Lahaina has more history per square block than any other town in the Islands. Take a day to explore this pedestrian-friendly seaside town. Among the key sites are:
1. Masters’ Reading Room: Located on the corner of Front and Dickenson streets, this shaded property, which has been planted exactly as originally laid out by Dr. Dwight Baldwin in 1847, provides an appropriate home for the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.
2. Baldwin Home: The missionary and Harvard-trained physician Rev. Dwight Baldwin of Durham, Conn., and his bride of a few weeks sailed from New England for Hawaii in 1830. They lived in this Lahaina home from 1838 to 1871.
3. Richards House: William Richards was the first Protestant missionary in Lahaina. The Richards house, built on the site of the present Campbell Park, was the first coral stone home in the Islands.
4. Taro Patch: The lawn of what is now the Lahaina Public Library was once a patch of taro, the staple of the Hawaiian diet, a tuber that is pounded into poi.
5. Hauola Stone: Stone is very important to the ways of the Hawaiians. Healing stones, such as the Hauola Stone, were in areas designated as holding powerful forces of nature that stilled the spirit and healed the soul, thus restoring health.
6. Brick Palace: Kamehameha came to Lahaina in 1802 to plan an attack on Kauai. During his one-year stay, he built this palace to welcome the captains of visiting ships.
7. Carthaginian: The replica of a 19th-century brig, typical of the small, fast freighters that brought the first commerce to these Islands, it was once the centerpiece of historic Lahaina, but eventually time took its toll and the brig was sunk offshore.
8. Pioneer Inn: A dedicated member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, George Freeland tracked a notorious criminal to Lahaina. He fell in love with the town and built the hotel in 1901.
9. Banyan Tree: The banyan tree came to Lahaina from India when it was only 8 feet tall. Maui’s sheriff planted it in 1873.
10. Courthouse: A great wind from the Kauaula Valley struck the village of Lahaina in February 1858, destroying more than 20 buildings, including Hale Piula, the courthouse-palace of King Kamehameha III. The new courthouse became the center of Maui County.
11. Fort on the Canal: When a law was passed forbidding local women from swimming out to greet ships, incensed whalers fired cannon at the missionary compound and at the Rev. William Richards’ home. As a result, a fort of coral blocks was built on the waterfront in 1831.
12. The Canal: A freshwater stream once flowed through central Lahaina to the waterfront. A canal was dug for the access of whalers’ “chase boats,” but was filled in by 1913.
13. Government Market: When Lahaina’s canal was completed, a government-regulated market was built in the middle of the waterway.
14. Episcopal Church: Lahaina’s first Episcopal church was once across the street from the present Holy Innocents’. The church was moved to its present location in 1909.
15. Hale Piula: “Iron roof house” was built in the 1830s as a palace for Kamehameha III; he preferred to sleep, however, in a hut nearby, so the structure was never completed.
16. Maluuluolele Park: In the area of Maluuluolele Park there was once a pond at the end of a village called Mokuhinia, which was rich in Hawaiian legend.
17. Wainee Church: The first stone church in the Islands, it was built between 1828 and 1832 for the Protestant mission.
18. Wainee Cemetery: Established in 1823, Wainee was the first Christian cemetery in Hawaii.
19. Hongwanji Mission: Members of the largest Buddhist sect in Lahaina, the Hongwanji have been meeting here since 1910.
20. David Malo’s Home: The house of the first renowned Hawaiian scholar was near the junction of Prison Road and Wainee Street.
21. The Old Prison: On the corner of Wainee and Prison streets is a building known as Hale Paahao—the “stuck in irons house”—so named for its metal wall shackles and restraints.
22. Episcopal Cemetery: During the reign of King Kamehameha IV, the kingdom of Hawaii acquired a Victorian flair due to his queen’s strong ties to the British throne.
23. Hale Aloha: The “House of Love” was built by Hawaiian Protestants in commemoration of God’s allowing Lahaina to escape a smallpox epidemic in 1853, which devastated Oahu’s population.
24. Buddhist Temple: The Shingnon sect of Budhism joined the other religious denominations on Maui with the arrival of Japanese laborers hired to work on the sugar plantations.
25. Luakini Street: Luakini refers to a heiau, or temple, where ruling chiefs prayed and human sacrifices were offered.
26. Maria Lanakila Church: The arrival of Roman Catholic priests in 1846 was not viewed favorably by other religious denominations, but eventually this became the first Catholic church in the Islands, erected in 1856.
27. Seamen’s Cemetery: The original Seamen’s Cemetery was adjacent to its current location and much larger than the small plot that remains.
28. Hale Pai: The printing house of Lahainaluna Seminary was founded by Protestant missionaries in 1831 and rebuilt in 1837.
29. Wo Hing Temple: Chinese men were imported in great numbers to work in the sugar- cane fields, and in 1912 the fraternal society built this center for the hundreds of Chinese residents.
30. U.S. Seamen’s Hospital: During the reign of Kamehameha the Great, unscrupulous masters of American and English whaling ships began dumping sailors in the Islands to lighten their loads before heading to Canton to trade. This became a haven for sick and disabled seamen on Maui.
31. Jodo Mission: The Lahaina Jodo Mission Cultural Park boasts the largest statue of Buddha outside of Japan.