Photo Credit: Found on Wikipedia
Maui has a long and storied history, which includes the reign of King Kamehameha the first and his descendants as well as the arrival of Europeans at the end of the 18th century and the immigration of the Chinese in the 20th century. These different cultures have each impacted the island and left behind important cultural sites the visitors to Maui can enjoy today. If you want to learn more about the history that makes Maui so special, take some time to visit these five interesting historic sites:
Pi’ilanihale Heiau – 650 Ulaino Road, Hana
When you visit the National Tropical Botanical Garden, stop at the Kahanu Garden. In the 16th century, a famous Maui chieftain named King Piilani started to build a religious temple on this site. His sons and grandsons eventually completed the temple, which was the largest structure of its kind in Hawaii. Today, what is left of the heiau is lovingly maintained by local families.
Old Lahaina Courthouse – 648 Wharf Street at Banyan Tree Park, Lahaina
Originally completed in 1860, the “Lahaina Court & Customs House” contained government offices for the island and served as a custom house for the whaling and trade ships that sailed in and out of the harbor. The courthouse was originally constructed from coral block from King Kamehameha III’s western palace, and was rebuilt in 1925. The courthouse remained active as a court, post office, jail, and police station until the 1970s. It underwent a major renovation in 1998 and is now home to the Lahaina Visitor Center, Lahaina Heritage Museum, and Lahaina Arts Society galleries.
Wo Hing Temple and Museum – 858 Front Street, Lahaina
In the early 1900s, Chinese immigrants arrived on Maui from the many whaling ships that visited the island. These immigrants found work in the island’s sugarcane fields and helped build up the island’s infrastructure. A fraternal society within the community called the Wo Hing Society built the Wo Hing Temple in 1912 as a meeting hall and a place to observe religious ceremonies. Today, the temple still includes a religious altar upstairs. The ground floor meeting hall now serves as a museum and gift ship.
Hale Pa’I – Lahainaluna High School Campus, Lahaina
In 1834, something extraordinary arrived on the shores of Maui. It was a Ramage printing press. The printing press was installed at the Lahainaluna Seminary, where missionaries used it to print textbooks, teaching aids, and Hawaiian language dictionaries for their students. Hale Pa’I also printed the island’s first newspaper, the Ka Lama Hawaii, in 1834. Today, the Hale Pa’I is part of the Lahainaluna High School and has been restored by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.
Haiku Mill – 250 Haiku Road, Haiku
In 1861, the Haiku Sugar Company completed construction on the Haiku Sugar Mill, which was the first mill on Hawaii to use a steam engine to grind sugarcane into sugar. The mill only operated for 20 years, but it represented Maui’s emergence into the global economy. For decades, the mill was abandoned and left to be reclaimed by the elements. A serious restoration effort brought it back to life, and today it is known simply as Haiku Mill. The property hosts tours, celebrations, and weddings. It is also recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.
Want to discover even more exciting historical places on Maui? If you book your vacation rental through Ali’i Resorts or even if you don’t, we are here for you and would be glad to give you recommendations of great historic sites throughout our beautiful Maui island.