Photos of Historic Lahaina on Maui, Hawaii

  • 01 of 26

    Lahaina Shores Beach Resort and the West Maui Mountains

    Hawaii, Maui, Aerial of Lahaina, West Maui Mountains in background.
    Ron Dahlquist/Getty Images

    Lahaina is one of Hawaii's oldest cities. Kamehameha I conquered Maui in 1794 and later named Lahaina the capital of his new kingdom which it remained until Kamehameha III moved it to Honolulu in 1840. The first missionary arrived in Maui in 1820, and the missionary influences remain clearly visible in Lahaina.

    As Western traders and seamen flocked to Maui, commercial growth expanded. Lahaina became a major port during the whaling era, and by the 1840s, hundreds of ships anchored there. However, the discovery of oil in 1850 spelled doom for the whaling industry.

    As whaling declined, agriculture became the dominant industry in the Lahaina area. Sugar and later pineapple plantations flourished in West Maui. During 1853-1854, a smallpox epidemic killed many native Hawaiians, depleting the workforce. Immigrants from China, Japan, the Philippines were brought to Maui to work in the sugar cane fields. The influence of these immigrants can still be seen.

    Continue to 2 of 26 below.
  • 02 of 26

    The Masters' Reading Room

    Master's Reading Room, now Lahaina Restoration Foundation.
    John Elk/Getty Images

    The Masters' Reading Room is located at the corner of Front and Dickenson Streets. From 1834 until the end of whaling in Lahaina in the 1860's, the Masters' Reading Room served as a place where ships' masters, officers, and their families could pass time while in port. It is currently the home of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

    Continue to 3 of 26 below.
  • 03 of 26

    The Baldwin Home

    Baldwin House (end view), Lahaina Historic District, Lahaina, Hawaii, built 1836, on National Register of Historic Places
    Joel Bradshaw/Wikimedia Commons

    The Baldwin Home is the oldest building still standing in Lahaina, Maui. Built in 1834, it served as the home of missionary and physician Rev. Dwight Baldwin of Durham, Connecticut and his wife from 1838 until 1871. Baldwin was the pastor of Lahaina's old Wainee Church.

    The building was restored by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation and is open to the public as a museum.

    Continue to 4 of 26 below.
  • 04 of 26

    Former Location of the Richards House

    Former Location of the Richards House in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    The Richards House, which was built on the site of the present Campbell Park in Lahaina, was the first coral stone home in Hawaii. It was home to William Richards who was a close aide to King Kamehameha II. He served as the first Minister of Education in the Kingdom of Hawaii.

    Continue to 5 of 26 below.
  • 05 of 26

    Old Lahaina Lighthouse

    Lahaina Lighthouse
    U.S. Coast Guard Visual Information Gallery

    The Old Lahaina Lighthouse is located on the pier next to the brig Carthaginian. It was built in 1840 under a commission by King Kamehameha III as an aid to navigation for whalers. It is the oldest lighthouse in the Hawaiian Islands. The lighthouse was completely rebuilt in 1905.

    Continue to 6 of 26 below.
  • 06 of 26

    Best Western Pioneer Inn

    Best Western Pioneer Inn
    Prayitno/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The Pioneer Inn was built in 1901 by George Freeland. Freeland was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who came to the islands in pursuit of a criminal and decided to stay. For a long time, the Pioneer Inn was the only hotel in Lahaina. The hotel underwent an extensive expansion in 1964.

    Continue to 7 of 26 below.
  • 07 of 26

    Banyan Tree in Courthouse Square

    Banyan Tree in Lahaina, Hawaii
    Samantha Levang/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The famous Banyan Tree located in Courthouse Square in the center of Lahaina was brought to Maui from India when the tree was a mere eight feet tall. It was planted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Lahaina's first Christian mission.

    The Banyan Tree has become the central point of town under which you'll find meetings, craft shows, entertainment and almost anything else you can imagine. The tree now reaches a height of about 50 feet and extends over 200 feet from side to side.

