Old Lahaina Courthouse

Old Lahaina Courthouse information

Lahaina , USA
648 Wharf St
Visitor center
+1 808 667 9193
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Tucked in the shadows of a banyan tree, Lahaina’s 1859 courthouse is a repository of history and art, housing a museum, the town visitor center and two art galleries. Its location beside the harbor is no coincidence. Smuggling was so rampant during the whaling era that officials deemed this the ideal spot for customs operations, the courthouse and the jail – all neatly wrapped into a single building. It also held the governor’s office, and in 1898 the US annexation of Hawaii was formally concluded here.

Gifts and a walking tour map, with details about historic sites ($2), are available at the 1st-floor visitor center . On the 2nd floor, the Lahaina Heritage Museum celebrates Lahaina’s prominent role in Maui’s history. Exhibits spotlight ancient Hawaiian culture, 19th-century whaling, and local plantations and mills. Check out the lemon-shaped sling stones. Made from volcanic rock, they were deadly projectiles used in early Hawaiian warfare.

There are also two art galleries in the building, both operated by the Lahaina Arts Society , an artists' cooperative. The Banyan Tree Gallery is on the 1st floor, in the former post office. The Old Jail Gallery is in the basement, where cells that once held drunken sailors now display paintings. The entrance to the jail is outside, on the north side of the building.