kauai history can be found at the McBryde Sugar Plantation Cemetery near Port Allen. The cemetery contains the graves of Chinese and Japanese sugar plantation workers of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of the graves are rather ornate.
Fifteen work camps surrounded the cemetery during the heyday of the sugar plantation years. Times were often hard for the workers and death was a common occurrence. Buddhist priests conducted burial ceremonies at the cemetery for the deceased Japanese and Chinese workers. (There is also a Christian area of the cemetery.)
For years the cemetery was neglected and overgrown with heavy brush until 2013 when Eleele resident Debrah Davis started clearing the site. Today, the cemetery is largely cleared thanks to Davis’ ongoing efforts. Click here to see what the cemetery looked like in 2011.
The cemetery sits on a bluff overlooking Glass Beach near Port Allen. To visit, follow the Kaumualii Highway (Route 50) to Port Allen. Turn on Waialo Road towards the port. (There is a McDonald’s and shopping center at the intersection.) After you pass the Kauai Island Brewery & Grill (on your left), take a left at the next street (Aka Ula Street). Follow the road through the industrial area, past the oil storage tanks, to the bluff where the cemetery is located.
Since we posted information about the cemetery several years ago, several Japanese residents with ancestral connections to the cemetery have traveled from Japan to Kauai to visit the cemetery. Contact us if you have questions about your visit to Kauai and the cemetery.
In addition to the Chinese and Japanese sections of the cemetery, there is also a Christian section.
The McBryde Sugar Plantation Cemetery sits on a bluff overlooking Glass Beach near Port Allen.