Three historic sites surround the Lahaina library: the foundation of Kamehameha I’s ‘palace,’ a birthing stone and an early 1900s lighthouse. The yard itself was once a royal taro field where Kamehameha II toiled in the mud to instill in his subjects the dignity of labor.
The first Western-style building in Hawaii, the Brick Palace was erected by Kamehameha I around 1800 so he could keep watch on arriving ships. Despite the name, this ‘palace’ was a simple two-story structure built by a pair of ex-convicts from Botany Bay. All that remains is the excavated foundation, which can be found behind the library.
From this foundation, walk to the northern shoreline and look down. There lies the Hauola Stone, a chair-shaped rock that the ancient Hawaiians believed emitted healing powers to those who sat upon it. It sits just above the water’s surface, the middle of three lava stones. In the 14th and 15th centuries royal women sat here while giving birth to the next generation of chiefs and royalty.
About 100ft to the south stands the Lahaina Lighthouse, the site of the first lighthouse in the Pacific. It was commissioned in 1840 to aid whaling ships pulling into the harbor. The current structure dates from 1916.