Kalaupapa

Kalaupap Peninsula and Kalawao County news, articles, and stories.

Lion Tamer Of Kalaupapa

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

Today, while preparing a homily, I read a story about a young man who was trying to get a job in a circus. He approached the circus manager, who decided to give the young man a chance to be the assistant lion tamer and took him to the lion’s cage. Now it so happened that the head lion tamer was a beautiful young woman who was just about to rehearse her act. She stepped into the cage, removed her cape with a grand flourish, revealing a gorgeous costume as well as a gorgeous figure, and gave a command to the lion.…

Retired NPS Worker Stays On as Pastor

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Retired NPS Worker Stays On as Pastor

Photo courtesy of NPS

Richard Miller retired from Kalaupapa National Historical Park at the end of last year but his service to that special community is not ending. He will remain in Kalaupapa, serving the community as pastor of Kana`ana Hou and Siloama Church, and volunteering for the Park.

After 25 years as a stonemasonry contractor, Miller joined the National Park Service in the year 2000, taking the position of park mason at the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.  Transferring shortly thereafter to the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center, he worked with other artisans performing preservation treatment on historic structures at locations such as Castillio de San Marcos, Harper’s Ferry, the White House, and, for the last 13 years, Kalaupapa National Historical Park.…

Kalaupapa Remembers Edwin Lelepali

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Kalaupapa Remembers Edwin Lelepali

By Rick Schonely, Staff reporter

Photo by Rick Schonely

A Kalaupapa legend Edwin “Uncle Pali” Lelepali passed away at the age of 88 on Feb. 7, 2016, and the Kalaupapa community celebrated his one year of passing earlier this month on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Kalaupapa. A service was held at Kana`ana Hou Church with Pastor Richard Miller and Charles Buck, Conference Minister of the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ, and along with many of his friends. Uncle Pali’s favorite music was played by the Kalaupapa Backyard Band and stories were shared by many. After the service and music, everyone headed to the grave site at Papaloa Cemetery for more beautiful words, music, hula and poetry.…

Boater Rescued Off Kalaupapa

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Boater Rescued Off Kalaupapa

A man in a homemade, 22-foot boat was rescued off Kalaupapa by the Coast Guard early last Friday morning, Feb. 17. The Coast Guard received a mayday call at 1:43 a.m. from the vessel’s 52-year-old occupant  — who remains unidentified by officials as of Sunday. At 3:08 a.m., the Coast Guard’s dolphin helicopter crew hoisted the mariner from his fiberglass vessel, the Harmony B.

With windy weather and 7-foot seas at the scene near the Kalaupapa lighthouse, the boat’s captain said he believed his anchor was no longer holding and was concerned that the weather conditions would push his vessel onto the nearby rocks, according to the Coast Guard.…

Trail Access Threatens Mule Ride

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Trail Access Threatens Mule Ride

The Sproat family, owners of Molokai’s legendary mule ride, say they’re worried land access issues may prevent the business from continuing operation.

Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

The Kalae barn that serves as their base of business — home to the mules that make daily guided trips down the rugged Kalaupapa trail — is on land owned by R.W. Meyer Ltd, leased by the Sproats. R. W. Meyer also owns the land at the trailhead by Kalae Highway, through which mules and hikers must pass to access the settlement.

The late Buzzy Sproat operated the mule ride for more than 40 years, and his family has owned the business for 25 years.…

Vintage Time in Kalawao 

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

She hopped out of her red vintage pickup truck and, having surveyed the situation, sprang into action. Streams of water were pouring down Damien Road and out of the Baldwin Home field opposite St. Philomena Church. Unfazed by the water and the mud, she picked up some rocks and placed them behind the rear tires of the truck to help with traction as the truck had become mired in the muddy road. She had already called for help and soon Ken, our Administrator, arrived on the scene followed by Park Ranger Adam. Adam produced a rope, connected the stuck truck to his super Ram pickup and, with a mighty push from  Ken and yours truly, the sunken vehicle was soon freed and rolling up the hill toward Siloama Church.…

Kalaupapa Cultural Manager Leaves Park

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Kalaupapa Cultural Manager Leaves Park

Photo courtesy of KNHP

By Rick Schonely

Carrie Mardorf, the cultural resource program manager at the Kalaupapa National Historic Park (KNHP), is leaving the settlement for a job on the mainland. She will be working as superintendent of Cane River Creole National Historical Park in Louisiana. While at KNHP, she  oversaw the preservation of over 300 historic buildings, 1200 grave markers, two cultural landscapes, hundreds of archeological sites, museum collections, and an ongoing collection of oral histories from the Hansen’s disease patient community.

Mardorf said she has been with the National Park Service since 2009 and came to Kalaupapa in January 2014.…

Facing the Flames

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

I awoke to the jarring blare of the settlement alarm siren. I got out of bed saying to myself, “Oh no! Not a tsunami!” Then as I quickly got into some clothing and shoes, I thought, if this is not a tsunami, it is one hell of an hour to get us out of bed (it was about 2 a.m. or shortly thereafter) for a tsunami drill. Then I climbed into my paddy wagon and started out for the evacuation area. As I drove up the hill, however, I realized that the large glow I had seen from my bedroom window was not a collection of vehicle lights but rather it was the glow from a huge fire.…

Fire Claims Kalaupapa Kitchen

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Fire Claims Kalaupapa Kitchen

Photo by Rick Schonely

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Library of Congress photo

The kitchen building that fed Kalaupapa patient residents and state employees went up in flames early Tuesday morning, Sept. 6, and only rubble remains. Sirens in the settlement went off just after 2 a.m.
“At first, many of us thought it was a tsunami warning, but then we saw the glow of the flames,” said Paul Hosten, acting superintendent for Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
By the time the fire truck arrived on the scene, the building was completely engulfed in flames. Without a county-supported fire department, five National Park Service (NPS) rangers are specially trained in firefighting skills.…

Kalaupapa Says Goodbye to Museum Curator

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Kalaupapa Says Goodbye to Museum Curator

Photo by Rick Schonely

By Molokai Dispatch Staff

After seven years serving as curator for the museum at Kalaupapa National Historical Park (KNHP) – and hiking the pali trail daily to be with his family topside – T. Scott Williams is leaving Molokai to take a new job as the director of the Aurora History Museum in Colorado.

“It’s been both a privilege and an honor to serve the community at Kalaupapa,” Williams said. “I have become a better human being getting to know the history, culture, and most importantly, the residents of Kalaupapa who generously shared with their mana’o with me.…