The Olomana was built in 1883 by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Baldwin, a prosperous locomotive builder, shipped the little locomotive around Cape Horn to the Waimanolo Sugar Company in the Kingdom of Hawaii.
The Olomana is a small industrial locomotive designed to be used for mining, logging, and on plantations. They burned wood, coal coke, or dry refuse such as dry sugarcane for fuel. Such locomotives were operated on a narrow-gauge track (gauge refers to the distance between rails) and used to pull or push loads of sugarcane for short distances.