The journey to Hāna was made partly over unpaved wagon roads and horse trails, often rendered impassable by damage from frequent rains. The most common means of travel to Hana was by steamer ship. Writer Robert Wenkam states that:
“When Hana was without a road, and the coastal steamer arrived on a weekly schedule, Hana-bound travelers unwilling to wait for the boat drove their car to the road’s end … rode horseback … walked down the switchback into Honomanu Valley. …”
“By outrigger canoe it was a short ride beyond Wailua to Nahiku landing where they could borrow a car for the rest of the involved trip to Hana. Sometimes the itinerary could be completed in a day. Bad weather could make it last a week.” (Library of Congress)
In 1900, folks saw the need to extend a good wagon road through to Hāna, which would be part of the island’s “belt” (around-the-island) road system. That year, a rudimentary road was built from Ke’anae to Nahiku.
The 1905 Superintendent of Public Works report stated that “very rough country is encountered in these districts. On account of the great expenses of road construction, the road has been made as narrow as possible in order to construct, with the money available, the maximum length of road”. (LOC, Territory of Hawaiʻi 1905)
Overland travel continued by horse and many travelers followed the trails along the irrigation ditches. Steamers remained the preferred mode of transportation for travel along the Hāna Coast.
Beginning in 1908, in anticipation of road improvements, twenty-four solid-paneled, reinforced-concrete bridges were built by 1915; from 1916 to 1929, an additional thirty-one bridges were built with a reinforced-concrete. (NPS)
Hana High and Elementary School was established by the Department of Education in 1912. “The new school at Hana will be a four room one, and it is hoped that it will be finished soon.”
“The new Hana school will stand in grounds that cover four acres. The site is an ideal one for a school and the view from the place is a magnificent one.” (Maui News, October 19, 1912)
“‘The idea of putting up a high school in Hana is preposterous,’ Chairman Marques of the education committee remarked after the session. This looks bad for the Hana high school …”
However, Pashoal noted, “‘The Hana people are all related to everybody in Maui, and if we get a high school established in Hana
the children attending it will all find homes with relatives in that section of the country.’” (Hawaiian Gazette, March 16, 1917)
“The Hana school gardens are improving. The boys have made the gardens at the foot of Kauikl Hill. Mr. Alyward, one of the teachers, has charge of the garden boys.”
“Wednesday and Friday afternoon we have vocational work. The girls do some tatting and crotcheting. In the future the girls will also weave.” (Josephine Jacobs; Maui News, January 16, 1920)
“The vocational work of the Hana school is going on very smoothly. Some of the older boys work in the carpenter shop while others plant their gardens.”
“The carpenter shop boys recently made some flower stands on which ferns have been placed. They are growing nicely. They also made some picture frames for the pictures of the late Theo. Roosevelt, just received.” (Margaret Cabral; Maui News, January 16, 1920)
“An additional room for the Hana School was proposed by Supt. MacCaughey while visiting here. Also something for the children during recreation hours; such as a gymnasium or a cooking department.”
“Most of the children of Hana School have caught the ‘skipping rope fever.’ Ropes may be seen all over the school yard. The girls skip in double style, while some of the boys do It in single, not being so skilled in the art.” (Eleanor McKenzie; Maui News January 23, 1920)
“The cabbages that are growing in the garden are about ready for sale. Some carrots were also planted, but they do not seem to flourish here. The boys are going to plant some Irish potatoes during this week.” (Charles Jacobs; Maui News January 23, 1920)
“Miss Kapol who is teaching the girls how to weave and crochet has quite a large class, but Mrs. Haia who conducts the tatting class has more children. Both classes have already finished many articles.” (Helen Akana; Maui News January 23, 1920)
“The corn which we planted on Kau Iki Hill is growing splendidly. This will help to beautify the (school yard) hill when full grown.” (Hideo Ibara; Maui News January 23, 1920)
“We are raising chickens at home and they are all fine, large ones As for the little ones, we must always be on the watch; otherwise they will go into the cane and get lost.” (Hitoshi; Maui News January 23, 1920)
The former Hana School campus is now the Hana Community Center and District Complex and Ball Park. The present Hana High and Elementary School, built in 1977, is a Grade K to 12 school. Total design enrollment is 500 students. Today, the school serves approximately 350 students from kindergarten through high school.