Moku‘ula is the site of the private residential complex of King Kamehameha III from 1837 to 1845, when Lāhainā was the capital of the kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands.
The site is a traditional home for Maui royalty, noted as being the site of King Pi‘ilani’s residence in the sixteenth century.
Almost the entire site, which consisted of fishponds, fresh water springs, islands, causeways, retaining walls, beach berms, residential and mortuary buildings, was buried under a couple feet of coral and soil fill in 1914.
Under a County Park for over a century, the site is in the process of being uncovered and eventually restored by the Friends of Moku‘ula and others.
Although most widely associated with the period of Kamehameha III, the site appears to be a place of traditional Native Hawaiian cultural significance. The islet of Moku‘ula, located in the fishpond of Mokuhinia, was a sacred place protected by royal kapu (taboo).
According to Kamakau, it was considered a grotto of a royal protector deity named Kihawahine or Mokuhinia, who traditionally swam through the surrounding fishpond of Mokuhinia in the form of a giant lizard (mo‘o.)
The goddess was a deified princess, daughter of Maui king Pi‘ilani of the sixteenth century, whose family resided at the site.
Kamehameha I, upon his conquest of Maui in the late eighteenth century, adopted this deity. His sons and successors, Kamehameha II and III, were of the indigenous Maui royal family through their mother, Keōpūolani.
The lizard goddess Kihawahine ranked in no small part as the guardian of the succeeding Kamehameha dynasty that was in the process of unifying the archipelago.
A continuing association of religious function, as a shrine to Kihawahine, continued at this site from the days of Pi‘ilani to the establishment of the royal residence by Kamehameha III.
Archaeological and historical investigations demonstrate that the surrounding Loko Mokuhinia pond was the site of indigenous Hawaiian aquaculture and pondfield (taro lo‘i) agriculture.
The royal complex established by King Kamehameha III in the early nineteenth century consisted of a large (over 120-feet by about 40-feet,) two-story western style coral block ‘palace,’ “Hale Piula,” on the beachfront of the site (intact from 1840 to 1858).
Due to lack of funds, however, it was never entirely completed and only rarely used, and then only for state receptions or meetings of the legislature.
Located immediately to the east of this coral block building was the large fishpond Mokuhinia containing a one-acre island linked by a short causeway from Hale Piula.
On this sacred island of Moku’ula was a cluster of traditional grass houses (hale pili) that were used as a secluded, private residence for the king and his household from 1837 to 1845.
The island of Moku’ula was surrounded by a stone retaining wall, and the causeway to Hale Piula was guarded by a gate with sentries during this particular historic period.
The king’s beloved sister, Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena, was buried at Moku‘ula in early 1837. Grief-stricken, the king decided to live next to his sister’s tomb for the next eight years.
Archaeological subsurface excavations have ascertained that portions, if not most, of the encompassing retaining wall of Moku’ula is still intact beneath about 3-feet of soil and coral fill.
Other important features discovered include a preserved wooden pier that extended from the eastern shore of the island into Mokuhinia pond, postholes that might date from the period of Kamehameha Ill’s residence, and cut-and-dressed basalt blocks from near the tomb area.
The focal point of the complex, however, was a large stone building used as a combination residence and mausoleum. It was built on Moku‘ula in 1837 to house the remains of the king’s sacred mother, sister, his children and other close members of the royal family.
Bernice Pauahi Bishop, last legal descendent of the Kamehameha dynasty, had the royal remains moved from Moku‘ula to the churchyard at adjacent Waine‘e Church (Wai‘oli Church) ca. 1884.
The Friends of Moku‘ula are in the process of restoring Moku‘ula, with the goal of eventually including a Native Hawaiian cultural center. It is becoming a reality.
This project has got to be one of the most exciting restoration efforts in a very long time, and a very long time to come. Beneath a County Park in Lāhainā is one of Hawai‘i’s most historical and sacred treasures.
Keep an eye on this, because this is a waaay cool thing.
Find out more here (and join and/or contribute to the cause:) http://www.mokuula.com. The image is a rendering of the restored Moku‘ula site and surrounding Lahaina. In addition, I have included other images and maps in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.
