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Government Records- A Chronological History

Kea'au and the Puna Trails and Roads


The following documentation provides readers with detailed records from government communications pertaining to Kea'au and vicinity and the historic Puna Trail (Old Government Road) from 1848 to 1933. The information is generally presented in chronological order, and communications translated by Maly are noted. (Italics emphasis is this author's - noting particular sections of text.)


1848 School Report (Puna Section)

Public Instruction Files:

By 1848, surveys of schools, including names of teachers, numbers of students and various limited comments regarding the quality of instruction began being forwarded to the Hawaiian Government. The information below, identifies school locations and gives us the names of teachers who were living at Kea'au and vicinity.


Teacher Daily Salary Number of Students Location of School

Maiau 12 ½ cents 18 Makuu

Kaholo 12 ½ cents 36 Keaau 1

Ihauae 12 ½ cents 45 Keaau 2

Kau & Ihauae 25 cents 34 Olaa 1

Kaanaana 18 ¾ cents 24 Olaa 2


Studies included subjects such as - reading, arithmetic, geography, penmanship, philosophy, science, and religion. (Series 262 - Hawaii Island; Folder of 1848)


August 30, 1853

School Lot at Keaau 1. Puna Hawaii:

This lot begins at the shoreward corner, at a cut off coconut tree stump, proceeding South 15 ½º West 3.00 chains, then South 79º East 6.00 chains, then North 15 ½º East 3.00 chains, then North 79 º West 6.00 chains, back to the place of commencement.

1.80 Acres

Approved Aug. 30th 1853.


August 30, 1850

School and Church Lot at Keaau 2. Puna Hawaii:

This lot begins at a large stone on the shore, the northern corner of the lot, and proceeds South 56 ¾º West, 3.86 chains to a coconut tree stump, then proceeding along the Government Road (Alanui Aupuni) South 22 ¾º East 10.2 chains, then North 75 ½º East 4.00 chains to the shore, then proceeding along the shore to the place of commencement.

4.20 Acres

Approved Aug. 30th 1853.


Overview of Road Laws and Development

in the Kingdom of Hawai'i (1840 to 1857):

Roads are the most accurate tests of the degree of civilization in every country. Their construction is one of the first indications of the emergence of a people from a savage state, and their improvement keeps pace with the advance of a nation in wealth and science. They are the veins and arteries through which flow the agricultural productions and commercial supplies, which are essential to the prosperity of the state. Agriculture is in a great measure dependent upon good roads for its success and rewards.

The history of road making in this kingdom does not date far back. The first law that we find recorded was enacted in 1840, which as well as the laws of 1846 and 1850 gave to the Governors a general control of the roads, with power to make new roads and employ prisoners in their construction. But no system of road making has ever been introduced, and the whole subject has been left to be executed as chance dictated. In 1852 road supervisors were made elective by the people, at the annual election in January. This change worked no improvement in the roads, as the road supervisors, in order to remain popular, required the least possible amount of labor, and in many districts an hour or two of work in the morning was considered as a compliance with the road law. Under this law the road supervisors were pretty much to themselves, and though accountable to the Minister of the Interior, they considered favor of their constituents of more importance. This law was found productive of more evil than good, and during the last session of the legislature a new road law was passed, which goes in to force on the 1st of January 1857. This new law gives to the Minister of the Interior the appointment of road supervisors throughout the Kingdom, who are subject to such general instructions (we suppose in regard to the construction of roads) as he may issue& (The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 25, 1856)


April 6, 1858

L. Kaina, Road Supervisor for the District of Puna

to Lot Kamehameha, Minister of Interior.

&You asked me for the remaining money of the Puna Road Tax to be forwarded to you. There is no money remaining. I was asked for the remainder of the money for the years 1858 and 1859. In my thoughts there is no money that was received for these years; because no people paid the money. They worked instead. I was also asked how much money would be needed to make the roads good again in these years. Here along the pahoehoe flats of Hopoe, $300.00. There are no people there. The work can be done on the pahoehoe of Panau and Kealakomo for $300.00. Totaling more than five miles. These are the things needed to improve the road, hammers, crowbars and chisels. (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


Chas. Gulick, School Inspector; to Department of Public Instruction

"1865 - Report on Hawaii; Inspector Gulick's Report"

&I left Hilo on the 16th of August and proceeded into the district of Puna and on my way visited the following schools.

Keaau. A thatched stone hovel, a la East Maui, standing on private grounds, while the school lot lies unoccupied close by, below the road, except by an equally distant building, called by courtesy a church. 16 scholars attended the examination; their reading and writing was very good, arithmetic and geography passable. Thence to Makuu, another stone hovel standing on the original lot. This school I did not examine, it being out when I arrived& (Series 262 - Folder Hawaii - 1865:23-24)


August 26, 1868

L. Kaina (at Kilauea Lua o Pele), Road Supervisor, Puna; to

F.W. Hutchinson, Minister of the Interior:

&I am your humble servant, L. Kaina, Road Supervisor of Puna. I have heard that some of the people of Puna have petitioned you to terminate my position as road supervisor& While I am not living in the Puna District, I can easily travel around the district and inspect the roads (alanui), and at the time that road work is being done, I travel to inspect the work.

The reason for their claim against me, is that they desire the work themselves, because they lack work and funds, and they desire the government work&

Here is one trouble with the road at Kalapana and Kaimu, I have met with the people there and request that a road be opened in another location. The tidal wave (kai hoee) was the source of this trouble. I know that an appropriation of $1,000.00 was given to the District of Puna. You have received my vouchers, and there are $200.00 left in my hand. Perhaps some of that money can be used on this problem, to clean up the road at Kalapana and Kaimu, and some to be given to repair of a bad place on the shore of Panaewa. The problems in upland Panaewa have been taken care of& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


Aug. 29th, 1868

R.A. Lyman, Lieut. Governor of Hawai'i; to

F.W. Hutchinson, Minister of the Interior:

&I would say that Hilo receives a little over $2000.00 a year in cash for the road tax, and the District has 13 good sized bridges out of town to keep in order, and a number of small ones. Two of these have been rebuilt this year, and two more have got to be rebuilt within three months. The district has not got money enough to build this bridge. Hilo can get along with it, but Puna, the poorest district on the island can not well do without it. As it is on the main road to Puna, and you can not ford the stream. And you can [not] go around it without traveling through a swamp and through the bushes for two miles. The produce of Puna comes across this stream, and they feel the want of the bridge very much, on coming in with loaded animals having to walk around for over three miles instead of coming on to good roads on the beach. A bridge 90 feet long is needed and a road way from the beach to the bridge of about 20 feet in length& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


July 16, 1869

S.B. Puamana (Kaimu, Puna ); to

the Minster of the Interior (F.W. Hutchinson):

At the instruction of L. Kaina, "Go and survey the mileage of the road work which remains to be done by J.W. Kumahoa, Road Supervisor of Puna." Therefore I conducted the survey it all as instructed, there are five miles. I inspected and understand the extent of the work at mile markers (kia mile) 1 and mile 5, those are the miles of the greatest and most difficult work. I think, based on my understanding, that it is right to pay for those miles, $200.00, and for the three miles between, to pay $400.00. This is what I think& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


July 16, 1869

L. Kaina, Puna Road Supervisor; to

Minister of the Interior (F.W. Hutchinson):

&S.B. Puamana went and surveyed and inspected the Government Road at place thought to need work and funding. He began the survey and inspection from the place called Waikahekahe and continued to Haena at Keaau, five miles. The nature of these miles is not the same. Inspection shows that in the first mile, the work will be difficult, and payment of two hundred dollars is right. The second mile at $140.00, the third mile at $130.00, the fourth mile at $130.00, and the fifth mile at $200.00. The combined total is $800.00.

Here are the provisions needed by those who work on the road - 12 crowbars, 12 pickaxes, 12 shovels, 12 hammers, 12 (koi kimo) broad adzes, 12 (kila pao) steel chisels, and 12 (koi lipi) long adzes&

I have often seen this place, and it is justifiable to do road work there. The road will be changed at certain places, that is near the shore of Hopoe, and Aalama[nu], because the waves cover the road&. When the work is to begin, I will go directly there to supervise the work&. (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)






February 2, 1870

L. Kaina (at Kilauea), Puna Road Supervisor; to

F.W. Hutchinson, Minister of the Interior:

&Because Mr. Jones has spoken to me about the Road of Puna, which you want me to make, there for I am writing to you.

The first mile, that is the place where the Road Supervisor worked up to, from there the work will begin, and it is the most difficult mile. If I take twenty men to work there, the work may not be completed in one month, with the work to be done as I think right. Based on my inspection, to undertake that mile, it would cost -

20 men 8 dollars for the month $160.00

Their poi 40.00

Their fish 20.00

Their shelter and such 10.00


Therefore I need to ask for three hundred dollars for that difficult mile. And for the two miles in between, it is appropriate for me to ask for two hundred dollars because it is not too difficult, and for the two miles remaining, it is right for me to be paid three hundred dollars, because the work is similar to that of the first mile.

