Lua Na Moku ʻIliahi

Sandalwood (ʻiliahi) has been highly prized and in great demand through the ages; its use for incense is part of the ritual of Buddhism. Chinese used the fragrant heart wood for incense, medicinal purposes, for architectural details and carved objects. Trade in Hawaiian sandalwood began as early as the 1790s; by 1805 it had become an important export item.

In order to measure how much sandalwood to harvest and move down the mountain, they dug “Lua Na Moku ‘Iliahi” (sandalwood measuring pits) in the forest. The pits were used to measure an amount of sandalwood that would fit in a ship’s hold. The wood was cut and placed in the pit. When the pit was filled, the logs were carried down the mountain to a waiting ship.

[Continue Reading...]

Lēʻahi Hospital

Can you imagine how you would feel if you or a loved one was admitted into the “Honolulu Home for Incurables?” The “destitute and incurables” were transported to such in Kakaʻako for a while until a new place could be found.

Subscribers were solicited for a new hospital; Kaimuki was selected. At about that time, Kaimuki was destined for growing development. Originally charted in 1901 as the Honolulu Home for Incurables, its name was changed to the “Lēʻahi Home” in 1906. In 1942 the word “Hospital” was substituted for the word “Home.”

[Continue Reading...]

“Dream City”

In 1949, Alexander & Baldwin formed Kahului Development Co., Ltd. (KDCo) (the predecessor of A&B Properties, Inc.) to serve as a development arm of the agricultural-based entity. This timing coincided with the sugar company’s plan to close down some plantation camps. To provide for housing for its sugar workers, as well as meet post-WWII housing demand, KDCo announced a new residential development in Central Maui, in the area we now refer to as Kahului.

“Dream City,” a planned residential community was launched and over the next couple decades 3,500+ fee simple homes were offered for sale in 14-increments of the new development. Kahului quickly became one of the first and most successful planned towns west of the Rockies – and the first in Hawai‘i. The first homes were built along each side of Puʻunene Avenue. The average price of these homes was $7,250 each. At its peak, it was reported, houses and lots were being sold every two minutes.

[Continue Reading...]

Enjoy reading our posts?

Be sure to join us as a subscriber and our posts will be delivered directly to your inbox.

These posts are part of a personal learning experience; I have been searching to learn more about the place I and my family were born, raised, and live (and love) – then, share what I have learned.

Because of my Planning work across the Islands, as well as previously serving as Director of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Officer and Deputy Managing Director for Hawaiʻi County, I have had the opportunity to see some places and deal with some issues that many others have not had, nor will have, the same opportunity.

So, I am sharing some insights, events and places with others. These informal historic summaries are presented for personal, non-commercial and/or educational purposes. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks, Peter.

Read the Voyage of the Thaddeus

The Journey of the Thaddeus is live! Please stay tuned as we unveil never before read journal entries.