Kaumuali‘i was the only son of Queen Kamakahelei and her husband, Aliʻi Kāʻeokūlani (Kā‘eo;) he was born in 1778 at Holoholokū, a royal birthing heiau specifically designated for the birth of high ranking children.
When Vancouver was anchored off Waimea, Kaua‘i, he became interested in Kaumuali‘i, who was then about twelve years old. Vancouver found the child quiet and polite and good-tempered. He was interested in the new things which he saw, and asked intelligent questions.
When Vancouver made his second visit, he brought sheep as a present to the young chief. Kaumuali‘i entertained him with a dance of six-hundred women.
Kaumuali‘i kept up his interest in foreigners. They were his friends and taught him to read and write. Kaumuali‘i sent his son Humehume (Prince George) to America to be educated. (The young Prince later returned to the islands with the first party of American missionaries, in 1820.)
Kaumuali‘i became ruling chief of Kaua‘i upon the death of his father Kā‘eo.
In 1784 Kamehameha I began a war of conquest, and, by 1795, with his superior use of modern weapons and western advisors, he subdued all other chiefdoms, with the exception of Kaua‘i.
King Kamehameha I launched his first invasion attempt on Kaua‘i in April of 1796, having already conquered the other Hawaiian Islands, and having fought his last major battle at Nu‘uanu on O‘ahu in 1795.
Kaua‘i’s opposing factions (Kaumuali‘i versus Keawe) were extremely vulnerable as they had been weakened by fighting each other (Keawe died and Kaumuali‘i was, ultimately, ruler of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau.)
About one-fourth of the way across the ocean channel between O‘ahu and Kaua‘i, a storm thwarted Kamehameha’s warriors when many of their canoes were swamped in the rough seas and stormy winds, and then were forced to turn back.
Kamehameha’s second attempt was thwarted, again, when an epidemic, thought to be typhoid or dysentery, swept through the population, killing thousands. The sickness delayed for a second time Kamehameha’s goal of conquering Kaua‘i.
In a renewed effort for a large-scale attack on Kaua‘i, Kamehameha began assembling a formidable armada of sailing ships in Waikīkī, using foreigners to construct the vessels. The invasion never took place.
In the face of the threat of a further invasion, in 1810, at Pākākā on Oʻahu, negotiations between King Kaumuali‘i and Kamehameha I took place and Kaumualiʻi yielded to Kamehameha.
The agreement marked the end of war and thoughts of war across the islands. Although Kaumuali‘i had ceded Kaua‘i and Niʻihau to Kamehameha I, he generally maintained de facto independence and control of the island following his agreement with Kamehameha.
It is believed that in 1816 Kaumuali‘i considered it possible for him to claim rule over Kaua‘i, Ni‘ihau, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i, if he had Russian support. The Russians meanwhile were searching compensation for lost trade goods, as well as expanded trading opportunities.
Kaumuali‘i and Russian representative Georg Anton Schäffer had several agreements to bring Kaua‘i under the protection of Russia, as well as weapons and ammunition from Schäffer, in exchange for trade in sandalwood. While agreements were made, subsequent battles never took place.
After King Kamehameha I died in 1819, Kaumuali‘i pledged his allegiance to Liholiho, Kamehameha’s son and successor. In 1821, Liholiho (King Kamehameha II) anchored his royal ship Ha‘aheo o Hawai‘i (Pride of Hawai‘i) in Waimea Bay, and invited Kaumuali‘i aboard.
After boarding the ship Kaumuali‘i was effectively taken as a prisoner and the ship sailed for O‘ahu. Kaumuali‘i settled in Honolulu and became a husband of Ka‘ahumanu, widow of Kamehameha I.
Hiram Bingham was on a preaching tour of the island of Kaua‘i in 1824, shortly before King Kaumuali‘i died. Kaumuali‘i had been living on Oahu for three years. Bingham spoke to him just before coming to Kaua‘i.
“We found Kaumuali‘i seated at his desk, writing a letter of business. We were forcible and pleasantly struck with the dignity and gravity, courteousness, freedom and affection with which he rose and gave us his hand, his hearty aloha, and friendly parting smile, so much like a cultivated Christian brother.”
