The ahupuaʻa of Honuaʻula is primarily on Maui, but it also includes the entire island of Kahoʻolawe. Located in the “rain shadow” of Maui’s Haleakalā, a “cloud bridge” connects Kahoʻolawe to the slopes of Haleakalā. Nineteenth century forestry reports mentioned a “dense forest” at the top of Kahoʻolawe.
On Maui, the upper areas were in Sandalwood and Koa forests. Prior to European contact, early Hawaiians farmed sweet potatoes, dry land taro and harvested wood, birds and pigs from these forested areas.
The areas below the west and south slopes of Haleakalā (Kula, Honua‘ula, Kahikinui and Kaupo) in old Hawaiian times were typically planted in sweet potato. The leeward flanks of Haleakalā were not as favorable for dry or upland taro. However, some upland taro was grown, up to an altitude of 3,000 feet.
Modern agricultural began on the slopes of Haleakalā in 1845 when Linton L. Torbert, an active member of the Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society, farmed potatoes and corn, primarily to supply island merchant ships and California’s ’gold rush’ era. He later planted sugar. (The 2,300-acres had first been leased from King Kamehameha III in 1841.)
On January 23, 1856, “Kapena Ki” (Captain James Makee) purchased at auction Torbert’s plantation. He sold his Nuʻuanu residence. (He was active in Oʻahu business and, later, was the Kapiʻolani Park Association’s first president (they even named the large island in the Park’s waterways after him.))
But with the purchase, Makee moved to Maui and raised his family on what he called ‘Rose Ranch’ after his wife Catherine’s favorite flower.
For three decades (1856-1886), the former whaling captain farmed sugar, cattle and other crops. This early entrepreneur even planted cotton to take advantage of the Union blockade of southern ports during the Civil War.
Makee was one of the first to import, on a large scale, purebred stock. He also went in for dairying and his “sweet butter” found a fine market. In 1858 he began the rehabilitation of Torbert’s cane and the crop of 1861 was marketed in Honolulu.
He solved the area’s major problem – water. “Makee has built a wooden house and deep reservoir on the side of the house. The troubles of the men and women are now ended by this work, they are now truly well supplied with water. This land, in ancient times, was a barren open place, a rocky, scorched land, where water could not be gotten. The water of this land in times before, was from the stumps of the banana trees (pūmaiʻa), and from the leaves of the kākonakona grass; but now there is water where moss can grow. The problem is resolved.” Nupepa Kuokoa, Iulai 7, 1866, [Maly, translator])
“Makee’s Plantation or Rose Ranch, as it is more generally termed by the proprietor and his friends, is situated on the south eastern part of the Island of Maui, in the district of Honuaula. … The estate contains about 6,500 acres, 1,200 of which are capable of producing cane.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 19, 1861 [Maly])
The estate grew to be famous for its beauty, hospitality, and agricultural productivity. Catherine Makee’s gardens were the pride of the household with their profusion of roses, flowers, rare plants and shrubs. Visitors today can still admire Catherine’s circular garden beds with their flowering bounty, tended year-round.
“For one arriving by the steamer and dumped on the beach or the rocks at the landing, it is a difficult task to comprehend that above the barren waste he looks upon, there is a beautiful and busy scene…awaiting him. Not until he surmounts the last hill and the panorama of cultivated fields, busy works, and easy dwelling, lying before him, does he realize it; and not until he has viewed it from Prospect Hill [Pu‘u Ka‘eo], can he fully appreciate the value of the picture…” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 19, 1861 [Maly])
“The nature of this land is like that of a rose garden filled with blossoms. The beautiful home of J. Makee, Esq., has no equal. … The things grown there are like nothing else seen, there are beautiful flowers, and trees of all kinds. The road passes through the gardens, and to the large reservoir within the arboretum, it looks like a pond. When he finished showing us around the gardens, he took us to meet his lady (his wife), the one about whom visitors say, ‘She is the queen of the rose garden.’” (Kuokoa, November 14th, 1868 [Maly])
Rose Ranch was also famous over the years for its hospitality. Newspaper accounts from that time period describe unforgettable parties at which guests danced until the wee hours, lauding the “generous hospitality of the worthy host and hostess” [Pacific Commercial Advertiser, July 14, 1866].
