Lahaina: One Of The Seven Wonders of Maui
Article by Kean Salzer
If you've been watching there is a worldwide campaign going to rename the 7 Wonders of the World. Seems many on the first list have fallen into disrepair or been converted into time share. At Maui.net, we love lists that matter...that may be the reason we actually have a major category called...well, you get the idea. Here's the bit about Lahaina, one of the truly great destinations in the world.
Lahaina is full of history. You can close your eyes and easily imagine Lahaina's waters filled with tall-masted whaling ships here for the winter migration of the humpback whales. Thankfully, whaling's been long-outlawed and the humpbacks have come off the endangered species list, but in the mid 1800's this little town was full of dirty old men chasing Hawaiian women who were being encouraged to wear more than a friendly smile by the missionaries. It was a time when Jack Sparrow would have roamed the town and drunkenly run into Blackbeard, Pegleg Pete and no doubt some ancestor of Donald Trump with a salt sprayed comb-over selling something to somebody. When I walk down to the old Lahaina jail I smile thinking about the way it must have looked...all that commotion of the King's guard dragging some drunken whaler into a cell full of stinky guys with the smell of rum all over them, then heading back out looking for the next group of unruly players...actually, except for the peg-legs and the scurvy it looks a little like last weekend...yes, Lahaina is still the place for the young at heart on a weekend night.
But believe it or not, the Caucasian whaling story wasn't even the most interesting historical period for Lahaina. This little seaside town was once the capitol of Hawaii and many of Hawaii's kings and queens either lived here year round or stayed here seasonally with great pomp and circumstance. You can discover details of this story about the only royalty ever to exist in American history in your ventures around Lahaina or by picking up one of our book picks before you arrive. The Lahaina Historical society has done a good job preserving the story for you history lovers, and it's fun to stroll down the street and see the old missionary homes now prepared for a short walking tour, or wander over to the Seaman's cemetery or even Pioneer Inn and give them your best "garrrrrh matey".
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