Descendants of
 Captain Robert Brown
                            1809 – 1894



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Kahuku Ranch Marker and the Pink Buoy
Excerpts from a letter written by Mrs. Guy N. Rothwell to her daughter, Mary Louise Lloyd, dated October 29, 1956

[For pictures and the newspaper account of the marker, click here.]

You said I had not written abou the placing of the monument. You know, I think my letter went down with that plane. The Spencers left on Sunday morning. And I wrote the next day, and that mail I am quite sure was on the ill-fated plane.

Anyway, I’ll tell you again about placing the monument in case you never got that letter.

We, (Spencers, Father & I) went over to Hawaii on the Saturday, and went first to Kona. It was lovely there at the new Waiaka Lodge, right on the shore just beyond the old courthouse. We hired a car and drove to Hilo via Hamakua Coast. The roads along that side are very much improved and it is no longer a frightening ride. Well we got to the Nani loa hotel for dinner & the night. The next day we went to Puna, saw the site of the recent lava flow, Kalapana, etc. and then to the Volcano House for dinner & night. They showed marvelous (movies) pictures of the Puna eruption in action. Then Tuesday early we left for the 1868 flow. Frank had arranged with a Hilo contractor to set the bronze tablet in a concrete block, and to have it taken to the spot in Kau where it was to be placed. Frank & Blair did not get over, as they could not get seats on any commercial planes for the early flight, and Frank couldn’t get the small plane he wanted to fly over.

[note: The newspaper account mentions that Frank & Blair Rothwell were there and gives photo credit to Frank. I asked Blair, and he has no recollection of the event.]

Well, anyway, the timing of the contractor with the monument, and us, and the truck with the crane on it was perfect. We all met at Waiohino at 10 A.M. and proceeded to Kau. We were going pretty fast, Rhodes driving, and finally reached the tourist sign of the 1868 flow, but could not find the old original sign. (We had passed it.) We went back & forth and then decided that time was getting short (the Spencers had to take a plane for Maui at 3 P.M.) so we selected a likely spot and had the thing set. (It weighted 1300 lbs.) The concrete foundation was spread on the lava, the crane lifted the stone up and set it down in place, and we draped it with orchid leis and took pictures.

The crane truck departed for Waiohino, and we were still standing in the road admiring the thing, when the crane man dashed up in a little old jeep station wagon driven by the Portugee foreman of Glover’s ranch. They said “Hey you guys! You got da wrong place! Dis not da place !!! Da sign one mile half over odder side !” Well! So the crane truck came back, lifted the plaque off its bed of wet concrete, and we all went a mile & a half towards Hilo, and there was the original sign. But anyway, it was a simple matter to lay some more concrete, and lift the thing off and place it where it belonged. I’d send you some pictures except they are in Father’s office.

[Here the letter lapses into some social comings and goings, including brief mention of the growing membership of the Waikiki Yacht Club.]

One more last item. It seems that Henry Kaiser has had a channel dug to enter his lagoon, beach, etc. and got federal permission to get a buoy placed at the entrance – a black buoy. Well, the yacht harbor can’t get a buoy & people are mad. Kaiser’s catamarans and a lot of his equipment are painted pink. So last night after the cocktail party (this was all planned well in advance) a bunch of WYC boys, including your esteemed oldest brother, went over to the Kaiser buoy in a little boat and painted it pink. Well! What a to-do – Kaiser has the FBI on the trail of the culprits – the whole waterfront thinks it is a huge joke – so we don’t know how it will turn out. According to federal law, the fine for defacing a buoy is $500.00.

This is absolutely all.
Love to you all –

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