If I begin the work, I will do so and make the road good& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


February 22nd, 1871

R.A. Lyman, Lieut. Governor of Hawai'i; to

F.W. Hutchinson, Minister of the Interior:

&J.W. Kumahoa Road Supervisor of Puna has made a contract with 10 men to make 2 miles of the road in the woods between here and Keau [Kea'au] in Puna. The two miles they propose to make are very nearly impassable now, as the road is so full of sharp stones.

He wishes to take 10 crowbars, 10 shovels, and 10 stone hammers from the tools that Mr. Kaina had when he was at work on the Puna road. I have directed him to take these tools as soon as they are ready to use them& (Subject File - Roads, Island of Hawaii)


May 17th, 1871

R.A. Lyman, Lieut. Governor of Hawai'i; to

F.W. Hutchinson, Minister of the Interior:

&I have this day made a contract with the natives to make another mile of the Puna Road, and have drawn on you in favor of F.S. Lyman for one hundred 00/100 ($100.) dollars amt. to be paid in advance to the men. The other $100.00 is to be paid to them when the mile is accepted. They are to have $200. for the mile& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


June 1st, 1871

J.W. Kumahoa (at Panaewa) Puna Road Board;

to F.W. Hutchinson, Minister of the Interior:

&I explain to you that I was hired to make two miles (of road) at four hundred dollars - $400.00, two hundred dollars for each mile. Those are the miles in Panaewa, near Hilo. There remains to be made three and a half miles from Keaau and reaching the road of L. Kaina at Hopoe. There is a great amount of work to be done to open this road, it is a very treacherous place. The laborers think that these miles will cost one thousand two hundred dollars - $1,200. Four hundred for the first mile, four hundred for the second mile, two hundred for the third mile, and two hundred for the half mile& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


September 1, 1873

O.B. Spencer to J.O. Dominis & R.A. Lyman

Assignment of Lease & Bill of Sale (Keaau, Puna)

O.B. Spencer assigns lease and sells personal property to J.O. Dominis and R.A. Lyman, including the following properties:

The lease of the land known as Keaau in the District of Puna, Island of Hawaii and all other leases of land held by me in the District of Puna aforesaid together with all buildings and improvements to me belonging upon the said lands, and also all my flock of cattle running on the land of Keaau aforesaid and on the adjoining lands branded "OS" or " " or " " together with my brand "OS" and also all of my flock of goats and sheep running on the land of Keaau aforesaid and the adjoining lands and also my fowls and hogs on the lands aforesaid. And also the following horses [names 10 horses; also lists two foals, four mules, seven donkeys] &Also a lot of lumber and shingles, a table and potatoes growing& (Bureau of Conveyances; Lib. 37:488-489)



Petition signed by approximately 60 native residents of Puna; to

to E.O. Hall, Minister of the Interior:

In support of J.W. Kumahoa. Petitioners provide the following chronology of work accomplished in Puna, under J.W. Kumahoa -


I. In the year 1870 Kumahoa opened the road at Kauaea. Following trouble from the seas and because there were no people the road was not rightly repaired. In this year, 1873, the road was reopened. We have seen this road, it is good and a blessing to us.

II. He made the road at Makuu. It was a very treacherous place before, but through his work is good to this time.

III. In the year 1870, he was hired to make the road from Kumu to Haena, three miles [for] $400.00, it is a good road and the Government was gotten through because of his work.

IV. In the year 1871, he took the men out and worked on five miles in a very bad place in the road made by L. Kaina at Waikahekahe. That is the road made for $700.00, three miles. At this treacherous place, he was accused. We disagree, the Government is not at a loss because of him.

V. In the year 1872, he again took men out on the five miles to work on the treacherous places of the Road made by S. Kipi at Haena, a distance of one and three-quarters miles for $900.00.

Therefore we humbly ask you not to terminate the Good Road Supervisor of this District& (Subject File - Roads, Island of Hawaii; translated by Maly)


January 1, 1874

J. Kapaakaula, Road Supervisor, Puna; to

E.O. Hall, Minister of the Interior:

&I, your servant am pleased to inform your about things in the things that you have placed me in charge of, in the District of Puna, Hawaii.

The Government Roads of this District; are laid out straight (pololei) and graded (iliwai), with gradual rises. I have faith that most of the repairs can be made by the people of this District. The Road Supervisors remain diligent& The only small problems are in the places that are set far off, places where the natives are very attached to; these are the places where there is a need for money to help in this District.

There are areas of pahoehoe, some that are rocky (makaili), others with light soil, the blessing of the roads in this District is that it is somewhat barren. The places with a lot of soil are the places which become very boggy in this District& So by this you are informed of the bad places and the good places in this District& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


August 18, 1874

Queen Dowager Emma Kaleleokalani; to

J.O. Dominis and R.A. Lyman

Indenture of Lease (Waikahekaheike, Puna):

&The Ahupuaa of Waikahekaheike, according to its ancient boundaries with all the rights, easements, and appurtenances&for the term of Ten years to commence from the first day of July 1874& (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 40:230-232)


On September 21st, 1874; R.A. Lyman and J.O. Dominis consolidated their leases and cattle branded "OS" under an Assignment of Lease to R.A. Lyman, J.O. Dominis, and C.R. Bishop (Liber 40:265-267).

September 14, 1874

Charles Kanaina (heir of King Wm. Lunalilo) to R. A. Lyman

Indenture of Lease (land of Keaau, Puna):

&All the land of the ahupuaa in the District of Puna, Island of Hawaii, called "Keaau", according to its ancient boundaries, including its konohiki rights to the fishery&for the period of twenty-five years, beginning the first day of October 1874& The party of the second part agrees to repair the walls (pa aina) as required by the Law, that have been built on this land& Furthermore, here are several things agreed to by the two parties - the pandanus trees (kumu puhala), guava (kuawa), and amaumau (ferns) growing in this ahupuaa may be cut; but the other trees may not be cut for sale. The trees of different varieties may not be cut and sold to others, or taken out of this land. Furthermore, such trees shall not be cut or otherwise damaged, the coconut trees (niu), breadfruit trees (ulu), and trees of any variety that have been planted, also retained outside of this lease are the property rights of the tenants approved by the Land Commissioners& (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 40:240-242; translated by Maly)


September 22, 1874

W.L. Green, Minister of the Interior to R.A. Lyman

Indenture of Lease (various lands in Puna):

&All those tracts or parcels of land situated in the district of Puna Island of Hawaii known as Makuu, Halona, Keonepokoiki, Kaohe and Popoki for the term of Ten (10) years from the first day of January A.D. 1874&Said party of the second part hereby further agrees that he will not&cut, nor allow to be cut, any timber or fire wood from any portion of these lands for sale; and that here not gather nor allow to be gathered, Pulu from these lands or any part thereof& (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 40:250-251)


January 21, 1875

Hawaiian Government Survey Files

John. M. Lydgate to W.D. Alexander:

Proposing to conduct work for the Government, including the survey of the District of Puna and the Puna Government Road. His application to undertake the work as approved, and Register Map 583 was prepared as a result of the survey work:


&I have a conditional proposition to make you as superintendent of the Gov't. Survey.

I rather expect to leave the Islands for the States in a short time - probably inside of a month, and the condition and proposition is that if I should have time to do the amount of work necessary, I should like to furnish the Gov't. Survey for the Sum of $100.00; 1st the coast line of that part of the Island lying between the town of Hilo and the land of Keaiwa in Kau. Some 65 or 70 miles I should say. Of course I can't afford to give it with the accuracy that I know is required in the final Gov't. Survey work. It will be the nice miniature that are wanting, not the outline however.

2nd I will give the two Gov't. Roads; the one from Hilo direct to the Volcano and the other round by the shore. These will be given from actual survey. Also the roads from the Volcano to Kapapala and Keauhou indicated pretty correctly.