When the king died, Bingham said a gloom fell over Kaua‘i. Kaumuali‘i was buried at Waine‘e Church (Wai‘ola Church,) on Maui.
After Kaumuali‘i’s death his son Humehume tried to seize the throne by leading a rebellion on Kauaʻi, but he was defeated and sent to O‘ahu, where he could be watched.
King Kaumuali‘i’s granddaughter Kapiʻolani (1834–1899) married King Kalākaua.
The image is the Mahiole (feather helmet) reportedly to be the gift from Kamehameha I to King Kaumualiʻi for agreeing to peaceful settlement; Kamehameha is said to have given Kaumuali‘i the mahiole, malo and some ‘ahu‘ula (feather capes.)
I have added some other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.
In 1862, following a plea from King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma to the Church of England, the first Anglican (Episcopalian) bishop and priests arrived to establish the Diocese of Honolulu.
In addition to Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma initiating the Cathedral of St. Andrew, they also founded two schools; ʻIolani School, which began as St. Alban’s School for boys. Later, St. Andrew’s Priory for girls was founded. ʻIolani is now coeducational, while the Priory remains a school for girls.
By 1863, Father William R. Scott had secured property and begun Luaʻehu School in Lāhainā, Maui (on the site where King Kamehameha III School now stands.) This was the beginning of the present ʻIolani School. When Father Scott returned to England, Father George Mason came to relieve him.
In 1870, when Bishop Staley left Honolulu, Father Mason was called back to the capital city. It was at this time that the school was transferred to Honolulu. In the same year, Queen Emma bestowed on the school the name “ʻIolani,” or Heavenly Hawk.
In Honolulu, it started at the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew; but as the pupils increased in numbers, it was found necessary to remove to more spacious and better adapted premises a mile out of Honolulu.
In September 1927, ‘Iolani School opened on a five-acre Nu‘uanu campus where 278 boys, including 32 boarders, were enrolled.
The athletic field bordered Nu‘uanu Stream and, while 400 feet long, was still not wide enough for official football games. Some of the buildings were Staley Hall, Iaukea Hall and Willis Hall.
But, foreseeing that ‘Iolani would eventually outgrow this location, the school purchased a parcel on the Ala Wai Canal, in 1938. World War II intervened before construction could begin on the new campus.
On November 12, 1946, ‘Iolani began classes for the first through sixth grades at the Ala Wai campus in buildings erected by the Army. Seventh through twelfth grade classes continued at the Nu’uanu campus.
Then, in 1953, ‘Iolani had completely relocated to the 25-acre Ala Wai site.
In 1979, after 115 years as a boys school, ‘Iolani went co-educational, when 87 pioneering girls enrolled in the school.
Over the decades, buildings were added, enrollment enlarged and ‘Iolani School has grown to be one of Hawai‘i’s leading educational institutions.
Overall class size varies depending on grade. There are approximately 70 students per grade in kindergarten through 5th grade and 120 students in 6th grade. Overall, there are 540 students in the Lower School.
Kindergarten classes have a pupil-teacher ratio of 12:1. Grades 4 – 6 are departmentalized and students report to different teachers for their classes. Lower School students also receive specialized instruction from PE, dance, music, art, computer, science and religion teachers.
The goal for the Upper School is 1,315 students, with 180 students in 7th grade, 195 in 8th, 240 in 9th and 230 – 235 in 10th – 12th. The average class size is 17; the student-teacher ratio throughout the school is 8:1.
The Lower School is situated at the Diamond Head end of the 25-acre campus and encompasses the primary (K-3) and elementary (4-6) grades. The Upper School includes grades 7 – 12 and is located on the Ewa side of campus.
All students share the use of the pool, gyms and fields. The lower and upper schools have separate library, dance and computer facilities.
‘Iolani retains its Episcopal tradition; all students are required to attend weekly Chapel services. Students also attend religion classes to gain insight into other faiths and cultures.
The image shows St. Alban’s College in Honolulu (1866,) a forerunner to the present-day ‘Iolani School. In addition, I have added other images of ‘Iolani School in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.
The first mission station on Kauaʻi was established at Waimea on the more accessible south coast in 1820. In 1834, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent the Reverend William P. Alexander to investigate the north coast of Kauaʻi for a suitable location for a second station.