In 1874, King Kalākaua brought Queen Kapiʻolani to the ranch, and was so enthralled that he became a frequent visitor.
“The main entrance to the grounds surrounding the mansion, was surmounted with an illumination bearing the words – “Welcome to the King,” in red letters, bordered with sprays of pine-leaves. … A neat but roomy cottage was set apart for the use of their Majesties, and here the party remained in the enjoyment of the liveral hospitality of Capt. Makee. In the interim, a large feast in the native style was spread under the shade of the noble trees near the mansion”. (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, April 1874)
From Nowlein to Torbert, then the decades of ownership by Makee, then Dowsett, Raymond and Baldwin, in 1963, the property was acquired by the Erdman family.
The property is now known as ʻUlupalakua Ranch and it remains a cattle ranch with 5,000-head of cattle, as well as a winery, a country store and grill, and horseback riding and clay shooting.
Today, ʻUlupalakua Ranch operates approximately 18,000 acres, 16,000 acres of fee simple land and 2,000 acres leased from the State of Hawaiʻi and private individuals.
In 2009, two-thirds of ʻUlupalakua Ranch was placed under a conservation easement assuring that over 11,000-acres will forever remain as agricultural lands. The land extends from coastline property a mile south of Makena to the 6,000-foot elevation, up to the boundary of Polipoli State Park.
The easement allows flexibility to pursue a variety of agricultural options, such as growing lumber, exotic vegetables and fruits and pursuing more renewable energy sources. Maui’s Winery is on the property, too.
The image shows “Rose Ranch” in 1865, as drawn by Enoch Wood Perry Jr. In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
Hawai‘i’s whaling era began in 1819 when two New England ships became the first whaling ships to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands. Rich whaling waters were discovered near Japan and soon hundreds of ships headed for the area.
The central location of the Hawaiian Islands between America and Japan brought many whaling ships to the Islands. Whalers needed water and food, and the islands supplied this need from its fertile lands.
The whaling industry was the mainstay of the island economy for about 40 years. For Hawaiian ports, the whaling fleet was the crux of the economy.
More than 100 ships stopped in Hawaiian ports in 1824. Over the next two decades, the Pacific whaling fleet nearly quadrupled in size and in the record year of 1846, 736-whaling ships arrived in Hawai‘i.
While it lacked a natural “harbor,” Lāhainā became one of the Islands’ leading whaling ports. Whalers’ small “chase boats” had to come in from the deep-water offshore anchorage to trade.
While the name Lāhainā means “cruel sun” and the area only averages 13 inches of rain per year, spring-fed, freshwater streams and canals once flowed through it .
Reportedly, during the 1790s, British captain George Vancouver visited this part of Maui and called it “the Venice of the Pacific.”
By the 1840s, Hawaiʻi was the whaling center of the Pacific. Lāhainā became a bustling port with shopkeepers catering to the whalers – saloons, brothels and hotels boomed.
The whalers would transfer their catch to trade ships bound for the continent, allowing them to stay in the Pacific for longer periods without having to take their catch to market.
In the 1840s, the US consular representative recommended digging a canal from one of the freshwater streams that ran through Lāhainā and charging a fee to the whalers who wanted to obtain fresh water.
A few years after the canal was built, the government built a thatched Marketplace with stalls for Hawaiians to sell goods to the sailors.
Merchants quickly took advantage of this marketplace and erected drinking establishments, grog shops and other pastimes of interest nearby. Within a few years, this entire area reportedly became known as “Rotten Row.”
In 1859, an oil well was discovered and developed in Titusville, Pennsylvania; within a few years this new type of oil replaced whale oil for lamps and many other uses – spelling the end of the whaling industry.
At about this same time, the sugar industry in Hawaiʻi was beginning to boom. With the growing importance of sugar (and the thirsty crops’ need for water,) waters were diverted to the service of sugar production.
Eventually, the Lāhainā area was drained of its wetlands. In 1913, the canal was filled in to construct Canal Street and the Market is now King Kamehameha III Elementary school.
Later, eleven-and a-half acres of Lāhaina “swamp land” (near the National Guard Armory,) drainage canals and storm sewers were part of the Lāhaina Reclamation District. (1916-1917) Mokuhinia Pond was filled with coral rubble dredged from Lāhaina Harbor.
By Executive Order of the Territory of Hawaii in 1918, the newly-filled pond was turned over to the County of Maui for use as Maluʻuluʻolele Park.
