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Walk down Mamane Street, the heart of Honokaa Town, and step back into the late 19th and early 20th century. Honokaa’s single-wall, wooden plantation era buildings are as much a symbol of Hawaii to local people as Diamond Head is to tourists. The commercial buildings have their emblematic false fronts and totan (corrugated iron) cladding. They contained, and still contain, mom-and-pop businesses that were founded upon personal relationships, required the labor of whole families, and provided for the education of the next generation. The small size of the town encouraged the cross-pollination of peoples. Sugar workers, paniolos (cowboys) coffee farmers, and homesteaders all came to Honokaa.
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