The smokestack at the defunct Lihue mill was a symbol of a plantation era past

Lyle Tabata stood with co-workers Tuesday afternoon outside the Lihue Civic Center, about a quarter-mile from the former Lihue Sugar Mill on Kauai, and watched as contractors tore down the mill's historic smokestack, a symbol of Hawaii's bygone sugar plantation era.

At 2:45 p.m. the 210-foot-tall smokestack fell to the ground in less than five seconds. It was surreal, Tabata said.

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