Hawaii: Other Historic Sites Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Hawaii is unique in many ways. It is the only one of the fifty United States that lies outside the northern hemisphere and is, with Alaska, one of two states that is not part of the contiguous forty-eight states that, until 1959, constituted the United States of America. It is the only state that is composed of a group of islands, running from the big island of Hawaii to the islet of Kure at Hawaii’s northwest extreme. Ka Lae, or South Cape, on the big island, is the southernmost point in the United States.

Bowfin

Location: Honolulu, Honolulu County, Oahu

Relevant issues: Military history, naval history, World War II

Statement of significance: As the only World War II submarine now at Pearl Harbor, Bowfin (1943) represents the role of Pearl Harbor in the submarine war against Japan. It sank sixteen Japanese vessels and received eight battle stars, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Navy Unit Commendation for its service in World War II.

Falls of Clyde

Location: Honolulu, Honolulu County, Oahu

Relevant issues: Naval history

Statement of significance: The world’s only surviving four-masted, full-rigged ship, Falls of Clyde (1878) is the oldest surviving American tanker and the only surviving sailing oil tanker left afloat. Built during a shipbuilding boom inspired by increasing trade with the United States, the ship made several voyages to American ports while under the British flag. Sold to American owners in 1898, it gained American registry by a special act of Congress in 1900. Henceforth it was involved in the nationally important Hawaiian trans-Pacific sugar trade and later in transporting petroleum as a bulk cargo carrier.

Hickam Field

Location: Honolulu, Honolulu County, Oahu

Relevant issues: Aviation history, military history, World War II

Statement of significance: Established in 1935, this was Hawaii’s largest and most important army airfield when World War II broke out, and in 1941 the only field in Hawaii large enough for B-17 bomber landings. In the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese bombing here and at other Oahu fields destroyed planes and gave Japanese forces the air superiority to proceed to attack Pearl Harbor warships.

Honokohau Settlement

Location: Honokohau, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Relevant issues: Asian American history

Statement of significance: Because of its ideal landing places for canoes and its fishponds, the Honokohau coastal area was important to historic as well as ancient Hawaiians. This site includes ancient house sites, temples, fishponds, a toboggan slide, tombs, and scattered petroglyphs. It is now part of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park.

Huilua Fishpond

Location: Honolulu County, Oahu

Relevant issues: Asian American history, business and industry

Statement of significance: This is one of the last surviving fishponds out of an estimated ninety-seven such structures that once existed on coastal Oahu and one of the few ancient Hawaiian fishponds that were still operational well into the twentieth century. According to tradition, it was built by the native Hawaiians (specifically the Menehunes) for hatching and keeping fish.

Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement

Location: Kalaupapa, Maui County, Molokai

Relevant issues: Health and medicine

Statement of significance: This is the location of Hawaii’s well-known leprosarium where the Belgian priest Father Damien (1840-1889) ministered to the lepers and gained worldwide fame. It became a National Historical Park in 1980.

Kamakahonu

Location: Kailua Kona, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Relevant issues: Asian American history, political history

Statement of significance: Situated in the ahupuas of Lanihau at Kailua Kona, on Hawaii Island, this is where Kamehameha I, the unifier of the Hawaiian Islands, lived out the remaining years of his life and instituted some of the most constructive measures of his reign (1810-1819). The residential compound includes the Ahuena Heiau (personal temple) of the king. It was here, too, within a year of Kamehameha’s death, that the first missionaries to the islands arrived in 1820.

Kaneohe Naval Air Station

Location: Kailua, Honolulu County, Oahu

Relevant issues: Aviation history, military history, World War II

Statement of significance: Kaneohe was bombed by the Japanese seven minutes earlier than Pearl Harbor; approximately one hour later the base came under a second attack and suffered great losses from both attacks that day. The Japanese goal was to destroy the American planes before they could take to the air and interfere with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Hangar no. 1, the “parking” area, and the seaplane ramps remain.

