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Kenneth Mays
View of Laie, Hawaii. The Laie Plantation Store was once situated near the left-center area of this view.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has maintained a presence in Hawaii for more than a century and a half. This is particularly true in the area of Laie on the north shore of the island of Oahu. Historians write that in 1907, the church established the Laie Plantation Store on the site seen in these images near present-day Brigham Young University-Hawaii. A stone monument and interpretive plaque now identify the site.

Kenneth Mays
View of an interpretive plaque on a stone monument situated where the Laie Plantation Store was established in 1907.

The store was next to the track of the Koolau Railroad. The store was built on a raised platform so that “passengers could step out of the train and onto the porch around the store” (see "Sacred and Historical Places: Hawaii," by Mary Jane Woodger, Riley Moffat and Fred Woods, page 72). The railroad was utilized until 1946.

The Plantation Store served the Laie community until 1986, albeit differently (in some cases) than traditional retail outlets. The interpretive panel on the monument at the site notes: “Plantation workers could redeem company script for commodities, and families were extended credit when necessary.” Because of that, “the Plantation Store was a lifesaver for many local families," according to "Sacred and Historical Places: Hawaii."

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According to the site’s interpretive panel, the Church College of Hawaii (now BYU-Hawaii) commenced on the lot across the street from the store in 1955. Honolulu businessman Charles K.C. Goo was invited to manage the store. Consequently, the Plantation Store was also known as Goo’s Store. Goo ran the store until his retirement in 1986. For a short while, the site hosted other commercial enterprises such as a barber shop and a bank, until the entire structure was torn down, according to "Sacred and Historical Places: Hawaii" (see pages 72-73).