Lahaina Maui, Hawaii
King Kamehameha the Great, in 1802, declared that Lahaina would be the official capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The royal seat was located near the shore at a sacred site called Moku`ula The royal family built a brick “palace,” family mausoleum, private residence and a fishpond. There is still, today, a walled off area devoted to this historical spot.
Under Kamehameha the Great, foreign trade was established with selling sandalwood to China. In 1821, 2,000,000 pounds of this fragrant wood were sold to Asia. Three years later, demand was so high that the royal family required their subjects to pay their taxes in the form of sandalwood.
At about the same time, the first whaling ship arrived at Maui from New Bedford, Massachusetts. At that time there not as many whales in the area as there are today but Lahaina was a good port to sail from to hunt whales in the North Pacific. It was also a good place for rest and relaxation for the sailors which proved to be quite upsetting for the local missionaries because of the drinking and prostitution. Whaling declined as the fuel of choice shifted to pteroleum products instead of whale oil. The dipust between the freewheeling whalers and the uptight missionaries led, on one occaision, to the whalers taking some canon shots at the mission. This led to the building of the fort in the early 1830s. The fort was torn down in the 1850s and the stones were used to the Hale Pa'ahao, the Lahaina Prison.
"Lahaina is the largest town and census-designated place (CDP) in West Maui, Maui County, Hawaii, United States, and the gateway to the famous Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts north of town. As of the 2000 Census, the CDP had a resident population of 9,118. Lahaina encompasses the coast along Hawaii Route 30 from a tunnel at the south end, through Olawalu up the CDP of Napili-Honokowai is to the north. During the heavy tourist seasons, the population can swell to nearly 40,000 people. Before Hawaii's annexation by the United States, Lahaina was the "Royal Capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom" as city signs proclaim. The name means "merciless sun" in the Hawaiian language, describing the long hot days; Lahaina averages only 13 inches (330 mm) of rain per year, much of which occurs from December through February. In the 1800s, Lahaina was the center of the global whaling industry with many sailing ships anchored in front of town; today a score of pleasure craft make their home there."