He chose the Hanalei area because of its harbor, fertile soil and needs of the people. The actual site was called Waiʻoli, “Singing Waters”.
The Waiʻoli Mission District consists of the main Waiʻoli Mission Residence (1836,) the old Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church (1841,) the new Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church (1912) and related improvements.
Rev. Alexander and his wife and son moved there in 1834 and began work immediately, preaching to hundreds of islanders in a huge thatched meeting house, while living in a small grass hut.
The Alexanders carried on alone with their work until 1837 when the Board of Commissioners sent a teaching couple, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson, to the mission. In the meantime, the Alexanders built a frame house for their growing family.
To help make ends meet, the mission planted crops in land donated by the Governor of Kauaʻi. The students helped cultivate the crops, and in so doing, learned agricultural techniques. Cotton was tried without much success. Sugar cane proved much more suitable.
As the center of mission activities on the Hanalei side of Kauai, Waiʻoli Church and Mission House played an important role in the history of that part of the island.
Deborah Kapule, the dowager Queen of Kauaʻi and an earnest convert, assisted in establishing the Mission. Governor Kaikioewa of Kauaʻi provided the land and encouraged the Mission in many ways.
The Old Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church is actually the third church built on its site. The first was a huge thatch structure built by the local populace when they heard that a permanent missionary was to be sent to them.
It was constructed in 1832, but destroyed by fire in 1834, just prior to the arrival of the Rev. William Alexander. He immediately built another similar structure, but it was destroyed by a storm in 1837. In 1841, Rev. Alexander dedicated the present Old Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church; it is the oldest church on the Island of Kauaʻi.
In 1843, the Alexanders were transferred to the Lāhainā station due to illness and the Rev. and Mrs. George Rowell took their place.
In 1846, Rev. Rowell and his wife were transferred to Waimea. Mr. and Mrs. Abner Wilcox and their four boys were sent from Oʻahu to take over the teaching duties. Mr. Wilcox was to “raise up teachers for the common schools of the island and to prepare those who may go from our Island to the High School”.
In 1863, the American Board finally transferred the Sandwich Islands Mission to the Hawaiian Evangelical Association, which had the status of a “home mission”. To round out the missionaries’ pensions, the American Board divided mission lands among them.
In this manner, the Waiʻoli home was deeded to the Wilcox family. They had decided to make their home in Hawaiʻi rather than return to the mainland. However, in 1869, while on a visit to relatives in New England, Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox suddenly fell ill and died.
The sons took over the Waiʻoli property, managing the farm operation and keeping the buildings in good repair. Albert Wilcox was the last to live in the frame house, moving out in 1877.
The sons went on to become some of the most prominent figures in Hawaii. George N. Wilcox became a highly successful sugar planter on Kauaʻi and entered politics.
He was elected to the legislature. In 1887, he was elected to the House of Nobles, and after Kalākaua’s death, was appointed Minister of the Interior by Queen Liliuokalani.
After the fall of the monarchy, he served the Republic of Hawaiʻi in the constitutional convention, and later, in the Senate. All the while, he continued his sugar operations at the Grove Farm Plantation on Kauaʻi, as well as participating in various other enterprises. The other Wilcox boys also played important parts in monarchy, Republic and Territorial commerce and politics.
In 1912, the current church building was built with donations from Sam, George and Albert Wilcox (sons of the missionary couple who were born at the station). The old 1841 church was used as the Mission Hall. The old mission bell was used in the belfry.
In 1921, Wilcox descendants funded architect Hart Wood to restore the Mission House and the Mission Hall. By 1945, it merged with the Anini Church and the Haʻena Church to become the Huiʻia Church.
Having survived two previous hurricanes, Hurricane Dot and Hurricane Iwa, both the Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church Sanctuary and the Waiʻoli Mission Hall were restored after sustaining significant damage from Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Both buildings are listed on the state and national registers of historic places.
The Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church has had a continuous record of service since 1834, first as a Congregational Church and since 1957 as a United Church of Christ.
The image shows the Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church and Waiʻoli Mission Hall in Hanalei. In addition, I have included other images of these and associated buildings in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.