History

Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Kalaupapa Pavilion Gets a Facelift

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Kalaupapa Pavilion Gets a Facelift

 

For 53 years, a small building has stood at the edge of the ocean in Kalaupapa, holding many special occasions and happy memories for residents. The Ocean View Pavilion, built in 1965 by members of the Kalaupapa Lions Club, recently underwent long-awaited renovations and was reopened in a dedication ceremony on Dec. 19.

“After years of sea spray, rain and trade winds, the building needed repairs, specifically a new roof, some structural beams and a painting,” stated a Kalaupapa Lions news release last year. “ [It] stands as a testimony to the strength and fortitude of the residents of this tiny settlement.”

The Kalaupapa Lions Club raised funds to purchase materials and shipped them to the remote settlement on the annual barge last summer.…

Recalling Kulaia History

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Molokai Canoe Festivals Committee News Release

Historical records dating back to 1865 note Hawaiian outrigger canoe race competitions as one of the many events our kupuna took part in during annual la kulaia, days of festivities honoring the Kingdom of Hawaii and especially honoring our beloved monarchy.  During that era, kulaia generally occurred once a year during a national holiday or birthday celebration of a mo’i (monarch). 

After the overthrow of our beloved Hawaiian Kingdom, kulaia festivities changed focus and no longer celebrated the Kingdom and monarchy.  In historical records, we see the shift from national celebration to simply canoe race competitions.  Therefore, pieces of our historic kulaia were lost and forgotten.…

Eviction Notice Threatens Mule Ride

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Eviction Notice Threatens Mule Ride

Almost two years of legal disputes between the Sproat family — owners of Kalaupapa Rare Adventures mule ride — and landowner R.W. Meyer, Ltd. have come to a head with an eviction notice for the mule operators. Both parties are now claiming ownership to the Kalae property where the mule barn has stood for more than 40 years.

Paul Meyer, President of R.W. Meyer, Ltd., said Kalauapa Rare Adventures’ lease ended in January 2017 and since then, the company has not paid rent and refused to negotiate a new lease. The Sproats say they have a title to the land so they don’t need to pay rent.…

Kuhio’s Homestead Legacy

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

The Molokai community joined Hawaiian homesteaders in celebrating the birthday of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole last Saturday evening. Held for the first at Mitchell Pauole Center, the annual event is organized by Ahupua`a o Molokai, a nonprofit organization that encompasses all Hawaiian Homestead Associations on Molokai.

“The Prince Kuhio celebration on Molokai is probably the most important event for me,” said Kilia Purdy-Avelino, one of event’s organizers. “As a homesteader, it is an honor and a responsibility to help coordinate an event where we can mahalo Prince Kuhio for advocating for his people, leaving a legacy, seven generations and going. We are blessed to be on this `aina where we can live, truly live, by turning our hands to the soil — huli ka lima i ka lepo, ola!”

Prince Kuhio was born on March 26, 1871, and when he was 21 years old, the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown before he was called upon to become a successor to the throne.…

Students Spend 3 Days at Pearl Harbor

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Students Spend 3 Days at Pearl Harbor

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor News Release

For many students from the remote island of Molokai, traveling to Oahu for a three day field trip was something new and exciting. But imagine spending two nights at a “sleep over” on a battleship or climbing into a cockpit of a fighter jet. The action packed itinerary included hands-on aviation-related STEM activities and visits to historic World War II sites including Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, USS Bowfin, USS Missouri, and USS Arizona Memorial.

Pacific Aviation Museum recently hosted 22 fifth and sixth graders from Maunaloa and Kilohana elementary schools, and five accompanying teachers and chaperones.…

Standing for `Olelo Hawaii

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Standing for `Olelo Hawaii

 

University of Hawaii professor Samuel Kaleikoa Ka`eo was issued a warrant for his arrest last week after he spoke only Hawaiian in court on Maui. Ka`eo appeared in connection to protesting construction of a Haleakala telescope, and when Judge Blaine Kobayashi asked Ka`eo to identify himself as present in the Wailuku District Court Wednesday,  Ka`eo did so in Hawaiian. The judge didn’t recognize his presence and asked three more times for Ka`eo to give his name, to which he responded each time in Hawaiian.

“The court is unable to get a definitive determination for the record that the defendant seated in court is Mr.…

Competing for Lono

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Competing for Lono

Kaunakakai Ball Field thundered with cheers and the roar of an enthusiastic crowd as hundreds of residents and visitors gathered to compete in or support their favorite competitors at Ka Molokai Makahiki last Saturday morning.

Each year, Ka Molokai Makahiki is celebrated to mark the end of the Makahiki season from October to January, traditionally observed as a period of peace and harvest in honor of the god Lono. Today, hundreds of students gather annually on Molokai from around the state to participate in carrying on its cultural significance. During the opening ceremonies, the banner of Lono is carried high, while representatives from each district bear offerings to place on the stone ahu in keeping with protocol.…

95 Years of Misaki’s Grocery

Friday, September 29th, 2017

95 Years of Misaki’s Grocery

 

This year, Misaki’s Grocery and Dry Goods celebrates 95 years, having served great grandparents, grandparents, parents and children of Molokai residents in a family-operated business that itself spans four generations.

“I’m the third generation, it’s really weird when you think about it, when we look at old pictures,” said General Manager Kevin Misaki. “It’s almost unbelievable… We found an old bill… 300 pounds of poi from old poi shop… it was $15. Considering how long we’ve been doing this, it’s kinda crazy how the prices have changed over the years.”

Prices may have changed, but many aspects of running a small community business have remained the same.…

Kalaupapa Welcomes Hokule`a Home

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Kalaupapa Welcomes Hokule`a Home

Before tens of thousands flocked to Oahu’s Magic Island to greet Hokule`a after her historic, three-year Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage last Saturday, the sailing canoe and her crew made a special stop.

The isolated Kalaupapa peninsula was the official last port of call on Hokule`a’s journey, and the community there provided a safe respite from her travels before the public homecoming celebrations.

“This canoe has traveled thousands of miles and weathered many storms,” said Miki`ala Pescaia, cultural practitioner who also works with the National Park Service in Kalaupapa. “She was beat and tired after her long sail up from Tahiti. Coming to rest in Kalaupapa was like having a quiet visit at Tutuʻs house.…

Molokai Library Celebrates 80 Years

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Molokai Library Celebrates 80 Years

The Molokai Public Library was celebrated as a community cornerstone at its 80th anniversary last Saturday.

“I know that many of you have memories of this library, and the books you’ve borrowed, and the answers you’ve found, and the wonderful staff that are here in Molokai,” State Librarian Stacey Aldrich told the crowd. “I’m grateful to the staff from 1937 to the present who have dedicated their professional lives to serving this community.”

Aldrich especially recognized Sri TenCate, who has been the Branch Manager of the Molokai Public Library for 31 years, saying “Your kindness and dedication are inspiring to us all.”

TenCate has helped carry on the library legacy that began on May 21, 1937.…