Eia Hoʻopaʻaʻole

E hoʻomākaukau kākou, no ka hoʻopaʻaʻole

History of Kaʻeleku

Facts and knowledge of the history based on Ka'eleku

  • From hundreds to thousands of years ago, incinerating lava had flowed down Haleakala near Hana. As time passed by, it had formed the lava tubes in some areas of Kaʻeleku (also called "Kaʻeleku Caverns")

  • Kaʻeleku later, was a compact community, everyone got along well. Kaʻeleku was a great association with amazing camaraderie with all the different ethnicities. (Ex: Filipino, Hawaiian, Portuguese and Japanese)

  • Very few Hawaiians resided in the plantation camp of Ka'eleku. The Portuguese were given "better" jobs as the lunas (overseers so to say) on the plantation(s). 

  • Ka'eleku was a plantation town (camp, they were known as plantation camps but were often called "towns")  in the district of Hana.

  • There were several plantations, mills, camps and farms, that ran sugar business(es).

  • After have being established as a Mill based in Hana, in 1849 by George Wilfong, somewhere in the 1850's  it had been burned down. George had quit the sugar business at the point in time.

  • Hana Sugar Co. (Aka: Ka'eleku Sugar Co.) was established in 1864. As being the cause, August and Oscar Unna, brothers of Dutch decent, took onto the sugar business. After originally called the Hana Sugar Co, but happened to be later combined with Ka'eleku Sugar Co. hence given that name. The plantation had been later purchased by Paul I. Fagan and converted to a ranch.






History of Honomāʻele

Facts and knowledge of the history based on Honomāʻele


  • For thousands of years the ahupuaʻa of Honomāʻele, was seen as an important agricultural area by our people, the kanaka.

  • Pi'ilanihale Hēiau (House of Piʻilani), a massive Hēiau of great measures, had once stood on the island of Maui. Built for and/or possibly had assisted progress from (never been confirmed), the great Chief Piʻilani. A powerful and honored chief of Hawaiʻi.

  • After the Great Mahele, the ahupuaʻa of Honomāʻele was split into two, half (roughly 990 acres) had been entrusted into Chief Kahanu by Kauikeaouli (King Kamehameha III).

  • In early 1860ʻs Hana Plantation was formed and an acreage of sugarcane was planted forming a thriving plantation community.

  • The plantation closed in 1946 and was thus transformed into grazing pastures for cattle. This action is in which formed Hana Ranch.

  • By 1974, the Kahanu//Uaiwa/Matsuda/Kumaewa family(ies) [descendants of Chief Kahanu] as well as Hana Ranch, deeded 61 acres of land to (at the time) Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden to establish Kahanu Garden.

  • In exchange, the institution swore to restore Pi'ilanihale, share it with the public, and provide perpetual care for the sacred site at hand, as well as proper care for ancestral and family graves.

  • In the same year, an anonymous donation made possible, the purchase of an adjoining land plot in which was 62 acres, thus expanding the size to a total of 123 acres.

  • Preceding back to 1972, two years before the official transfer, Francis Kikaha Lono was an employee ever since the start of Kahanu Garden. Very fortunate in-fact. 'Uncle Blue' is what he was affectionately known as since he was blue-blooded Hawaiian.  Uncle Blue was synonymous with Kahanu Garden, leaving an everlasting imprint on the land of the garden and the garden itself.

  • Major changes followed after Uncle Blue's retirement. Including Mary Wishard's Coconut Grove with 21 varieties and the breadfruit collection with 150 varieties. The area then became a beautiful garden for ethnobotanical species, such as Taro, 'Awa, Sweet Potato, Sugarcane, and Banana. A space for varieties of endangered plants and endangered coastal plants in which are important to Hawai'i.
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