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Forbidden Island

> Forbidden Island Owner Dies at Age 91
> By Anthony Sommer
> <A HREF="mailto:tsommer@starbulletin.com?subject=http://starbulletin.com/2002/08/02/">tsommer@starbulletin.com</A> 
>           MAKAWELI >> Helen Matthew Robinson, 91, the owner of Niihau 
> Island and Niihau Ranch, died Wednesday, her son Keith Robinson said today. 
> She was buried yesterday in a private service at the family cemetery in 
> Makaweli. 

          Keith Robinson said she was the last member of her generation of 
> the Robinson family, which founded Gay & Robinson Sugar Co. The daughter of 
> a lawyer, she grew up in Berkeley, Calif., and married Lester Robinson in 
> 1937. Her husband died in 1969. Niihau, which is home to the last 
> all-Hawaiian community, has belonged to the family since 1864 when 
> Elizabeth Sinclair bought it from the Hawaiian monarchy and moved her 
> family there from New Zealand. Realizing after the purchase the island is 
> subject to long periods of drought, Sinclair bought more fertile land at 
> Makaweli on Kauai a year later but maintained Niihau as a cattle ranch. 
> Niihau was placed off limits to anyone but invited guests almost a century 
> ago and is known as "The Forbidden Island." 

       The lack of water has made it unsuitable for any development. Helen 
> Matthew Robinson is survived by two children, Keith and Bruce Robinson, and 
> seven grandchildren. Her two sons will now become the owners of the island. 
> "There has long been speculation there would be changes regarding Niihau 
> when my mother died but that isn't so," Keith Robinson said today. "Her 
> death will not in any way change the status of Niihau or the direction of 
> Niihau Ranch. Actually, my brother Bruce has been in charge for many 
> years."