Maui beaches

Historic Lahaina

The Baldwin House on Front Street was the home of one of the first medical missionaries to arrive on Maui in the 1830’s, and served  among other things as a medical office.

lahaina map

17 of the most interesting Lahaina historical sites are shown on the map to the right. Photos are in alphabetical order.

About Site Names

In seeking out the many different historical sites in Lahaina–as well as those on all the Hawaiian islands–there can be two different names for the same site: the original Hawaiian name and an alternate name. For example, you often see the Waiola Church called the Waine’e Church. (The church is on Waine’e Street.)

The Lahaina Heritage Museum at the Lahaina Court House and the Baldwin Home Museum at the Baldwin House are the two best places to discover the history of Lahaina. (See map to the right for their location.)

baldwin house
baldwin house
banyan tree

Today the Baldwin House serves as the Baldwin Home Museum, complete with many of the original furnishings. It’s a great place to learn about the history of Lahaina.

This large prominent Banyan Tree on Front Street near the harbor was planted in 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first christian missionaries.

banyan tree
brick palace kamehameha
brick palace kamehameha

If you walk under this large banyan tree in Lahaina, you can see that it is just one tree, with many aerial roots that have dropped to the ground and rooted.

Built about 1800 by two ex-convicts, the Brick Palace of Kamehameha to the right side of Lahaina Harbor is considered the first western building built in Hawaii.

Today the Baldwin House serves as the Baldwin Home Museum, complete with many of the original furnishings. It’s a great place to learn about the history of Lahaina.

chinese wo hing
chinese wo hing
halealoha church

The Chinese Wo Hing Society building on Front Street was built about 1912. The chinese were a major force in the commercial development of Lahaina and Maui.

Today the building is a museum, and open to the public. The building to the rear on the right is the old cookhouse, which displays a selection of the early cooking utensils.

Completed in 1858, Hale Aloha Church was used as a school and church for the local protestants until it fell into ruins in the early 1900’s. The county restored it in 1974. The Episcopal Church was formed in Hawaii at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury of England. It is not open to the public.

hale aloha cemetary
hale paahao
hale paahao

Also called the Episcopal Cemetery, Hale Aloha Cemetery on Waine’e Street is the final resting place for many of the early families who belonged to the Anglican Church. The cemetery is in front of the Hale Aloha Church, and you have to walk through it to reach the church in the rear.

The Hale Pa’ahao (“stuck in irons house”) on the corner of Prison Street and Waine’e Street served as the prison for the unruly sailors during the 1850’s. It was built by the prisoners, and constructed with the rocks from the previous, older prison, now referred to as the Old Fort Ruins at the harbor. (See four rows below.)

You can walk around the grounds inside the prison walls, and check out a recreated prison cell at the rear. You’ll probably have the place to yourself.

holy inncents church
holy inncents church
kings taro patch

The Anglican Church had several sites in Lahaina before settling on this location on Front Street. The land for the current Holy Innocents Church was acquired in 1922, and is the site where Hawaii’s last reigning Monarch, Queen Lili’uokalani, lived as a child.

This open-air church is open to the public, and has a preschool, along with Sunday Services.

The area in front of the Lahaina Library on Front Street was the taro patch of Kamehameha lll. It is said that he worked the patch to show his subjects the dignity of labor. This taro patch could be seen as late as the 1950’s, when construction of the Lahaina Harbor began. Taro was the major food source for the early Hawaiians.

lahaina courthouse
lahaina courthouse
lahaina lighthouse

Built in 1859, over the years the Lahaina Court House, fronting Lahaina Harbor, housed a custom house, post office, money vault, office of the Governor of Maui, District Attorney and court.

Today the courthouse houses the Lahaina Heritage Museum. The photo above shows some of the displays upstairs, and there’s a gift shop downstairs.

Located to the right side of the Main Loading Dock at Lahaina Harbor, the Lahaina Lighthouse was originally commissioned in 1840 to aid the sailors coming ashore from their whaling boats.

lahaina lighthouse
maria lanakia church

There’s a plaque on the Lahaina lighthouse with interesting information: like it was built in 1840; originally nine feet high; and the caretaker was paid $20 a year to keep the oil lamps at the top burning at night.

The current Maria Lanakila Catholic Church on Waine’e Street was completed in 1928. It sits on the foundation of the original church that was built in 1858. The first catholic priests arrived on Maui in 1846. There are Sunday Services.

Moku’ula is the most historically significant site in Lahaina. Up until the 1800’s, this large area was a freshwater pond with the tiny island of Moku’ula in the center; it was the home of Maui’s chiefs.

old fort lahaina
pioneer inn lahaina

After Moku’ula was abandoned, it was filled, and in 1918 the ball field you see today was built. There are currently long-range plans to restore the pond and island.

The Old Fort ruins at Lahaina Harbor are all that remains of a prison that was built in the 1830’s to confine the rowdy sailors from the whaling ships anchored offshore. A larger prison was later built using the stones you see missing. This newer prison is Hale Pa’ahao on Prison Street. Do not climb on the stones.

Built in 1901, the Pioneer Inn at Lahaina Harbor was the first hotel built in Lahaina. It went through major expansion in the 1960‘s, and the original portion of the hotel is at the front of the existing hotel, facing the harbor. The hotel has been used in several movies and television shows.

seaman's cemetary
waiola church
waiola cemetary

The Seaman’s Cemetery on Waine’e Street next to Maria Lanakila Church is the final resting place for the early whaling sailors. One of Herman Melville’s cousins is buried here. Over the years the marked graves have slowly disappeared.

Waiola Church on Waine’e Street is the first stone church in Hawaii. Built in 1932, the original church was blown down once and burned down another time. The current church was completed in 1953. Waiola Cemetery is on the left side.

Waiola Cemetery, next to Waiola Church on Waine’e Street, is the the most historically significant final resting place on Maui. In addition to commoners, many of the early Lahaina chiefs are buried here. When the chiefs moved from Moku’ula (see above left), they moved the buried royalty to this cemetery.


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lahaina courthouse

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Historic Lahaina

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