During King Kamehameha’s campaign to unify the Hawaiian Islands, the principal military encounter on Maui took place within Kahului Bay. Early development at Kahului Bay started in 1863 with the construction of the first western building, a warehouse near the beach. Kahului Commercial Harbor is a man-made port, dredged from naturally occurring Kahului Bay. Early development at Kahului Bay started in 1863 with the construction of the first western building, a warehouse near the beach.
The harbor complex originated in 1900 when a 400-foot long east breakwater was constructed by the Kahului Railroad Company. In 1901, the rail company purchased its first tugboat, the Leslie Baldwin, to tow lighters to and from vessels. Pier 1 was initially 500-feet in length and was constructed between 1921 and 1924, along with a pier shed that was 374 feet long. The first 627-feet of Pier 2 was constructed in 1927 at the location of the old “Claudine Wharf,” and extended in 1929 by 894-feet.