    Continue to 8 of 26 below.
  • 08 of 26

    Lahaina Courthouse

    Old Lahaina Courthouse
    Rick Obst/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    The Lahaina Courthouse was built in 1858 following the destruction of an earlier building in a storm. It is no longer used as a courthouse. It now serves as the home for the Lahaina Visitor Center which includes an information desk, gift shop, and several exhibits.

    Continue to 9 of 26 below.
  • 09 of 26

    Holy Innocent's Episcopal Church

    Holy Innocent's Episcopal Church in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    From the Episcopal Church, USA site:

    "The Anglican Church in Hawai'i was formally established on November 30, 1862, in Honolulu. On December 14, 1862, Lahaina's first Anglican services were conducted at Hale Aloha by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Nettleship Staley, the first Bishop of Honolulu, using King Kamehameha IV's translation of the Book of Common Prayer.

    The new mission first leased premises for its church (and Luaehu School for boys) from a ship's chandlery on the site where King Kamehameha III School now stands. The land on which the King Kamehameha III School now stands, was also where the young Princess Nahi'ena'ena once lived. Her house was towards the Oceanside, left facing the rectory yard.

    In 1874, a new church (and St. Cross School for girls) was built at the corner of Prison and Front Streets.

    Today's Rectory and Church sites, acquired in 1908 and 1922, are rich in Hawaiian Historical significance. On these grounds, Hawai'i's last reigning monarch, Queen Lili'uokalani and her foster sister, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, lived as children in a large grass house.

    To the left of the Church and Rectory once stood Kamehameha III's palace. His sacred Island of Moku'ula is nearby, just across Front Street. It was once surrounded by the Mokuhinia river, today it is a park."

    Continue to 10 of 26 below.
  • 10 of 26

    Foundation of the Hale Piula or Iron-roofed House

    Foundation of the Hale Piula or iron-roofed house in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed


    "Hale Piula, 'iron-roofed house,' consisted of a large two-story stone building with a surrounding piazza. It was built in the 1830's as a palace for King Kamehameha III​ but never completed. Although the king was inspired to build a palace worthy of a monarch, he preferred sleeping in a small grass hut on the property. By the mid-1840s, the king was spending so much time in Honolulu, the place fell into disrepair. Later, it was used as a courthouse. After a gale damaged it in 1858, its stones were used to build the present courthouse."

    Continue to 11 of 26 below.
  • 11 of 26


    Moku'ula 'sacred island' Heiau.
    John Elk/Getty Images

    Beneath Maluuluolele Park in Lahaina, Maui, is one of Hawaii's most historical and sacred treasures. Lying virtually undisturbed for almost a century, Moku'ula, a political and spiritual center, and ancient home of Maui's Chiefly lines, awaits its reawakening. From the Lahaina Historical Guide:

    "When Kamehameha the Great conquered Maui, he claimed this sacred spot. A tiny island in the pond, Mokuula, was home to Maui chiefs, and several royal family members of the early 1800s were interred there.

    Later Mokuula was a residence for three Kamehameha kings. References describe the walkway out to the center of the island where the young kings Kamehameha II and III kept to themselves, away from the rigors of court life. In 1918 the pond was filled in and the island leveled."

    For more information visit Friends of Moku'ula.

    Continue to 12 of 26 below.
  • 12 of 26

    Waiola Church

    Waiola Church (formerly Waineʻe Church), Lahaina Historic District, Lahaina, Hawaii
    Joel Bradshaw/Wikimedia Commons

    The Waine'e Church was built between 1828 and 1832 for the Protestant Mission. It was the first stone church in the islands and could seat 3,000 church-goers. It was rebuilt four times due to windstorms and fires - the last time was in 1953.

    Wainee was immortalized by James Michener in his novel Hawaii as the church that could not stand the force of the wind.

    Today the church is called the Waiola Church, or "water of life." The cemetery is the final resting place of Hawaiian Ali'i (royalty), missionaries, seamen, and commoners. A breadfruit tree, located in the churchyard, was planted in the days of Chief Kakaalanaeo.