Kaunolu Village Site

Location: Lanai City, Maui County, Lanai

Relevant issues: Asian American history

Statement of significance: Once a typical “vigorous” Hawaiian fishing community, this is the largest surviving example of a prehistoric Hawaiian village. These well-preserved ruins were abandoned in the 1880’s.

Keauhou Holua Slide

Location: Keauhou, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Relevant issues: Asian American history, sports

Statement of significance: This is the largest and best-preserved holua (toboggan) slide, used in an extremely dangerous pastime restricted to chiefs. It served as the “Olympic Games” holua.

Loaloa Heiau

Location: Kaupo, Maui County, Maui

Relevant issues: Asian American history

Statement of significance: This is one of the few remaining intact examples of a large luakini heiau (state-level temple where human sacrifice was performed). It was once the center of an important cultural complex around Kaupo; oral tradition attributes the construction of the temple in about 1730 to Kekaulike, king of Maui, who lived at Kaupo and died in 1736.

Mauna Kea Adz Quarry

Location: Hilo, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Relevant issues: Asian American history, business and industry

Statement of significance: Located at an elevation of twelve thousand feet, this is the largest primitive quarry in the world, used by prehistoric Hawaiians to obtain basalt for stone implements. The archaeological complex contains religious shrines, trails, rockshelters, and petroglyphs.

Mookini Heiau

Location: Hawi, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Relevant issues: Asian American history, religion

Statement of significance: This is a massive luakini temple platform with an open, stone-paved court. It is one of the most important traditional sites in Hawaii through its association with the legendary Polynesian priest Paao who introduced new religious and social concepts to the islands about 1275. It is a unit of Lapakahi State Park.

Old Sugar Mill of Koloa

Location: Koloa, Kauai County, Kauai

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Statement of significance: Sugar cane had been grown by native Hawaiians, but the establishment in 1835 of the Ladd & Company sugar plantation, the first commercially successful such enterprise in the islands, marked the real foundation of what is now Hawaii’s largest industry. Sugar long played a major role in Hawaiian economics and politics and was perhaps the dominant force in bringing about the annexation of the islands to the United States.

Palm Circle1

Location: Honolulu, Honolulu County, Oahu

Relevant issues: Military history, World War II

Statement of significance: This area, dubbed the “Pineapple Pentagon,” housed the offices and headquarters of the commanding general and his staff, U.S. Army forces, Pacific Ocean Areas, during World War II. By 1944, this command was responsible for the supply and administration of all U.S. Army personnel in the Central and South Pacific, and from 1943 to 1945, carried out logistical planning for the invasion of the Gilberts, Marshalls, Mariannas, Guam, Palau, and Okinawa.

Puukohola Heiau

Location: Kawaihae, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Relevant issues: Asian American history, political history

Statement of significance: At this ancient heiau, in the summer of 1791, King Kamehameha the Great sacrificed Keoua, his chief rival for the kingship of the Hawaiian Islands. This event led to the unification of the Hawaiian Islands as a single kingdom under the rule of Kamehameha I.

South Point Complex

Location: Naalehu, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Relevant issues: Asian American history

Statement of significance: This group of sites provides the longest and most complete archaeological record of human occupation in the islands. Included in the complex is the earliest recorded occupation site (124 c.e.) in the state.

Wailua Complex of Heiaus

Location: Wailua, Kauai County, Kauai

Relevant issues: Asian American history

Statement of significance: This series of heiaus and sacred sites forms one of the most important complexes in the Hawaiian Islands. The sites typify a long period of Hawaiian prehistory as well as many aspects of Hawaiian aboriginal culture. The complex consists of a city of refuge, four important heiaus, royal birthstones, and a sacrificial rock.

Wheeler Field

Location: Schofield Barracks, Honolulu County, Oahu

Relevant issues: Aviation history, military history, World War II

Statement of significance: Bombing and strafing this site were important objectives of the Japanese force that attacked Oahu on December 7, 1941. The Japanese attack destroyed eighty-three aircraft and rendered this facility practically helpless. The 1941 flight line, hangars, and barracks building survive at what is today a U.S. Air Force facility.

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