“Nui ke anu! Nui ka uku!! Nui ka wauwau!!! Nui ka walaau!!!! Nui ka hiamoe ole!!!!
“It was so very cold! There were so many fleas!! There was so much scratching!!! There was so much talking!!!! There was so little sleep!!!!” (Charles E King, 1896; Engledow; Raymond, NPS)
“An undesirable pest has publicized its presence high above the park entrance by leaving its name on two caves which early visitors found convenient for shelter.”
“Big Flea and Little Flea Caves often appear in accounts of early trips, but never without mention of the annoyance that was caused by their permanent occupants.” (NPS)
Then, the first facility at the National Park was built in 1894 near the summit of Haleakala, a rest house at Kalahaku. The building was constructed by the Maui Chamber of Commerce to give tourists a rough shelter from the unpredictable climate. (NPS)
CW Dickey, acting upon the inspiration of his late father, circulated a subscription list on Maui, and secured $850 for the construction of a rest house on the crater rim.
Prior to its construction, visitors were staying in the caves known as “Little Flea” and “Big Flea” caves. The rest house was called “Craigielea” after a place in Scotland, which the builders knew. (Xamanek)
“The long anticipated pleasure of a ‘house warming’ at Craigielea, the new crater house, was realized on Friday night, Nov. 10th, by a jolly party of twenty-four. The clear, mild weather, the beautiful sunset and sunrise, the grand, old crater In all its varied hues, and the ever-changing cloud effects, all combined to make the occasion most enjoyable.”
“Thirteen of the party, Mrs. CW Dickey, Mrs. D. C. Lindsay, Ethel Mossman, Eva Smith, Grace Dickey, Lottie Baldwin, J. J. Hair, George Aiken, Fred. Baldwin, Sam Baldwin, Harry Mossman, Sylvin Crooke and CW Dickey, spent Thursday night at Olinda, getting an early start for the top on Friday morning.”
“The day slipped quickly away, and at five o’clock a cloud of dust far down the mountain slde announced the approach of HP Baldwin, Helen Chamberlain, Lillian Aiken, Mrs. HG Alexander, Nellie Alexander and Worth Aiken, who were soon followed by J. W. Colvill e, Miss Watson and Miss Hammond.”
“About seven o’clock two more cold and hungry travelers, D. C. Lindsay and F. “W. Armstrong, arrived. The night was too beautiful for any one to think of staying in the house, so, wrapping gay colored blankets about their shoulders, the whole party rallied forth to view the grand, old crater of Haleakala by moonlight.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, November 19, 1894)
“Here at Craigie Lea, on the brink of this cold furnace, overlooking the sea ten thousand feet below, or turning to gaze into the bottom of the crater two thousand feet beneath us, we ate our luncheon. Although it was deliciously cool, the rarified atmosphere made eating and drinking an indifferent pleasure.” (Overland Monthly, 1903)
“It is constructed of stone, the walls being twenty inches thick, and is covered with an iron roof. The principal entrance is at the west end, with a deep fireplace at the other end.”
“On either side are two pair of casement windows, each pair separated by a narrow stone pier, making the openings too small to serve as an entrance for vagrants. A small door on the mauka side, near the fireplace, furnishes a convenient exit for those occupying that end of the building.”
“The furniture consists of sixteen canvas cots which can be folded and put out of the way, two tables hung by hinges under two of the windows, so as to be let down when not in use, a cupboard with six shelves, and a full set of rough cooking utensils and tin table ware.”
“Near the house is a comfortable shed enclosed by crude stone walls, which can be used as a saddle house and be occupied by servants. Just makai of this shed is a shelter for horses. An oval cistern sir by ten by nine feet deep will provide plenty of water when the winter rains have filled it.”
“The house is securely locked so that no one can obtain access except in the use of a key, twenty of which have been provided, and distributed among the various plantations offices and other places convenient to the public.”
“Any respectable person will have no difficulty in obtaining a key before he climbs the mountain. It is now an easy undertaking to ride from Makawao to the summit, view the sunset and sunrise, and return to civilization on the following day.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, November 19, 1894)
This first rest house was completed in two months and served for some three years until a heavy storm unroofed it. Sometime later, Worth O Aiken, Chairman of the Haleakala Rest House Committee for many years, raised another community fund which was used to reroof the building, lay a concrete floor, and equip it with a metal door, window frames and shutters.
With the increasing number of visitors to the crater, the rest house became inadequate and, at the Territorial Civic Convention of 1914, which was held on Maui, a new subscription list was started for a new rest house.
With this money, the new building was constructed and made ready for occupancy by the spring of 1915. It was later demolished in 1957. (NPS)