    Continue to 13 of 26 below.
  • 13 of 26

    Cemetery of the Waiola Church

    Small cemetary at Waiola Church, Lahaina, Maui
    Marie Beschen/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    From the Lahaina Historical Guide:

    "Established in 1823, Wainee was the first Christian cemetery in Hawaii. Here are buried the great and obscure of Old Lahaina.

    Notables include the following:

    • King Kaumualii, the last king of Kauai.
    • The sacred Queen Keopuolani, the highest royalty by virtue of bloodlines in all Hawaii, born in Wailuku in 1780; she was the first Hawaiian baptized as a Protestant.
    • High Chief Hoapili, a general and King Kamehameha the Great's closest friend; Hoapili married two of Kamehameha's queens, Keopuolani and Kalakua.
    • Hoapili Wahine (Kalakua), governor of Maui from 1840 to 1842, who donated 1,000 acres of land to start Lahainaluna School.
    • Kekauonohi, one of the five queens of Kamehameha II, born in Lahaina in 1805, who served as governor of Kauai from 1842 to 1844
    • High Chiefess Liliha, granddaughter of King Kahekili; Liliha visited King George IV with her husband, Boki, Kamehameha II and Queen Kamamalu. In 1830 Liliha started a rebellion with 1,000 soldiers on Oahu while she was governor there. Her father, Hoapili, forced her to give up her office and return to Maui.
    • Princess Nahienaena, darling of the high chiefs and the Hawaiian people, sister to kings Kamehameha II and III.

    Many missionary children are buried in Wainee Cemetery, as is Rev. Richards. The oldest Hawaiian Christian gravestone in the Islands is that of a Mauian who died in 1829 from "fever." A Hawaiian man who died in 1908 at the age of 104­- living through royal rule, the breaking of kapus, constitutional government and the establishment of Hawaii as a U.S. territory­-is also buried here. Visitors should be aware that Hawaiians consider this site sacred."

    Continue to 14 of 26 below.
  • 14 of 26

    Hongwanji Mission

    Hongwanji Mission, Japanese Buddhist temple.
    John Elk/Getty Images

    Members of the largest Buddhist sect in Lahaina, the Hongwanji, have been meeting at this mission since 1910. The current building was erected in 1927.

    Today the mission holds celebrations on New Year's Eve to welcome the new year, in April to commemorate the birth of Buddha, and during the last week of August for the Bon Memorial celebration. The public is welcome to attend these events.

    Continue to 15 of 26 below.
  • 15 of 26

    The Old Prison - Hale Paahao

    Yard and gatehouse, Old Prison (Hale Paʻahao), Lahaina Historic District, Lahaina, Hawaii, built 1830s
    Joel Bradshaw/Wikimedia Commons

    From the Lahaina Historical Guide:

    "On the corner of Wainee and Prison streets is a building known as "The Prison." Hale Paahao, "the stuck-in-irons house," was so named because of its standard wall shackles and ball-and-chain restraints.

    Before the prison was built, sailors who ignored the warning of the Hawaiian soldiers to return to their ships at sunset were kept overnight in the fort. It had a reputation for being a very uncomfortable place to spend the night. In 1851 the fort physician recommended that prisoners not sleep on the ground; it made them ill, and sick prisoners were a liability to the government.

    So the Kingdom of Hawaii decided to build a larger facility to serve Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. Convict laborers stripped the coral block from the fort and used it to construct the compound.

    The prison house was built of planks in 1852; it had separate quarters for men and women. A guard patrolled the grounds from a catwalk. Most prisoners were there for deserting ship, drunkenness, working on the Sabbath or reckless horse riding. Those jailed for longer than a year were sent to Oahu.

    The prison serves a happier function today. It is frequently rented for community use, and there have been many fine gatherings in the now park-like atmosphere."

