Pacific American-News Journal
`Okakopa - October 1996 Volume 2 Issue 10
Hale Pa`i O Lahainaluna
(Printing House of Lahainaluna)
Hale Pa`i O Lahainaluna, the Lahaina Restoration
Foundations printing museum, is now open seven days a week
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hale Pa`i is located on the campus of
Lahainaluna High School.
The history of Hale Pa`i parallels the development of the
printing industry in Hawaii. The first company of missionaries
who arrived in the islands included a printer by the name of
Elisha Loomis, who set up the mission at the Honolulu station.
When the first company of missionaries came to the Sandwich
Isles, the Hawaiians did not have a written language. The
Hawaiian language was difficult to put into letters of the
alphabet since there were so many slight variations in the
pronunciation of many letters. The missionaries had to develop a
written language to be able to start printing books, pamphlets
and other materials in order to teach the Gospel of Christianity.
The first book printed in Hawaii, in 1822, was a Hawaiian
In 1831 the need for a printing press at Lahainaluna was
realized. A temporary building was constructed and a Ramage
Printing Press arrived from Honolulu in 1834. On February 14,
1834 the first edition of "Ka Lama Hawaii" was the
first newspaper printed West of the Rocky Mountains. According to
Lorrin Andrews, the first principal of Lahainaluna, "Ka Lama
Hawaii" was designed for three purposes: first to give the
students of the high school the idea of a newspaper as a medium
of communication; second, to communicate ideas which do not have
a proper place in the curriculum, or sermons; third; to provide a
forum for the students themselves.
In 1837 a permanent coral and stucco building was finished.
This building still stands and is the present Hale Pa`i Printing
Museum and school display. The first paper money (school scrip)
was printed here. This was used to pay for work done for the
school. Engraving on copper plates was also done. The Hawaiian
students became very skilled in engraving and turned out some
beautiful works of art.
Hale Pa`i continued to be used for printing purposes until
printing was discontinued in 1846. After that, it was primarily
used for a school room.
In 1964 Hale Pa`i was turned over to the Lahaina Restoration
Foundation. Hale Pa`i now houses a replica of the original
printing press (the whereabouts of the original press is
unknown), several books, and examples of early engraving, and
rare copies of Sheldon Dibbles "History of the
Sandwich Islands," published at Hale Pa`i in 1834, and
Lorrin Andrews English-Hawaiian Dictionary published in
A school display showing the various aspects of the school
program and life will be on permanent display.
Lahainaluna was founded in 1831 by missionaries, and then,
after the turn of the century, became part of the school system
of the Territory of Hawaii. Lahainaluna School boasts one of the
most colorful campuses anywhere. Landscaped with the lush
greenery of Polynesia it sits like a jewel on the hillside above
old Lahaina town.
Hale Pa`i, built in 1837, is the site where the first news
paper West of the Rocky Mountains was published. It is the only
original building standing on the campus today. It presently
houses an exhibit of the building and the various aspects of the
All of the above history on Hale Pa`i and Lahainaluna was
researched from a booklet that was prepared under the direction
of Robert Schuman, head of the art department at the time that
the booklet went into press, along with several students of
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Copyright © 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998
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