Location: Lahaina, Hawaii, USA
Date: Feb 2017
On August 8th 2023 there was a wildfire on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The fire burned through the historic town of Lahaina. Lahaina was the capital city of Hawaii back in 1820 when King Kamehameha II ruled. We always visited the town during our trips to Maui. This blog looks at some of the structures that have been lost or damaged in the fires. If you click the link to the website above, you can donate and help the people who call Lahaina home.
Built in 1987, the Lahaina Cannery Mall offered free shows on its stage. There were hula shows offered weekly. Our favourite was the weekend keiki dance. Keiki means child in Hawaiian.
The Kobe Japanese Steakhouse in Lahaina had already shut down before the fire. At the hibachi table your chef would prepare food with great skill. The photo above shows an onion volcano erupting.
The Wo Hing Society Building on Front Street was built around 1912 as a social hall. An increasing number of Chinese immigrants were arriving in Maui to work in the sugarcane industry and could meet here. Wo Hing means "Peace, Harmony & Prosperity".
The Pioneer Mill Company was the first plantation to grow sugar comercially in Lahaina in 1860. This 225 foot tall smokestack is built of brick and concrete. After operations ceased in 1999, the smokestack was restored so it would remain standing as a symbol of Lahaina's past.
The Sugarcane Train ran from Kaanapali's plantations to the mill in Lahaina. The steam engine trains continued to operate as tourist trains once they were no longer in commercial use. The train above is train No. 3 and is called Myrtle. It had just turned around in Kaanapali and released some steam.
On the north end of Lahaina sits the Jodo Mission. This historic Buddhist temple has been here since 1932.
Sitting near the temple is this 12 foot tall Buddha.
This building on Front Street was built around a monkeypod tree. It used to be a Bubba Gump's restaurant. A monkeypod tree is also called a rain tree.
A little further along Front Street you will find Fleetwood's restaurant and bar. It is owned by Maui resident Mick Fleetwood. He is known for being a member of the popular rock group, Fleetwood Mac.
Another Maui resident is Clint Eastwood. This stretch of Front Street has faced a natural disaster before, but only in the movies. Clint's movie Hereafter brought a computer generated tsunami wave through this part of town.
Front Street in Lahaina has many historic building dating back to the very early 1900's or earlier.
One of the oldest structures in town is Old Fort Lahaina. It was built in 1831 and demolished in 1854. A small portion of the fort can be seen in what is now Courthouse Square.
Once the fort was demolished, a courthouse was built on the square. It later became the Lahaina Heritage Museum and home to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation. The Lahaina Restoration Foundation worked hard to preserve the historic buildings around town.
The Pioneer Inn was built in 1901 and was the oldest continuously operating hotel in Hawaii. It sits on the edge of Courthouse Square.
A one-legged sailor carved out of wood stood outside the hotel. Lahaina was filled with talented artists and their work can be seen throughout the town.
Also standing outside of the Pioneer Inn is the oldest lighthouse on the Pacific. The Lahaina Lighthouse is a beacon for boats entering the Lahaina harbour.
In the movie The Devil At 4 O'Clock, Frank Sinatra is a prisoner. He is escorted from the docks and then passes the Lahaina lighthouse and the entrance to the Pioneer Inn.
We also walked from the docks past the lighthouse and the Pioneer Inn when we did whale watching tours with the Pacific Whale Foundation. We enjoyed Sunset, Dinner and Whale Watching cruises.
The waters off of Maui are full of humpback whales between November and March when the whales come to mate and give birth.
The wildfires have taken a great toll on the people of Lahaina, but will also have a huge affect on the smaller creatures that called the town home. This zebra dove (above) is just one of many species that will have to adapt. Here is an older blog post about the birds of Maui.
This little ghost crab was running along the beach during one of our visits. His fate is uncertain as the land and the sea work together.
Here is another blog post about Dan's Greenhouse. It also shows more of Lahaina's Front street.
We always enjoyed our visits to Maui and Lahaina, not because of the structures we mention in this post, but because of the people. They have always been welcoming and courteous. Our thoughts are with the residents of Lahaina who have lost so much We know that just like their mighty Banyan Tree they will support each other and they will endure.
Map of Our World
Post # 326