3rd The main topographical features - hills, craters, &c.,; and the general nature of the country-whether wooded or not, recent lava flows &c; of the regions above named, extending from Hilo to Keaiwa&

I think you will see at one that these results represent a large amount of work, as indeed they do, and were it not that I have already data from which a considerable part of it can be derived I could not think of doing it for that sum&

I will also indicate as far as I am able what I consider the best plan of triangulation for that part of the Island, and will mile the Puna Road if the Minister of the Interior will pay the expense of putting up marks - not over $4 or $5 I should say& (DAGS 6 - Hawaiian Government Survey Files)


April 28th, 1877

H.R. Hitchcock, Inspector General of Schools; to

C.R. Bishop, President of the Board of Education:

Hitchcock reports on his findings of an inspection of the schools in the districts of Puna and Ka'ü-recording the diminishing enrollment of the schools at Keauhou, in Kea'au and Maku'u, and also described the difficulty the students had in keeping animals out of their cultivated fields; the produce being used to support the school operations. Importantly, Hitchcock provides readers with insight into the nature of walled lots for which no gate-way exists:


&The schools in Puna, have, some of them, deteriorated slightly from their former good standing, owing to the resignation of some of the best teachers. Raw recruits have taken their place, and have not yet become accustomed to teaching& The schools at Keauhou and Makuu are both very small, and as they are within three miles of each other, I have told the school agent to unite the two under one teacher, who shall teach two or more hours at each place, daily. The wages to be advanced to 62 ½ cents per diem for a good man. This will make a saving of 37 ½ cents per diem, which I regard as good as wasted now&

Puna is a district overrun by cattle, goats and hogs, which regard not stone walls, and patiently wait until the crops begin to be valuable, then appropriate them largely to their own use. This has a depressing effect upon the little workers, who add cubits to the height of the walls, until it becomes a matter of peril to the inspector to climb over them in order to enter the school house& (State Archives - Board of Education Series 262, Hawaii Reports - 1877: 1 & 2)




1877 - Report of the Royal Commissioners on Development of Resources District of Puna:

&This district is largely composed of a-a and lava, and no large agricultural enterprises, except stock raising are being prosecuted at present. The natives of the district, however, look cleanly and contented, and raise some coffee, cocoanuts, &c. The cocoanut grows spontaneously, and its cultivation might be indefinitely extended till the export of copra would be quite important. There is a little boat landing at Mawae, Kula, near Eldart's ranch, to which the present entrance is dangerous in consequence of having to double round a reef of rocks, a part of which might be blasted out, opening a direct channel to a good boat harbor& The roads leading to the harbor would need to be improvement. The roads generally in the district are good& [Pacific Commercial Advertiser - May 5, 1877]


August 13, 1877

J. W. Kumahoa, Road Supervisor District of Puna; to

J. M. Smith, Minister of the Interior:

&I now have the time to respond to you&there is trouble along my section of the Government Road in the District of Puna, Hawaii, the animals are destroying the road and laying it to waste.

The reason for this trouble is the weakness of the Road Supervisor of Puna and cannot undertake the work, because of this difficulty, therefore, I have seen a man who can undertake this work, and his name is T. M. Naahumakua. He is the one I feel is right& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


September 1st, 1877

Hawaiian Agricultural Company, in consideration of $33,000.00, assigned lease and business interests in the ahupua'a of Kea'au to J.E. Eldarts and William H. Shipman. (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 51:222)


October 11, 1880

J.F. Jordan, Hilo and Puna Road Supervisor; to

Judge F.S. Lyman, Hilo:

J.F. Jordan was appointed to position of Road Supervisor in 1874. By the time of this writing, he had also been given the position of Road Supervisor in Puna District. Herein, Jordan reported that in 1874, he spent two months working on the new bridge at Waiakea; and in regards to employment of prison labor on road projects:


&I could see that our road money was in danger and that the prospects of our accomplishing much with the prisoners under that state of affairs would be very poor so I made those facts known to the Minister of the Interior who had once authorized me to ship a gang of men for the Hilo Road and let the prisoners go which gives us today, Peace, Pleasure, and economy of labor&

&I have been trying to avoid doing any work on the Puna or Volcano Road other than what is actually necessary as that which is mostly required on the Puna and Volcano Road is quite hard to get, and that is fine dirt or gravel, the country being mostly stony, now there is an appropriation of $10,000 for the Volcano Road and $3000 for Puna, if I remember right, which if spent for hand labor will not accomplish but a very little, owing to the fact that gravel has got to be made out of stone, whereas if $8000 is laid out for a steam stone crusher which is also a road roller everlasting roads can be built to the Volcano and also in Puna, and about five times the amount of work can be accomplished with the money and still leave a valuable tool which will do good work for many years to come; with only about five men required - 1 to attend the crusher, 1 the engine and 3 to bring stone by cart or otherwise. With such machine the people of Hilo might well expect to have good streets otherwise their money will go to the hands of Chinese for not only a less quantity but a much poorer quality of work& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


October 26, 1880

Petition of 101 native residents of the District of Puna;

to H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&We the commoners of the District of Puna, Island of Hawaii, with great trust in your leadership&petition you, asking that you respond to us and help us because for several years past, we have had no help from the Government from the troubles and difficulties in our District&

&2. For several years past there has been no new repair work done on the roads in our district, with this problem we have been patient;

3. We have a good harbor in our District but no buoys, chains and anchors to tie up the ships that visit there;

4. There is great trouble and we have had much patience with postal delivery because of the many miles from Hilo, Puna and Waiohinu, Kau, Hawaii;

5. This trouble is that there are almost 15 miles that some people have to travel in our District to get their mail or newspapers at the Post Office in Hilo.

Therefore with this explanation and the appropriations granted by the Legislature of 1880 we are hopeful that your excellency will help us in this District&

1. - Courthouse and Jail $800.00

2. - For the Roads and Pathways of Puna $3000.00

3. - Buoys, anchors and chains for the Harbor of Pohoiki $500.00

4. - Transport of mail from Hilo, Puna and Kau $14.00 per week

5. - Transport of mail from Hilo and Kilauea $3.00 per week&

(Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


December 13, 1880

Petition of foreign and part-Hawaiian residents of Puna District; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&In the matter of J.F. Jordan - Whereas we, your petitioners are aware of a certain petition in circulation, and soon to be presented to your Excellency, requesting the removal from office of our present Road Supervisor, and whereas, we are satisfied that the said petition is an unjust one, and that the present Road Supervisor has faithfully and conscientiously performed the duties of his office during his incumbency.

We your petitioners do humbly pray that said officer be sustained and continued in his present position& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


February 10, 1881

Abraham Kapepa, on behalf of the native residents of Puna; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&I have been instructed by the native residents of the District of Puna to inform you that it is not right for there to be only one Road Supervisor for Puna and Hilo. Here are the reasons:

I. The Road Supervisor remains only in Hilo all the time leaving Puna with no work done for four years;

II. We have not seen him to this time, for the Road Supervisor is always working in Hilo and does not think of the District of Puna;

III. It is not right for Hilo and Puna to have only one Road Supervisor. It was not that way from before, it was always that there was a Road Supervisor for Hilo and a Road Supervisor for Puna;

IV. If it continues for long that there is no work done on the Roads of Puna, the damage done by the Cattle will greatly increase. There is much rock on the roads. What of the $3,000 set aside for this District for the Legislature?

V. If there is only one Road Supervisor from Hilo and Puna he will not come to Puna because there is so much work for him to do on the roads of Hilo. So I saw several weeks ago in Hilo Paliku&

Here is who we think would be a good Road Supervisor and we trust in his ability to make it right, it is Rev. J.N. Kamoku. Here is the work and tasks that he has at this time. He is a Minister and a member of the School Board for this district and Assistant Superintendent of the School. He is a verifier of Labor Contracts, a member of the Puna Tax Board for 1880, and he is well off& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)





February 12th, 1881

J.F. Jordan, Road Supervisor Hilo and Puna Districts; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&We now have 35 men at work in the Hilo District, the work is progressing rapidly and very satisfactory to me&we have three gangs, D. Kamai has 18 men, P.H. Apana has 10, our gang which is doing bridge work consists of 1 mason and 6 laborers. We are all working between Onomea and Hilo. P.H. Apana agrees to take his gang on to the Volcano road. I have engaged a few day men to go with me on the Volcano and Puna roads, for the purpose of making a thorough examination of the roads; where and how far apart the places are, where material can be got and the best means of getting it to the road &c. On my return I shall report to you& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


March 1st, 1881

J.F. Jordan, Road Supervisor Hilo and Puna Districts; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

Herein, Jordan presents perhaps the earliest formal communication suggesting that a portion of the makai Puna Road be dropped (the section from Kea'au through lower Waiäkea); and that a new road from Kea'au to the Kükulu vicinity of the Hilo-Volcano Road be developed.