    Continue to 16 of 26 below.
  • 16 of 26

    The Hale Aloha or House of Love

    Hale Aloha with bell tower, Lahaina Historic District, Lahaina, Hawaii
    Joel Bradshaw/Wikimedia Commons

    The Hale Aloha or "House of Love" was originally constructed in 1858 "in commemoration of God's causing Lahaina to escape smallpox, while it desolated Oahu in 1853, carrying off 5,000-6,000 of its population." The structure fell into disrepair in the early 1900's. It was restored in 1974.

    Continue to 17 of 26 below.
  • 17 of 26

    Father Damien Window in the Maria Lanakila Church

    Father Damian Window in the Maria Lanakila Church in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    The current Maria Lanakila Church building is a replica of the structure first built on this site between 1856 and 1858. The church was built despite the opposition of many of the original missionary families and their followers who opposed the arrival of Roman Catholic priests in 1846.

    This window commemorates the work and memory of Father Damien de Veuster (January 3, 1840 – April 15, 1889), born Jozef de Veuster and also known as Blessed Damien of Molokai.

    Father Damien, in Dutch, Damiaan, was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a missionary religious order.

    Father Damien is known for his ministering of people with what was then widely known as leprosy, now known as Hansen's Disease, who had been placed under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine, on the island of Moloka'i in the Kingdom of Hawaii.

    Father Damien eventually contracted the disease himself and died on Moloka'i.

    Continue to 18 of 26 below.
  • 18 of 26

    Seaman's Cemetery at the Maria Lanakila Church

    Seaman's Cemetery at the Maria Lanakila Church in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    From the Lahaina Historical Guide:

    "The original Seamen's Cemetery was adjacent to its current location and much larger than the small plot that remains, attesting to the rigors of whaling and primitive medical services available on shipboard. Old records show that many of the deaths occurred among very young men, some of them sailors whose boats were swamped when they tried to make it ashore through the surf at Lahaina".

    Continue to 19 of 26 below.
  • 19 of 26

    Wo Hing Temple

    Wo Hing Temple.
    Lonely Planet/Getty Images

    The initial laborers brought to Hawaii to work the sugar cane fields were from China. Like the Japanese immigrants, they also established temples and other buildings for social activities. In 1909 a group of Chinese descended from the original immigrants formed the Lahaina Wo Hing Society, a chapter of Chee Kung Tong, a Chinese fraternal society dating back to the 17th century. In 1912 they built a fraternal hall on this site to serve as a social center for the hundreds of Chinese residents of Lahaina.

    The Lahaina Restoration Foundation restored the building in 1983 and installed a display of the history of the Chinese in Lahaina. A cookhouse is also located on the site, separated from the main building as a fire precaution.

    Today, the buildings feature displays of cookware, a display detailing the history of the Chinese on Maui, and a theater which features movies of Hawaii taken by Thomas Edison in 1898 and 1903. The buildings are open to the public daily.

    Continue to 20 of 26 below.
  • 20 of 26

    U.S. Seaman's Hospital

    U.S. Seamen's Hospital (U.S. Marine Hospital), 1024 Front Street, Lahaina, Hawaii
    Joel Bradshaw/Wikimedia Commons

    From the Lahaina Historical Guide:

    "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. Records from the 1850s refer to 2,000­ 3,000 destitute sailors on Hawaiian beaches during the month of October.

    Hungry for food, drink and female companionship, they were an embarrassment to the American government, which persuaded Kamehameha III to lease the building as a center for the sick and disabled seamen of Lahaina.

    The U.S. Seamen's Hospital was purchased in 1974 by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation and now stands completely restored."

    Continue to 21 of 26 below.
  • 21 of 26

    The Temple Bell at the Lahaina Jodo Mission

    Large temple bell at Lahaina Jodo Mission, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA.
    Barry Winiker/Getty Images

    Many people who visit the island of Maui, make it a point to visit the historic whaling town of Lahaina. Much of their exploration, however, is confined to the waterfront areas and the historic sites nearby. Located away from downtown Lahaina to the north on Ala Moana Street, you can find the Lahaina Jodo Mission. This mission is one of the most beautiful and serene places in Hawaii and one which should not be missed.

