Your orientation about Lahaina begins upstairs in Old Lahaina Courthouse. Lahaina Heritage Museum offers a concise, comprehensive look at Lahaina’s colorful history. The Old Courthouse from its opening in 1860 served as a customs house for whaling and trade ships as well as a center of government offices and court functions for more than 100 years.
A large lo‘i kalo (taro patch) was cultivated in this area by Kamehameha I and his entourage who encamped in Lahaina between 1802-1803. His sons, Kamehameha II as a little boy and Kamehameha III as a young man, worked the lo‘i to demonstrate the dignity of labor. It was still visible in the mid-20th century.
The Baldwin Home is recognized as the oldest house still standing on Maui. It was originally built by Reverend Ephraim Spaulding in what was referred to as the “missionary compound” and became the home of Lahaina’s most famous medical missionary, Reverend Dwight Baldwin. Next door is the Masters’ Reading Room, which was completed in 1834.
Hale Pa‘ahao (stuck-in-irons house) was Lahaina’s jail at the peak of the whaling era. The surrounding wall, several feet thick, was built in 1853 of stone coral blocks razed from the old fort. A wooden gatehouse was where the warden lived and today opens into a botanical garden.
Hawai‘i’s first stone church was constructed between 1828-1832 for the Protestant mission and then named “Waine‘e” after the land area. The adjacent cemetery holds a royal tomb that was erected by Bernice Pauahi Bishop. It pays tribute to Sacred Queen Keopuolani, her daughter Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena, High Chief Kaumuali‘i, High Chief Hoapili, his daughter Liliha and Maui Governor Hoapili Wahine.
The covered island of Moku‘ula and surrounding freshwater pond of Mokuhinia is Hawai‘i’s paramount cultural site and is under restoration. Moku‘ula was the royal residence of Maui’s high chiefs since the 16th century, and where Kamehameha III ruled the Kingdom of Hawai‘i until 1845. Mokuhinia was guarded by mo‘o goddess, Kihawahine.
This thatched Hawaiian hale halawai (meeting house) was built in the indigenous architectural style of Hawai‘i by a master hale builder from Hana and his students from all over Maui. It is located in a beachfront park where Hawaiian royalty used to feast and relax when Lahaina was called malu ‘ulu o Lele (the breadfruit grove of Lele).