&Your favor of Feb. 16th, came duly to hand, wherein you spoke of a communication from Puna District. It is true that I have done but little work on the Puna road, owing to the fact that the road is now in as good condition as it has been for the past six years. I have talked from time to time with Shipman & Eldarts and nearly all the best natives in the District asking their opinion as to what would be the best to do, they do not seem to know anything further than to take the stones out of the road and cut the bushes, which has been done, with the exception of a little on the Hilo end, which has been left on account of changing the road. Your Excellency are aware of the fact that the Puna road like the Volcano road, was built of course stone with a small sprinkle of gravel which had to be carried a long ways, put in the middle which made a trail. This was done when labor was cheap, so that now to repeat this work and accomplish something which would be of benefit to the Public as well as a credit to the operators, requires entirely different manner of doing the work. With our tramway which is now about ready, we can carry gravel from ½ to ¾ of a mile quite cheap, but there is only a few places on either road where gravel can be got. Since I first went over those roads, my idea has been the we require a small stone crusher and road roller. It is my candid opinion that we can accomplish fully three times as much work with the money left, after buying a small stone crusher and steam Road Roller when used in connection with our tramway. Owing to the fact that I have been but a short time in Govt. Employ and am feeling my way in to this road work, also knowing that many extensive mistakes are often corrected by the kind advice of good people.

I have talked with Judge Lyman, S.L. Austin, Shipman, Eldart, Richardson, Kennedy and many others who authorize me to use their names in recommending a stone crusher for the volcano and Puna roads, with which to build a six or eight foot road. We would not require a very heavy crusher as we can find an abundance of small stones. There is no hard rock in the District. Blake of New Haven Conn. builds such a crusher as we require& (Subject File -Roads Hawaii)


March 2nd, 1881

J.F. Jordan, Road Supervisor Hilo and Puna Districts; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&I did not have time to write by yesterdays steamer as I should have done, owing to the fact that I did not arrive in town until a few minutes before the steamer left. I should have stated that I had been over the first 16 miles of the Volcano Road, also the Puna Road to a point 17 miles from Hilo. After a careful inspection of both roads I find that there is not gravel or fine material enough on that portion of either road to justify any calculations on doing the work promised by the amount of money appropriated. So that materials must be made by hand or machine. Our bridge casting and car wheels arrived in good order. We are building our tramway out of 2 x 4 we shall only lay it as fast as we make road bed therefore it will have a solid foundation and will not be likely to break& &I shall try and go to the south end of Puna District as soon as I can and have a talk with Rev. J.N. Kamoku and see what is required& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


March 26th, 1881

J.F. Jordan, Road Supervisor Hilo and Puna Districts; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&Your favor of March 22nd is at hand. I shall do as you direct me in regards to the Volcano Road. I feel confident that I can do work on that road which will please you.

I have now a gang at work six miles from Hilo on that road, our tramway is laid down on the Hilo end ready for a start as soon as I can spare the prisoners from the Hilo Road& Mr. Shipman will act for me in Puna. I have about ¼ of a mile of tramway for Hilo District with which we can bring gravel on our roads in all kinds of weather. I shall send for four more pairs of car wheels& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


May 10th, 1881

J.F. Jordan, Road Supervisor Hilo and Puna Districts; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&The work on the Volcano and Puna Roads is progressing nicely. I am following the plan recommended by your Excellency in regards to those roads. I have made some alterations in our road roller, so that now we can do pretty smooth work. We are using 4 head of animals to haul it. We regulate heft by putting on rock, by this we save a great deal of labor owing to find gravel being so scarce. Our gang in Puna are at work on the new road which connects the road of Puna with that of the Volcano& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)

May 26th, 1881

J.F. Jordan, Road Supervisor Hilo and Puna Districts; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&Yours of May 17th came to hand last week. In regards to the sledge hammers bought of E.O. Hall & Sons, I was very much in need of them. Thinking that yourself and all others in the Interior Office would be very busy if not over worked owing to the small pox in Honolulu, I took the liberty of ordering them as a great deal of our work on the Volcano and Puna Roads has to be done with sledge hammers. Nearly all the material required to repair the Volcano Road through Panaewa woods, which is also the Puna Road, will have to be made by breaking up stone which is now lying on each side of the road. Nearly all of the work on the first four miles of the Volcano Road is let by contract to P.N. Apana and Evan Cameron at 10 cents per foot, with the exception of about ¾ of a mile near town where I am working the prisoners. This road to Panaewa woods, four miles is being made 16 feet wide many hills cut down so as to make it a very good wagon road. Considerable of it is already done this brings us to the outer edge of all the cane land on that side of Hilo Town. So that I do not think that there is any necessity for trying to make anything more then a passable trail from there to the Volcano&

I have sent one of our shipped Chinamen out into Puna to remain there and do the repairs on the Road in the different places where it may be required. It seeming strange to say that in all of Puna there is not one man who can be hired to do road work. I have offered them piece work where they could make four or five dollars per day, but they will not work. It is true there is but very few people in the district&I have 19 men at work on the new road which connects the Volcano and Puna Roads this will be about 3 miles they have agreed to build it for 5 cents per foot where any building is required. Some of it will not require any work& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


June 16th, 1881

J.F. Jordan, Road Supervisor Hilo and Puna Districts; to

H.A.P. Carter, Minister of the Interior:

&Yours of June 6th came duly to hand& Evan Cameron with the gang of white men finished his contract to grade 6,000 feet of the Volcano Road at 10 cents per foot, so I let them go. P.N. Apana has nearly finished his contract to grade 3 ½ miles of the Volcano Road. I shall try and do the balance of the work required on the Volcano Road with shipped men and our prisoners& I think that our plan of sending a man to Puna under contract to keep that road in repair will also give satisfaction, as one man can do all the work required in that District from year to year& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


January 1882

Petition from 83 native and foreign residents of Puna District; to

Simona K. Kaai, Minister of the Interior:

Submitting a complaint regarding development of the Kea'au-Kükulu Road, and apparent abandonment of the old makai section of the Puna Waiäkea Road.


&We are native residents of the District of Puna, Island of Hawaii. We humbly ask you to appoint M.K. Kealawaa as Road Supervisor for the District of Puna in the place of T. Keoki the previous foreign Supervisor.

First) It was not right for the previous Road Supervisor to use the Government money from the shore of Keaau to Kukulu at Panaewa as there are no people who travel upon the road to this day, and the Government is at a loss.

Second) There has been no work done on the road along the shore of Puna only a small area has been worked on with a large portion of the district remaining with no work done and there is great disrepair.

Third) In our thought it is right for M.K. Kealawaa to be the Road Supervisor of Puna. He was the assistant Road Supervisor with L. Kaina for four years and is familiar with the work.

Fourth) He was also the Assistant Road Supervisor for J.W. Kumahoa for three years. Therefore it is right for him to have the job.

In testimony of the truth of this we sign our names below& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


January 9th, 1882

Estate of W.C. Lunalilo to

S.M. Damon, J.E. Eldarts and William H. Shipman

Deed (Land of Keaau):

Trustees under the will of William Charles Lunalilo sell the ahupuaa of Keaau, District of Puna Island of Hawaii to S.M. Damon, J.E. Eldarts and William H. Shipman. (see description of boundaries as confirmed by the Boundary Commission in 1875) & Reserving and excepting however such kuleana titles as may be included within the said boundaries& (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 70:461-462)


January 9th, 1882

S.M. Damon, J.E. Eldarts and William H. Shipman

Agreement (Lands of Keaau and Waikahekahenui):

Partners in purchase of the ahupuaa of Keaau agree not to sell or lease any share of said lands of Keaau and Waikahekahenui without having first in writing offered to sell or lease the same share to others of said party jointly& (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 70:462-463)


Note: Isaac Adams sold the ahupua'a of Waikahekahenui to S.M. Damon, W.H. Shipman, and J.E. Elderts through a deed dated October 18th, 1881 (see Liber 71:358-359).



January 9th, 1882

J.E. Eldarts and his wife Ka'ai Elderts; to William Hillebrand

Mortgage Deed (Lands of Keaau and Waikahekahenui):

In consideration of a loan for $6,000.00, Elderts mortgaged his one-third undivided interest in the lands of Kea'au and Waikahekahenui to Wm. Hillebrand& (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 70:463-465)


January 9th, 1882

Wm. H., and Mary E. Shipman to William Hillebrand

Mortgage Deed (Lands of Keaau and Waikahekahenui):

In consideration of a loan for $6,000.00, Shipman mortgaged his one-third undivided interest in the lands of Kea'au and Waikahekahenui to Wm. Hillebrand& (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 70:465-467)


(Note: Samuel M. Damon also executed a similar document on the same date.)


January 25th and 26th, 1882

J.F. Jordan, Road Supervisor Hilo and Puna Districts; to

H.N. Armstrong, Minister of the Interior:

Jordan describes the completed realignment of the Kea'au-Kükulu road connecting to the new Hilo-Volcano Road; thus by-passing the makai Kea'au-Waiäkea Road.

[Jan. 26, 1882] &On the 19th and 20th of this month we had a frightful rainstorm through Hilo District, washing away 3 bridges; one 70 and two 80 foot in length, also 3 stone culverts. Many of the steep grades were torn away so as to make them impassable. The dirt was all washed away leaving nothing but a mass of rocks. I have taken all the men from the Puna and Volcano Roads to Hilo so we are making good progress towards making the road quite passable once more&

&It will be seen by the reports that $204.88 of the Puna Road money was used on the Volcano Road. A new road has been made from Volcano Road at a point 6 miles from Hilo to Keau [Kea'au] a point 10 miles from Hilo, so as to bring Puna travel in on Volcano Road and save the repairs on 7 miles of Puna Road.