    A number of years ago, the members of the Lahaina Jodo Mission conceived the idea of building an authentic Buddhist Temple complemented with the symbolic surroundings that are typical of the great Buddhist temples in Japan.

    The great Buddha and the Temple Bell were completed in June 1968, in commemoration of the Centennial Celebration of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. In 1970, the main Temple and Pagoda were built with the generous and wholehearted support of the members of the mission and the general public.

    The property is owned by the Lahaina Jodo Mission. The task of maintaining as well as improving the premises is dependent on voluntary contributions.

    Continue to 22 of 26 below.
  • 22 of 26

    Statue of Kamehameha I, Lahaina Center

    Statue of Kamehameha I, Lahaina Center in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    In 1795 following the victorious battle of Nu'uanu, O'ahu this warrior chief, Kamehameha, became "Lord over the Hawaiian Islands."

    Kamehameha established the Kingdom's Capital in Lahaina and increased trade by the sea-channel, which fronts Lahaina Center. The lively international commerce continues after the Capital's move to Honolulu. Kamehameha I died on May 8, 1819, and his remains were secreted in a place unknown to this day to protect the "life force" (mana) that watches over Hawaii.

    This remembrance of the "mana" or strength of Kamehameha I was carved on site in August - October 1993 by the Center's Master Sculptor Lou Benatto, Jr.

    Continue to 23 of 26 below.
  • 23 of 26

    Statue of the Legendary Captain of Lahaina Center

    Statue of the Legendary Captain of Lahaina Center, Lahaina Center in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    Lahaina in the 1800's saw sailing vessels from around the world. Ships carried cargo of every kind into Lahaina, Capital of old Hawaii.

    Many a visiting ship was captained by men such as the Legendary Captain of Lahaina Center and crewed by men such as their Deck-Hand Mate.

    The Center's Master Sculpture, Lou Benatto, Jr. hand carved the "Legendary Captain" on site during early 1993.

    Continue to 24 of 26 below.
  • 24 of 26

    Statue of the Deck-Hand Mate of Lahaina Center

    Statue of the Deck-Hand Mate of Lahaina Center, Lahaina Center in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    In the 1880's, ships from around the world brought cargo of every kind into Lahaina, Capital of old Hawaii. Many a visiting ship was crewed by men such as this Deck-Hand Mate. Their duties ranged from scrubbing the deck to climbing the mast during heavy storms to take down the sails.

    After spending many months at sea, some sailors had a bit too much demon rum on shore and spent the night at The Prison, a historical landmark in Lahaina, preserved to this day at the corner of Prison and Wainee Streets.

    The Center's Master-Sculptor, Lou Benatto, Jr. hand carved the "Deck-Hand Mate" on site March - April 1993.

    Continue to 25 of 26 below.
  • 25 of 26

    Statue of the Ka Wahine Hula of Lahaina Center

    Statue of the Ka Wahine Hula of Lahaina Center, Lahaina Center in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    The "Hula" or "Interpretive Dance" shows the performer literally weaving the meaning of the poetry of song together with her gestures and expressions. The Hula evolved with Hawaiian music which had its own influences from hymns of early missionaries. The Center's "Ka Wahine Hula" welcomes you to Lahaina Center with her interpretive gestures.

    Carved on site in January to February 1994 by the Center's Master Sculptor Lou Benatto, Jr.

    Continue to 26 of 26 below.
  • 26 of 26

    Statue of the Hawaiian Lady of Lahaina Center

    Statue of the Hawaiian Lady of Lahaina Center, Lahaina Center in Historic Lahaina, Maui
    Photo by John Fischer, licensed

    This lady-in-waiting for a royal or ali'i person is holding a page of the song, "Aloha Oe" (Farewell to Thee) written by the last reigning monarch of Hawaii, Queen Liliuokalani.

    The Center's Master Sculptor Lou Benatto, Jr. hand-carved "The Hawaii Lady" on site August - September 1993.