Note: Hale Pai is no longer being published. These archives of passed issues will remain available as long as there is interest. - Courtesy of San Jose Web


Hale Pai
Pacific American-News Journal

Iune-June 1996 Volume 2 Issue 6

  Hale Pa'i 0 Lahainaluna

Printing House Of Lahainaluna

Hale Pa'i 0 Lahainaluna has a colorful history parallels the development of the printing industry in Hawai'i. 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.

Hale Pa'i O Lahainaluna, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation's printing museum, is now open seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm. Hale Pa`i is located on the campus of Lahainaluna High School
When the first company of missionaries came to the Sandwich Isles, the Hawaiian 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 Hawai'i, in 1822, was a Hawaiian spelling book.

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 Hawai'i," the Hawaiian Luminary was published; "Ka Lama Hawai'i" was the first newspaper printed west of the Rocky Mountains. According to Lorrin Andrews the first principle of Lahainaluna, "Ka Lama 0 Hawai'i" 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 curriculum, or sermons; third, to provide a forum for 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 to pay for work done for the school. Engraving on copper plates were 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 as 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 printing press is unknown), several books, and examples of early engraving, and rare copies of Sheldon Dibble's "History of The Sandwich Islands," published at Hale Pa'i in 1834, and Lorrin Andrews English - Hawaiian Dictionary published in 1846.

A school display showing the various aspects of school programs and life will be on permanent display.

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Copyright 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998

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