It will also be seen that $249½ days [worth] of labor was borrowed from Puna and worked on Hilo Road, after I received orders not to draw against Hilo District. Bad weather set in and I was forced to go back from time to time and do such work as would keep the road open&

[note dated Jan. 25th, 1882 attached to above communication] &I have been trying for the past year to hire some men to do the road work in Puna, being completely tired out with the style of work done by Chinamen who offer themselves from time to time when they want a weeks work, or rather a weeks pay. They never earn half the money which the law of this country would seem to force people to give them. In talking with the planters from time to time they strongly encourage hiring white labor for road work, as they would be far more intelligent workers. Mr. Hitchcock told me that he would let me have six of his men by paying him the amount of their dept so I have taken 3 for Puna District. The natives in that District will not work. Those 3 men are under contract for one year and have all got family& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


ca. March 1882

Petition signed by 120 native and foreign residents of Puna; to

W.N. Armstrong, Minister of the Interior:

Complaint against Jordan and the Kea'au-Kükulu Road realignment, and his failure to maintain the traditional Puna Road alignment.


&We are the people named below, from the District of Puna, Island of Hawaii. We petition you and humbly request that you appoint W.L. Haau of this District to the position of Road Supervisor of Puna, not J.F. Jordan, who is the Road Supervisor of Hilo and Puna. Here are the reasons:

(1) The road of Puna has not been maintained and is left in disrepair.

(2) The new road that has been opened by Road Supervisor Jordan, from a place near Haena, running to Kukulu, is of no value to the residents, they do not use it; it is not in compliance with the Law, and is a waste of three thousand ($3000) appropriated by the Legislature for the roads of Puna in 1880. There has been no work on the places that are a blessing to the people. At this time the old road (alanui) is still traveled upon.

(3) It is only there in Hilo that the Road Supervisor undertakes most of his work, not in Puna. Therefore the disrepair of the road persists, and it is as if it the road is nothing to the Road Supervisor of Hilo and Puna. Because of this, it is right to have a different Road Supervisor for Puna, who will do the necessary work with the money appropriated by the Legislature.

(4) The road in Puna has in no way been maintained. One Road Supervisor for both Hilo and Puna means that Puna is just set aside.

So the name which we wrote to you above is the man who we think is good to be the Road Supervisor of Puna. We feel that he is a good man, both in his living and his work& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


April 25, 1882

Petition signed by 29 native and foreign residents and businessmen of Puna; to

W.N. Armstrong, Minister of the Interior:

&We received your reply [dated March 28, 1882] to our petition that W.L. Haau be appointed Road Supervisor of Puna. Your reply told us that your were not of the mind to make the change at this time, and the we should meet with Jordan, &c. Your reply to us was good, but here is the difficulty as we understand it:

First: We have heard that Jordan is resigning from his position as Road Supervisor and going to work for Wilder (Waila) at Mahukona, Kohala. So no one is of a mind to go and meet with him.

Second: This seems to be just another delay in doing the repair work on the road in the District of Puna. Therefore we desire to see the undertaking of the needed work on the road in this District by the one thought of by the people of Puna. We ask this of the Legislature which is in session&

We are with humility, your obedient servants& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


September 22, 1882

C.N. Arnold, Road Supervisor-in-Chief, Hawaii; to

John E. Bush, Minister of the Interior:

Having been appointed to position as Road Supervisor in Chief, Hawaii; Arnold reports on the condition of roads in the districts of Kohala Hamakua and Hilo. Communication includes detailed recommendations for Hilo Bridges. Inspection report continued on November 7th, 1882, with descriptions of the Volcano Road and roads in the District of Kau.


December 5th, 1882

C.N. Arnold, Road Supervisor in Chief, Hawaii; to

John E. Bush, Minister of the Interior:

Arnold describes the lower road from Waiakea to Puna.


&I have the honor to submit you the following report on the condition of the lower or "Makai" Road in Puna District. The road from Waiakea River to Elderts Ranch is in need of some little repair, chiefly throwing the loose stones out of the road which have been knocked off the side walls by cattle. This road for almost its entire length is over pahoehoe and aa and it is always dry, very little can be done to improve it; as there is as yet no Supervisor for this District. I would suggest the name of J.M. Kauwila as the most energetic man I have met there for the position& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


December 7, 1882

Michael Hahale (at Pepeekeo);

to J.E. Bush, Minister of the Interior

(applying for position as Road Supervisor, District of Puna):

&If I should receive the authorization of my Lord, your humble servant asks that I be appointed Road Supervisor for the District of Puna, Island of Hawaii. The roads of this district are not good for the most part it is the road in the distant uplands that is in disrepair. It has been fully 20 years or more that no work has been done on this road, that is the road from the boundary of Hilo to Volcano. The previous Road Supervisor did not put any money into this road, he only spent money on the lower section of the road over the last 20 years or more. The $4,000 in funds is not enough but we will make do with it for the work.

Here is how the funds can be divided, the coastal Road $5,500; the upland Road $1,500.

I have mistaken, there is not $7,000 for the District of Puna as I thought, but only $4,000. If I get your permission to become the Road Supervisor of Puna the roads will be made good.

My great desire is to make the upland road good; that is the road that ascends all the way to the wondrous Volcano and Kau so that visitors from other lands can come.

Puna is the land of my birth and I have resided there as a native therefore I am a newcomer to Hilo& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii; translated by Maly)


January 18, 1883 Minister of the Interior informs M. Hahale that he was not selected for the position (Subject File - Roads Hawaii).


September 29th, 1886

C.N. Arnold, Road Superintendent-in-Chief, Hawaii; to

W.M. Gibson, Minister of Interior:

&I beg to inform your that the recent rains have rendered the road between Hilo and the Ramie Plantation [near Kü'olo, Kea'au] almost impassible for horsemen and entirely so for teams. Mr. Lycau the manager of the Ramie Co. has requested me to place the same in repair, as they are very shortly expecting their machinery which must be hauled over this road. 4 miles of the above road is in the Hilo district and 5 ¾ miles in the Puna district. I estimate that for $1000. I can put this road in good repair, although that sum will not make a first class road. Hilo's portion of this expense would be about $400. Puna's $600& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


November 23rd, 1886

C.N. Arnold, Road Superintendent-in-Chief, Hawaii; to

L. Aholo, Minister of the Interior:

Reports on heavy rains-no less than 31 60/100 inches between Nov. 1st to 20th-with roads and bridges washed out in various districts.

&There is also some work in the Puna District which should have immediate attention Viz. The cutting out of the both Upper and lower roads through the Puna woods and repairs to the road from Keau [Kea'au] to Eldarts, a distance of 13 miles. I can contract to have this road repaired for $520 or $40 per mile. The work of cutting out the Roads through the woods will cost $400 more& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


April 25th, 1887

C.N. Arnold, Road Superintendent-in-Chief, Hawaii; to

L. Aholo, Minister of the Interior:

&I beg also to call your attention to the following works on Government Roads which I consider of immediate importance Viz work repairing lower Puna Road 8 miles, at $400.00& (Subject File - Road Hawaii)


July 14th, 1887

C.N. Arnold, Road Superintendent-in-Chief, Hawaii; to

L.A. Thurston, Minister of the Interior:

Describes work on the lower Puna Road, a "bridle path," extending from Kea'au to Kapoho.


&Puna. The roads of this district through the Paniewa [Pana'ewa] Woods on both the upper and lower roads have very recently been put in good repair. Some slight repairs are required on the lower road from Keau [Kea'au] to Kapohu [Kapoho] a distance of 13 miles as this is only a Bridle trail these repairs will be light. Cutting the brush out of the way and throwing out loose stones and repairing any soft spots that exists. I estimate the cost of this at $50 per mile or $650& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


December 3rd, 1887

C.N. Arnold, Road Superintendent-in-Chief, Hawaii; to

L.A. Thurston, Minister of the Interior:

Describes work on Lower Puna Road, and difficulty in getting men to do the work.


