When Pioneer Mill Co. ceased operations in 1999, sugar cane fields lay fallow and the Lahaina mill was left to crumble. Once the last building was demolished and mill owners began to talk about dismantling the iconic smokestack, Lahaina’s community joined forces to save it as a historic landmark. Lahaina Restoration Foundation came to the rescue and assumed responsibility for the $600,000 smokestack restoration project. Maui residents and former Pioneer Mill employees contributed a majority of funds. The four-month restoration included the installation of 17 carbon steel tension bands, a steel door over the flue duct breeching, repair of the exterior concrete, waterproof coating over the entire exterior, and a 14-foot tall carbon steel crown on top. A new crown was commissioned and in 2010, the smokestack was crowned with its new cap.
Over the next three years, the area surrounding the smokestack was enhanced with a circular walkway of engraved, commemorative bricks, lawn landscaping and an outer boardwalk. An exhibit was installed that features antique mill and cane field equipment, interpretive signage and sugar train locomotives.