The image is a rendering of the Lāhainā Canal (found at kingwellislandart-com.) Additional images and maps are in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
The missionaries who arrived in Lāhainā in 1823 explained to the Hawaiian Royalty the importance of an educational institution.
In 1823, Kalākua Kaheiheimālie (ke Aliʻi Hoapili wahine, wife of Governor Hoapili) offered the American missionaries a tract of land on the slopes surrounding Puʻu Paʻupaʻu for the creation of a high school.
Betsey Stockton from the 2nd Company of Protestant missionaries initially started a school for makaʻāinana (common people) and their wives and children on the site.
Later, on September 5, 1831, classes at the Mission Seminary at Lahainaluna (later known as Lahainaluna (Upper Lāhainā)) began in thatched huts with 25 Hawaiian young men (including David Malo, who went on to hold important positions in the kingdom, including the first Superintendent of Schools.)
When Lahainaluna High School first opened, Lāhainā was the capital of the kingdom of Hawaiʻi, and it was a bustling seaport for the Pacific whaling fleet.
Under the leadership of Reverend Lorrin Andrews, the school was established by the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions “to instruct young men of piety and promising talents”. It is the oldest high school west of the Mississippi River.
In September 1836, thirty-two boys between the ages of 10 and 20 were admitted as the first boarding students, from the neighbor islands, as well as from the “other side of the island”; thus, the beginning of the boarding school at Lahainaluna.
The boarding program became coed in 1980. The two dorms are David Malo Dormitory for the boys and Hoapili Dormitory for the girls. Previously, Hoapili housed both genders. Lahainaluna is one of only a few public boarding schools in the nation.
The missionaries soon saw that the future of the Congregational Mission in Hawaii would be largely dependent upon the success of its schools. The Mission then established “feeder schools” that would transmit to their students’ fundamental reading, writing, and arithmetic skills, and religious training, before admission to the Lahainaluna.
Initially, Hawaiian was the language used in instruction; in 1877, there was a shift to English. The students engaged in a variety of studies including geography, mathematics and history to prepare them for leadership roles in the Hawaiian community.
Lahainaluna was transferred from being operated by the American missionaries to the control of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1849. By 1864, only Lahainaluna graduates were considered qualified to hold government positions such as lawyers, teachers, district magistrates and other important posts.
A notable structure on the campus is Hale Paʻi (the house of printing,) a small coral and timber building. Starting in 1834, it served as the home of Hawaiʻi’s first printing press. Hale Paʻi is associated with a number of “firsts” in Hawaii.
The first actual publishing in Hawaiʻi was done in Honolulu in 1822. It was at Lahainaluna, however, that the first newspaper ever printed in the Hawaiian Islands was published on February 14, 1834. This paper, called Ka Lama Hawaii (The Hawaiian, Luminary) was also the first newspaper published anywhere in the United States or its territories west of the Rocky Mountains.
Also published at Hale Paʻi for the first time were many portions of the first Hawaiian translation of the Bible, the first English translation of the first Hawaiian Declaration of Rights, the first Hawaiian Constitution, the first set of Hawaiian laws on property and taxation, the first Hawaiian school laws, the first paper money engraved and printed in Hawaiʻi, the first history of Hawaiʻi printed in Hawaiian and the first history of Hawaiʻi printed in English appearing in the Islands.
In 1834, Lahainaluna students first began engraving on copper plates. The initial purpose of this engraving was to provide maps for study, not only at the Seminary, but at schools throughout the Islands.
In the 1840s commercial development in Hawaiʻi – both trade and agriculture – began to take off. As business grew, so did the need for money.
At this time, the nation had no official currency of its own, relying instead on a variety of foreign coins and bills which circulated at an agreed rate of exchange based on the U.S. dollar. As early as 1836, private Hawaiian firms began to issue paper scrip of their own redeemable by the issuing company in coins or goods.
In early 1843, apparently, Lahainaluna first printed and issued its own paper money. Its primary purpose was evidently to pay the students for their work on the campus (up to 25 cents per week,) which was then used for payment of their rent and tuition.
Later, counterfeiting of the school’s currency was discovered. Then, the faculty, in accordance with their vote of January 8, 1844, called in and destroyed all the paper money they could find. Then, authorized the addition of secret marks to all the new currency and re-issued it.