&Your favor in reference to work on the Puna Roads is at hand and in reply I beg to say that the work has been well and cheaply performed. Mr. C. Moore has had a contract for the most of it that portion through the Paniewa [Pana'ewa] woods at the rate of $50 per mile and there is also about 1 ½ miles between there and Kapoho which was paid at the same rate. 12 miles of road was let to him at the rate of $25 per mile. Juan Souza had a contract in the Paniewa woods at the same rate Viz $50 per mile and finished 1 1/3 miles $116.65. Hawelo's [Hawelu] work was done on the upper, or Volcano Road above the half way house and was about 1 mile in length. The total length of road repaired was as near as I could say without an actual survey 25 ¾ miles or about 2 ½ miles beyond Kapoho. I enclose you herewith a sworn statement from Moore who had the most of the work in charge. As I had no road Supervisor in that district [Puna] the only way in which I could get the work done was to contract for it on the best terms I could make. I have not had a Supervisor there for 5 years and have done the work of the district myself without pay& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


January 16, 1888

L.A. Thurston, Minister of the Interior appointed W.H. Shipman to be a member of the Road Board for the Taxation District of Puna, Island of Hawaii. (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)




November 16th, 1888

J.M. Lydgate to L.A. Thurston, Minister of Interior:

Describes survey and examination of Volcano Road from Kükulu to 'Öla'a. Detailed description of terrain given. (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


September 4th, 1889

J.E. Elderts, Chairman Puna Road Board; to

L.A. Thurston, Minister of Interior:

Puna Road Board proposes that a new Puna Road-from the Volcano Road in the vicinity of Kükulu to Maku'u be opened, thus passing Shipman's private land in coastal Kea'au.


&The Puna Road Board held a meeting in the courthouse at Pohoiki, Puna on the 27th. And I was authorized to address you for information as to when we can commence to draw for the second sum of one thousand dollars, that we were to have for the Puna Roads.

It is proposed by the Board to open a new road in the Puna District, starting from the Volcano Road about 8 miles from Hilo, and coming out at Maku [Maku'u], which will then give us a very good road all the way to Puna. The route has been over by the full Board and laid out ready to commence work on. Trusting that we may be authorized to draw soon for the one thousand dollars& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


ca. April 1890

Petition from 50 Hilo Town Residents;

to L.A. Thurston, Minister of the Interior:

Requesting that improvements be made to the lower Puna-Waiakea Road.


&The undersigned residents of the town of Hilo and vicinity, would hereby request that a Government Road, of not less than 50 feet in width be opened from the lower Puna Road in Waiakea along about the present trail to Cocoanut Island. We believe it to be a necessary road, and one which will soon be necessary, if wharves are put up on the Waiakea side of the bay& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


April 26th, 1890

F.S. Lyman, Circuit Judge Third Judicial District; to

E.G. Hitchcock, Esq., Sheriff of Hawaii:

&The Minister of the Interior having on the 22nd day of April A.D. 1890, in writing informed me that it has been made to appear to him by the petition of Fifty of the Tax-payers of the District of Hilo, that a Government Road of not less than 50 feet in width be opened from the lower Puna Road in Waiakea along about the present trail, to Cocoanut Island, and duly requested me to select a list of twenty four names from among the legal voters of the District of Hilo&and direct the Sheriff to draw therefrom a jury of six persons to decide on the propriety of the measure proposed& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


December 22nd, 1890

J.E. Elderts, Chairman Puna Road Board; to

C.N. Spencer, Minister of Interior:

&As the Puna District has over 80 miles of what is called Road and the Road tax for the District only amounts to little over $300, hardly enough to pay for 1 good man for the Cantonier, and it needs at least 5 men, 2 on what is finished of the Volcano road, and 3 on the lower roads, and as I do not know where their pay is to come from, I am waiting for further instructions from you& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


January 1st to April 1st, 1891

Report of the Government Schools of the District of Puna:

· Abraham Kekino was the teacher at Makuu, there is no longer a school house, though nine students took lessons.

· No School reported at Kea'au (the old coastal school lot).

· S. Kaulupali was the teacher at Ola, the school was a good building. (Public Instruction files, Series 262: Box 4, 1891-Hawaii)


Surveys of the New Puna Road and Puna Homestead Lots

The following series of communications between A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor and Land Agent; the Minister of the Interior; and W.D. Alexander, Surveyor General; provide readers with detailed documentation on - native residency and land use practices as remembered by natives at the time of his surveys; and the development of the inland Puna Government Road, between 1891-1895. This new road, is generally the alignment of Highway 130, which replaced the old Puna Government Road along the coast.


May 19, 1891

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor; to

C.N. Spencer, Minister of Interior:

Begins a series of communications and reports on the initial surveys of the new mauka Puna Road.


&re Puna Road. I began work on this following my return from Honolulu. With 5 men and an assistant, I have got as far as the land of Waiakaiula, belonging to the Catholic Mission. The road as now laid out by me after several attempts elsewhere, begins at the old Volcano Road, about one mile beyond the Ramie ranch. The nature of the ground the first 6 miles or so, is pahoehoe, of the smooth and level kind, with numerous "Kipukas" of good ground at places. From Waiakahiula on, the good land begins. I have further secured from several of the large property owners, quit claim deed for 50 foot rights of way, which shall be forwarded to you after due execution& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


May 31, 1891

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor; to

C.N. Spencer, Minister of Interior:

&Re Puna Road. I have returned from a week's work on this job. The work has now extended as far as Kapoho, the whole distance covered from the initial point at the Ramie Ranch by Kuolo, to the present terminus being 70000 feet, nearly 13 miles.

From the further boundary of the Cath. Mission land. I have thus far occupied only Gov't land, in one instance I have traversed for over 2 ½ miles on one unbroken stretch of fertile arable land, and indications point to more beyond.

I also take the liberty to state that the whole public sentiment in Puna and Hilo is favorable to the road& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


July 12th, 1891

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor; to

C.N. Spencer, Minister of Interior:

&Re Puna Road. I herewith submit to you for approval, quit claim agreements for right of way through the lands of Keaau & Waikahekahe; I have further secured the signature of R. Rycroft for right of way through the lands controlled by him, & await merely the acknowledgement to the same before sending them, - abstracts of agreements have also gone forward to A.J. Cartwright & the Trustees of the B. Pauahi Bishop Estate.

All of the above will have secured a right of way for the road to Opihikao a distance of about 30 miles from Hilo.

I am now within 2 miles of Kaimu & have discontinued cutting the trail beyond this for the present, pending your instructions& My official report to you will embody all that has been done, with full data & information as to cost of construction of road, & adaptability of land for agricultural purposes. Of the latter there are vast tracts, & the impenetrability of the forest on rotten aa beds is one reason why the progress of the work has not been more rapid& (Subject File Roads Hawaii)


July 20th, 1891

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor; to

W.D. Alexander, Surveyor General, Hawaiian Government Surveys:

&You will have observed from the various documents sent down from time to time to the Minister of Interior that I have been engaged for some time on the location & preliminary survey of a road through Puna. It was at the minister's request this job was undertaken.

My instructions were to pick out if possible a suitable location of an eventual carriage road through the interior, & by means of this road to open up tracts suitable for agriculture or homestead purposes. The actual field work was begun about the middle of May & up to date has progressed as far as Kamaili, a short distance from Kaimu. The initial pt. of the survey starts from the junction of the Volcano and Puna road Ramie ranch about 1 mile outside of the Panaewa woods (a short cut to the seacoast at Makuu, begun but not completed by the Thurston administration) & follows a general contour line. A bench mark established by McBruner at the time of his survey of the Volcano Road, served as the basis of elevations carried forward. The features of the country of one which the road traverses for the first 10 miles are of little account for purposes of agriculture, consisting mainly of broad & flat belts of Pahoehoe. It is of a very friable nature however & there are few irregularities, rendering the construction of a road over the same a simple and comparatively cheap affair& (Hawaii State Archives; HGS DAGS 6, Box 3 - July 20, 1891)


August 1, 1891

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor; to

W.D. Alexander, Surveyor General, Hawaiian Government Surveys:

&I note your instructions in the matter of Honuaula hill station & will get a couple of men to clear the top of the hill which like all the other Puna hills is covered to the crest with ohia timber&it is going to be a difficult matter to get men for the Puna work. In itself it is a "mehameha" [lonely or solitary] place with few inhabitants& (HGS DAGS 6, Box 3)


August 2, 1891

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor; to

C.N. Spencer, Minister of Interior:

&The Puna Road line has now been laid out & profile located as far as Kaimu. I have not proceeded beyond this but am now employed locating the roads in position & hope to finish in a week or 10 days. Unless you instruct me to the contrary or have other views regarding what I shall do next, I shall proceed to take up the subdividing of the lands of Nanawale & Kaniahiku in accordance with directions previously given me by yourself & the Surveyor Gen'l. I take the liberty of stating in comments herewith, that the new road crosses these lands in the best available location.

