Historic Lahaina


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Bold faced print is reproduced from the Lahaina Historical Guide with permission from the publisher.  Copyright 1998, Honolulu Publishing Company, Ltd.   All rights reserved.   Free copies of the Lahaina Historical Guide are available throughout Lahaina Town and the K�`anapali resorts.



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Chinese men were imported in great numbers to work in the sugar cane fields.   In 1909 a group of them formed the local Wo Hing Society, a chapter of Chee Kung Tong, a Chinese fraternal society dating back to the 17th century.   In 1912 they built a fraternal hall downtown that became the social center for hundreds of Chinese residents, who became a powerful force in the commerce of Lahaina.

In 1983 the Lahaina Restoration Foundation restored the building and installed a display of the history of the Chinese in Lahaina.   The cookhouse was separate from the main building as a precaution against fire.   Authentic utensils, discovered in the attic, are on display.   The fire pits heated huge woks using local kiawe wood (mesquite) as fuel.

In addition to the displays, the Cookhouse Theatre shows movies of Hawaii taken by Thomas Edison in 1898 and 1903, an incredible visual history lesson.   The museum and theater are open daily.

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