In 1903, Lahainaluna became a vocational trade school and, in 1923, a technical high school, admitting both girls and boys as day students. It continues today as Lāhainā’s public high school.
The image shows copper plates of the Lahainaluna currency. In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
(All of the proceeds from this book will help benefit the Hawaiian Mission Houses educational programs and operations.)
This is Hawaiʻi’s (and maybe Polynesia’s) largest, heiau that is still intact (it is situated near Hāna, Maui.)
Standing over 40-feet high, the stone platform is 289-feet by 565.5-feet; Piʻilanihale Heiau is a stepped lava rock platform the size of nearly two football fields.
Interior construction consists of eight lesser walls, three enclosures, five platforms, two upright stones and 22 pits.
The north wall is the longest wall and measures 565.5-feet. It is also the highest wall, measuring about 43-feet at its maximum point.
This wall contains the most unusual feature of the Heiau, the immense retaining wall that fills a gully between the two ridges comprising the Heiau foundation.
According to Cordy, this wall is unique in Hawaii: “it is built of superbly fitted stones ….. and has four [terraced] steps up its face.”
Piʻilanihale Heiau (also identified as Hale-o-Piʻilani Heiau) is one of the most important archeological sites in the Hawaiian Islands and is impressive in size and architectural quality.
Archaeologists believe the heiau (temple) was constructed in four stages, beginning as early as the 12th century.
The earliest shrines and rituals appear to have been simple ones constructed by families and small communities and dedicated to the gods of peace, health, fertility and a good harvest of the products of the land and the sea.
With increased population growth and social organizational complexity, religion, the legitimizing sanction of directed social and political change, evolved becoming integrated with government at the state level as well as at the local and personal level. Large and complex temples were constructed for public ceremonies dedicating major events.
Sometimes the ceremonies lasted for days. Between these major events, the temple might be left untended which accounts for the seeming neglect of some of these structures recorded by early voyagers to the Islands.
According to Kamakau, state temples were constructed on the sites formerly built on by the people of old. Studies have verified that these temples were constructed in a series of stages.
Archeologically Piʻilanihale Heiau’s occupation and use span both the prehistoric and historic periods.
Each rebuilding episode may commemorate a significant event in the reign of a particular chief or king. The stylistic changes embodied in these structures, therefore, not only document evolutionary changes in social organization and the evolution of religion, but may be stylistically identifiable with prominent lineages or personages.
In addition to serving as a heiau, some archaeologists believe this structure may also be the residential compound of a high chief, perhaps that of King Piʻilani.
The royal compound probably would have included the king’s personal temple.
The literal translation of Piʻilanihale is “house (hale) [of] Piʻilani.”
It is not known if the first king of the Piʻilani line built the structure or whether it was constructed by one of his several well-known descendants: his sons Lono-a-Piilani and Kihapiilani, and his grandson Kamalalawalu.
According to oral tradition, in the 16th century, Piʻilani unified the entire island of Maui, bringing together under one rule the formerly-competing eastern (Hāna) and western (Wailuku) multi-district kingdoms of the Island.
Hāna served as one of the royal centers of the kingdom.
Several generations later, through inter-island conquest, the marriage of his brother to the Queen of Kauaʻi, and appointment of his son to alternately govern Maui, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe and Oʻahu during his periodic absences, Kahekili by 1783 dominated all the Hawaiian Islands except for Hawaiʻi.
Hāna continued to be a center of royal power until 1794, when Kamehameha I, ruler of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, defeated the Maui army and Maui came under him.
In 1848, the Hawaiian Monarchy was created and private land ownership was established. As a direct result of this new land ownership system, one-half of the ahupua‘a of Honomā‘ele, roughly 990 acres, was granted to Chief Kahanu by Kauikeaouli (King Kamehameha III).
In 1974, members of the Kahanu/Uaiwa/Matsuda/Kumaewa Family (descendants of Chief Kahanu) and Hāna Ranch deeded 61 acres of land to the then Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden to establish Kahanu Garden.
In exchange, the institution promised to restore Pi‘ilanihale, share it with the public, and provide perpetual care for this sacred site as well as the family graves that are on this ‘āina (land).
The restored Piʻilanihale Heiau is within the grounds of the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s Kahanu Garden. I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.