A petition is now being circulated through Puna addressed to you & soliciting you to place the matter of constructing the road before the Legislature& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


August 24, 1891

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor; to

C.N. Spencer, Minister of Interior:

&re Puna Road survey. I have extended the same to the land of Kalapana & discontinued for the present the survey beyond this. As Kalapana & Kupahua are Gov't lands & you have instructed me to cut up the same into homesteads, the further extension of the road might be postponed until such time as I can get at the homestead work& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


January 6th, 1892

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Surveyor; to

Geo. N. Wilcox (Legislator):

By this communication with attachments, Loebenstein provides G.N. Wilcox (a member of the Legislature) and W.D. Alexander (Surveyor General), with detailed descriptions of work conducted in Puna-findings and recommendations regarding past and present land use and development of the new Puna Road.


&In view of the passage of the $30,000.00 appropriation for the road through Puna, I take the liberty of enclosing to you a duplicate copy of the report on "the new road to Puna", & of which I executed a preliminary survey in 1891. I believe that I have already informed you of the disappearance of the original copy & the several circumstances connected with it.

The supplemental report mentioned at the close is a statistical index of the lands in Puna, compiled so as to indicate ownership, location, area, conditions & etc. of this I have a press copy at your disposal.

I bring the matter to your notice at this juncture in view of your probable tour to Hawaii, - officially - on the adjournment of the Legislature. I would therefore suggest that you make the trip through Puna over the ground covered by my survey & thus assure yourself of whatever conditions, for or against the construction of this road, may strike you at the time.

As I am so familiar with the District, it would be well for me to accompany you, if you think likewise, I await your orders& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


[Attachment 1]

The New Puna Road.

Prof. W.D. Alexander, Surveyor General Hawaiian Government Survey.

Among the interesting comments in this communication is that Loebenstein reports that new Maku'u-Kea'au Road (proposed and begun under the Puna Road Board in 1889) was unfinished.


Having been commissioned to undertake a survey for a Road line through the Interior District of Puna Hawaii, the object being to ascertain -

1st. If any lands existed there that were capable of development, but which are now locked up by reason of there inaccessibility, and

2nd. To lay out a road, which would bring such lands into cultivation and a market. I now beg leave to submit the following report;

The survey for the road was begun in the middle of May and finished in August A.D. 1891, the distance traversed over being 25 miles. The initial point is on the present Volcano Road, within a few hundred feet of the 9th mile from Hilo town. The distance, at this point, from the sea coast being about 6 miles, and the elevation above mean tide 312 feet. For over 1,000 feet or so the line follows a short bit of newly constructed road, which was originally intended to continue to the sea coast at Makuu, and leaves the same on its junction with the old Volcano Road. The arable land of Keaau flanks the road on either side and the Pahoehoe is reached at a distance of 7,000 feet from the starting point. The line here debauches from the old Volcano Road, running over smooth lava until Waipahoehoe is reached. This is a broad flat of a mile in width of open land surrounded with Pahoehoe and covered with considerable soil, evidently accumulated from the denudation of several cones, which still exists on the upper end.

For the next 7 miles the line of the road is carried over Pahoehoe, the general elevation being 475 feet, distance from the sea coast being 6 miles. This stretch of 7 miles, lying over large tracts of smooth solid lava, of the kind marked with rope like lines and concentric folds, and covered with thin Ohia woods, is remarkably easy to travel over, and for the progress of a bullock cart would afford no difficulty even now. The extensive forests of Makuu and Halona, Gov't. lands, distant one and one-half miles above the road line, filled with an exuberant mass of shrubbery, in which the presence of bananas, Ki [ti plants], Yam, and Awa [Piper methysticum] can be easily distinguished, and the growths of young Sandal wood, which seem to thrive and find support in the fissures which intersect the surface are features which would make the nearer approach desirable.

The attempt to do so was made but the undulating nature of the lava the many rounded hillocks, and the constant concession of slight ascents and descents, and the numerous fissures intercepting the plain, all characteristics, which singularly exists both above and below the surveyed road line through this section, as if Nature had intended no other line, would have rendered any other location unsuitable from a point of cost. While on the other hand there is nothing to enjoin, from constructing feeders to the main road, at available points, making use, where possible of the numerous trails built and used in ancient time, by the natives, for access to these localities, their old planting grounds.

An interesting feature of this locality is the large number of lava caverns and long subterranean passages abounding upon it, especially between the 9th and 11th miles, in fact this whole tract is so thoroughly penetrated by caverns that hollow sounds are often heard beneath ones footsteps when traversing the region.

These subterranean passages are generally entered through some opening made by the falling in of the roof and prove to be regular arched ways, ranging as much as 25 feet in width and 15 feet high and extending for long distances. The floors have that corrugated ropy appearance such as are seen on any viscid mass if drawn out as it hardens. The roofs and sides are covered with stalactites, the whole producing a wonderful effect when lit up.

These caverns evidently served as burial places in ancient and comparatively modern times in view of the fact that the benches here and there were covered in human remains&

By the sea coast, from Hilo to Kaimu, it is 37 ½ miles and by the upper road as now laid out it is not quite 34, and there is no doubt but that this distance can be further reduced by improvements in location at different points.

The total receipts in road taxes from the whole District for 1891 was no more than $408 and of this whole amount only 104 dollars was collected with in the first 23 miles ending at Kapoho, while from there to Kaimu a further distance of 14 ½ miles the receipts amounted to $118.

Of this total of $222 nearly one half was from tax payers either residing in the interior, or else having their Kalo, Awa or Coffee patches there, and who migrate back and forward between the sea coast and the interior. The first settlement met with after leaving Hilo by the sea coast road, is at Keaau, a distant 10 miles where there are less than a dozen inhabitants; the next is at Makuu, distant 14 miles where there are a few more, after which there is occasionally a stray hut or two, until Halepuaa and Koae are reached, 21 miles from Hilo, at which place there is quite a village; thence to Kaimu there are only a few scattered settlements here and there. A good many of those living along the lower road have their cultivating patches in the interior, along or within easy accessibility to the new road.

With rare exceptions this whole stretch of country passed over by the lower road is only an alternation between rugged fields of cool lava and the most desolate areas of scoriae and clinkers. It is true that over the barest fields there is found a stunted growth of trees and a sprinkling of verdure, struggling for recognition and growing in the many crevices and cavities in the lava, while it is true that effort at cultivation are made here and there these seem to succeed only in the holes made among the stones or diminutive patches of earth scattered here and there. Though even then the best spots afford but scanty returns.

Nearly all the food consumed by the residents of this District is raised in the interior belt to which access is had by the ancient paths or trails leading from the sea coast& The finest sweet potatoes are raised in places that look more like banks of cobble stones or piles of macadam freshly dumped varying from the size of a walnut to those as large as ones fist. In these holes there is not a particle of soil to be seen&

The old sea coast road cannot be kept in repair with the means now at its disposal and its condition each year is becoming more unsafe and ruinous, there is but little travel over it; it has been shewn that there is little land capable of cultivation or development either side of it and whatever travel there is now over it would soon be entirely diverted to the upper road&




[Attachment 2]

Supplementary Report On the amount of Arable Land along the Proposed Road:

The statement appended hereto endeavors to give an idea approximately of the acreage fit for cultivation along the proposed road. A large portion of the lands in Puna remain as yet unsurveyed and the uncertainty in area is shown by the mark "(?)" in the column headed "total area".

It was originally intended to incorporate with the list, those lands which beginning at the sea coast extend but a short distance inland, but are more or less out of reach except by ancient trails which can be followed from the new road. Only a few of these lands however, are other than small and worthless, and what little decent land there is, is taken up by grants scattered here and there. In view of the fact therefore that the whole amount of arable land contained in these latter and all of the rest of the District put together along the sea coast road between Hilo and Kaimu, a distance of 37 ½ miles would hardly exceed 2,000 acres by the most liberal estimate, it is to be hoped that that the statement as compiled will convey all the needed information&

Lands of Puna - Hawaii: Approximate acres suitable for cultivation along the upper road.

Name of Land Owner Total acres Dist. from Hilo as Surveyed Approx. Arable acres Nature of Land Approx. Elev. of Arable land Remarks

Keaau W.H. Shipman 64275 a. 7-13 mi. 7000 a. soil & aa 250 to 1000 ft. This land will grow cane, coffee, cocoa & etc., lies both sides of the road.

Olaa Crown 54260 11 mi. 12000 ditto ditto. Lots are now being applied for. Considerable Kalo & coffee now being produced.

Waikahekahe I W.H. Shipman Unsur-veyed 13 mi. Very little Pahoehoe Thin forests growing on pahoehoe, only fit for grazing.

Waikahekahe 2 Est. Queen Emma Unsur-veyed 13 ½ mi. Very little Pahoehoe Similar to preceding, though there are small patches of good land scattered here & there.

