Hale Paʻi Printing Museum


This small white cottage on the grounds of Lahainaluna High School housed Hawaii’s first printing press. Although its primary mission was making the Bible available to Hawaiians, the press also produced, in 1834, Hawaii’s first newspaper. Named Ka Lama (The Torch), it held the distinction of being the first newspaper west of the Rockies. Call in advance; Hale Paʻi is staffed by volunteers so hours can vary. To get there, follow Lahainaluna Rd uphill for 2 miles northeast from downtown.

The adjacent school was founded in 1831, and students operated the press. Typography tools and a replica of the original Rampage Press are on display. The original press was so heavily used that it wore out in the 1850s. Displays discuss various items and publications printed on the press. There's also an exhibit explaining the history of Hawaii’s 12-letter alphabet and a reprint of an amusing ‘Temperance Map,’ drawn by an early missionary to illustrate the perils of drunkenness. Don’t be alarmed if an ear-splitting siren breaks your 1850s reverie; it’s just the high school’s ‘bell’ for changing classes. Boarding students, about 10% of the student body, have traditionally worked in neighboring fields – so the bell has to be loud.

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