|Banner over Lahaina's Main street|
Once a busy whaling port and (sugar cane) plantation settlement, it continues to be a busy port town although it is day-tour boats and cruise ship tenders that ply the Pacific waters these days.
As you know a trademark of our travel lifestyle is to get off the beaten path – away from the tourist bustle – in this case, anywhere near the port.
We set off on foot as Lahaina is an easy walking town and just a few blocks away from this bee hive of commercialism we found ourselves strolling through a laid-back semi-residential neighborhood.
Soon we came to a road called “Prison Street”. We followed it and found ourselves at . . ., you guessed it. . .a prison. A prison that is now an outdoor museum, that is.
Hale Pa’Ahao, which loosely translated means ‘stuck in irons’ was built by convict labor. In the late afternoon we found the entryway open – there was no admission charge and no one staffing the historic site. We had the place to ourselves.
(Note the sign says guardhouse and cells were rebuilt in 1959 – the same year Hawaii became a part of the United States, so one might assume from its worn interior today that it was still in use then.)
As far as prison grounds go, this one seemed rather comfortable (at least in is present state) with green lawn and trees. But it was clear that comfort was left on the doorstep of that small building that housed the prisoners:
It appeared that it wasn’t just a place to ‘sleep off’ too much fun -- prisoners had rules. . .lots of rules, for example:
It’s unclear how long the place housed prisoners, but the cells and stockade were reconstructed, according to historical records, as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). And then there’s the plaque in the photo above says there was a rebuild in 1959. By 1967 the place was in a state of deterioration and the Lahaina Restoration Foundation developed a plan approved by the Historical Commission to save it.
|Walls of coral border the old prison site|
A number of airlines have direct flights from the Mainland US to Maui’s Kahului airport and there are several flights daily from Honolulu. You’ll need to hop the local bus or rent a car to get to Lahaina.
Stop by the Visitor’s Center (housed in Lahaina’s historic courthouse) footsteps from the harbor and take a tour of the Museum (in the same building) – entry here is also free but donations are welcome. While there pPick up a free copy of the Historic Walking Tour map and take a self-guided tour of the area’s 62 historical sites. Bronze plaques at the sites give brief overviews of the historic significance.
The old prison, now considered an outdoor museum, is open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
As always, we thank you for spending time with us today. Hope to see you back again soon – bring a friend or two with you!
Linking with Judith's Mosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage Gardening