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Hawaiʻi’s Visitor Industry

It is believed that Hawai‘i’s first accommodations for transients were established sometime after 1810, when Don Francisco de Paula Marin “opened his home and table to visitors on a commercial basis …. (in) ‘guest houses’ (for) the ship captains who boarded with him while their vessels were in port.” In Waikīkī, in 1837, an ad in the Sandwich Island Gazette newspaper extended an invitation to visit the new “Hotel at Waititi” (as Waikīkī was sometimes called) – the exact location of this first hotel was not given, however it remained in business for only a few years.

In 1893, the first famous Waikiki hotel opened. George Lycurgus, leased the Park Beach Hotel premises, renamed the hotel “Sans Souci” (“without care”) and turned it into an internationally known resort (the beach, there, is still named for it.) When Hawaiʻi became a US territory (June 14, 1900,) it was drawing adventuresome cruise ship travelers to the islands. Hotels blossomed, including Waikiki’s oldest surviving hotel, the Moana Hotel, in 1901. 1959 brought two significant actions that shaped the present day make-up of Hawai‘i, (1) Statehood and (2) jet-liner service between the mainland US and Honolulu (Pan American Airways Boeing 707.)

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Unexpected Partners

Lorrin Andrews Thurston was born on July 31, 1858 in Honolulu. His father was Asa Goodale Thurston and Sarah Andrews (he was grandson of Asa and Lucy Thurston; on his mother’s side, he was grandson of another early missionary, Lorrin Andrews.) Thurston led the Annexation Club and participated in the revolution and overthrow of the constitutional monarchy (1893.)

George Lycurgus left his native Sparta in Greece around 1876, when he was about 17 years old. Lycurgus opened the California Wine Company in Honolulu. Lycurgus was a royalist and was implicated with other counter-revolutionists in supplying arms (1895.) Thurston and Lycurgus were instrumental in getting the volcano recognized as Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

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“Pele’s Grandson”

He was known as “Pele’s Grandson” or “The Runt” (he was 5’ 1” and 95-lbs.) A Cherokee, he was identified as the first tour guide at the Volcano. Alexander P Lancaster was a firm believer in Pele and her powers; he took a proprietary interest in the volcanoes – thus the nickname.

“Lancaster, probably wound up each trip into Kilauea caldera with one pocket full of tips and another full of Cuban cigars–until Jaggar put him on the Observatory’s payroll as janitor, guide and general roustabout. Lancaster’s experiences close to Kilauea’s flowing and fountaining lava made him a good hand for Jaggar.” (Reportedly born in 1861, Lancaster died in 1930.)

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Hilo Hotel

“It is asserted by many that Hilo is the most beautiful city in the Islands. … Situated on its magnificent crescent-shaped bay amid dense dark-green

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Nāhuku (the protuberances) is a lava cave, or more commonly called a lava tube. Lava tubes are natural conduits through which lava travels beneath the

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