Popoki Makuu Halona Keonepokonui Keonepokoiki Haw'n Gov't. Un-surveyed 14 ½ to 20 mi. 3,000 a. Soil & aa. 400-1500 These lands are all unsurveyed with the exception of Keonepoko-nui. Large islands of forest are scattered throughout this section, some adjoin-ing, others from 1-1 ½ miles above the road, the old cultivating patches were in these forests and coffee, cocoa & etc will thrive in them. Large numbers of young sandal wood trees are found growing on the pahoehoe surrounding these forests.

(Subject File - Roads Hawaii and Interior Department - Land Files 1891)

June 26th, 1893

A.B. Loebenstein, Government Land Agent; to

S.B. Dole (President):

&Survey for a road through Puna, with its accompanying report gave the first official estimation of the nature of a section of Hawaii which up to that time had remained more or less of a terra incognito. The survey of Puna since executed by me, further demonstrates the presence of large & extremely fertile areas through out the district, the large proportion of which fortunately belongs to the Government& The only mode of communication to speak of, now reaching into the Interior is over my line of survey which is now a well beaten path to Waiakahiula & the Nanawale homesteads, a distance of about 10 miles from the initial point of the survey&

A good passable wagon or bullock cart trail over the lava, the cracks filled in & the mounds or rough projections leveled off, would be sufficient for the demands of sometime to come& I will not transgress upon your time much further, & merely communicate the fact that this Puna Road is absolutely necessary to the further development to that District, as much as the Volcano Road is to Olaa, & that a petition to that fact would receive the willing signature of every resident& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


July 27th, 1893

J.W. Mason, Chairman Puna Road Board; to

J.A. King, Minister of the Interior:

&Yours acknowledging receipt of my quarterly statement to hand and noted. Our funds are being used up more rapidly than we could wish, but not more so than we could consistently expect, considering the condition of the roads. The fund placed at our disposal will be entirely depleted with in the next 30 days & the Volcano Road will not be fixed and but little work done in lower Puna. It is very essential that the Volcano road be fixed at once, if it is not it will cost the Government quite a sum later, as wagons loaded with freight go right through now, in places where the most of the covering has been washed off... In lower Puna they want to do some needed repairing& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


March 28th, 1894

Frank S. Dodge, Assistant, Hawaiian Government Survey; to

James A. King, Minister of Interior:

&In accordance with the letter of instructions of March 8th from the Attorney General, I have made an examination of a large portion of the surveyed lines of the proposed road through central Puna, and herewith submit my report on the same.

March 14th to 18th inclusive, were spent in the district of Puna, three days of that time being devoted to matters in connection with the new road, going over the line as surveyed by Mr. A.B. Loebenstein in 1891, and examining the adjacent lands to be opened. The larger part of the time was spent upon that section of the line between Keaau where it leaves the Volcano Road near the "Nine Mile" post, and land of Malama about three miles from Pohoiki& From the initial point on the Volcano Road, nine miles from Hilo, to the Nanawale Homesteads, the survey follows an almost direct line for nearly eleven miles, and I found no good and sufficient reasons for making any radical changes as proposed by Mr. Loebenstein& The first section of this road is already traversed by loaded wagons from Hilo, with lumber and supplies for the settlers.

An expenditure of a few thousand dollars would make a great improvement over the present condition of things and offer a great incentive to further settlement of that region&

The demand for the road is universal, and the whole district would benefit by its immediate construction. In building the new road I think ten thousand dollars ($10000.00) would do a great deal on the first section of 11 miles to the Nanawale Homesteads, and make a good cart road that would answer all requirements for the present&a road of twenty feet in width is all that is needed across the Keaau plain&(Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


ca. April 1895

Petition sent by approximately 100 native and foreign residents and tax payers of Hilo and Puna, protesting the possible removing of prisoners from the Puna Road project; to

J.A. King, Minister of the Interior:


&The undersigned residents and tax payers of Hilo and Puna districts of the island of Hawaii, having reason to believe that an effort is being made to have such prisoners as are now employed in building a public road from the nine mile post on the present Volcano Road across the District of Puna through the coffee lands of the southern portion of Puna removed, thereby stopping all work of constructing said highway, wish to make a most emphatic protest against such action& By delaying the work on this road the commercial & other interests of Hilo are seriously crippled, and the undersigned residents of Hilo & Puna do not think that injustice & right there should be any further delay in the said road's completion& (Subject File - Roads Hawaii)


May 1st, 1905

Exchange Deed 110 and Deed 1338 between:

the Department of Public Instruction and W.H. Shipman

On May 1, 1905, the Department of Public Instruction granted to W.H. Shipman, both Keaau School lots, described in School Grant 3, Apana 8; and School Grant 4, Apana 8 [note this should be Apana 18 as recorded in the 1853 survey and recordation files cited above], School and Church Lot at Keaau 2. This done in exchange for a lot near the nine mile marker on the Puna Road, in Keaau. (Bureau of Conveyances Liber 270:149-152)


By this transaction, the Government relinquished its interests in both coastal lots, granting them to W.H. Shipman; in return for the new school lot.


Kea'au Surveys 1901, 1911, and 1912

In the period between 1901 to 1912, A.B. Loebenstein and Thos. Cook conducted surveys of Kea'au. The surveyor's field books, in the collection of the State Survey Division contain several important drawings and notations of features along the Puna Trail-Old Government Road, and along the coast of the present study area. Additionally, because the surveyors were working with native residents of the Waiäkea-Maku'u vicinity (e.g., Hawelu, Keanaha Pu'ukohola, and Kawailohi), they recorded a number of place names and features in the coastal region. Appendix B at the end of this study provides readers with copies of selected pages from the original field note books (courtesy of Randy Hashimoto - State Survey Division).


March 31, 1923

W.H. and Mary Shipman convey 14.6 acre parcel of land bounded by the road leading to Hilo in coastal Kea'au to Herbert C. Shipman (Bureau of Conveyances, Liber 673:143); and W.H. and Mary Shipman conveyed to Clara Shipman-Fisher (and husband), a 20 acre parcel in coastal Kea'au, bounded on the makai side, by a stone wall along the ancient Puna Road (Liber 673:144)


Kea'au and Waikahekahe -

Land Court Application 1053

By 1930, W.H. Shipman initiated Land Court proceedings to record the boundaries of the ahupua'a of Kea'au. On December 17, 1930, Charles L. Murray, Assistant Government Surveyor, notified R.D. King, Surveyor, Territory of Hawaii, that he was transmitting under a separate cover, working sheets of surveys for Kea'au and vicinity. The work was conducted as a part of Land Court Application 1053, included surveys of the "old volcano trail, the Pahoa Road and a tracing of the closure, coordinates, and area of Keaau." (Murray to King, Dec. 17, 1930; in the files of the State Survey Division). Of general interest to this study, and the condition of trails in the vicinity of the boundaries between Kea'au and the Olaa Homesteads at the time of the surveys, Murray wrote:


The trails on these maps are shown where they are clearly defined. There are no signs to show that this trail is still in use. In many places a heavy moss has grown on the grooved trail in the pahoehoe and in other places the trail is covered with "uluhi" fern. Still in other places new trails have been opened away from the old trail. All this goes to show that the old trail is very seldom used if ever& (Murray, Dec. 17, 1930:2; in the collection of the State Survey Division - Land Court Application Folder 1)


Survey records for the lands near the coastal section of Kea'au, including the section crossed by the old Puna Government Road. Murray also references Mäwae (Mawae)-famed in the history of Kamehameha I as the place where he was struck over the head with a paddle, thus forming the Känäwai Mämala-hoe (Mämalahoa), or Law of the splintered Paddle-and he cited the location of the heiau (ceremonial site) "Kawikawa." The following documentation is excerpted from Murray's field notes:


10. Waiakea-Keaau Bdy: - The bearing of the line mauka of the angle "Mawae" was calculated from the new set of coordinates given to the "angle in the woods" (Keaau corner) derived from the new Volcano traverse, and the coordinates of "Mawae." The bearing and distance between "Mawae" and the sea was calculated from a point at highwater mark as the end of a concreted stonewall. This line is slightly different in azimuth from the Terr. Survey office records and considerably different in distance due to the fact that "Kawikawa" heiau is a short ways above high water mark, and the Survey office records bring the boundary only to the heiau and not to highwater mark. "Mawae" is at the point where the old Puna-Hilo Boundary sign originally stood and altho Mr. W.H. Shipman claims that "Mawae" should have been a few hundred feet toward the Hilo he has conceded to the present location of "Mawae" which has been considered the correct bdy point by the Government for over 30 years& (ibid.:3)

12. Government Beach Rd.: (exception No. 1) The Government beach road is in fact a well built trail which is 10 feet wide from curbing to curbing. It does not wind in and out to follow the contour of the land but goes in straight lines as described. It has been substantially marked especially where the Keaau boundaries cross it& (ibid.:4)


(See the approved 1933 map, "Trails of Kea'au, Waikeahekahe Nui and Waikahekahe Iki" prepared by the County of Hawaii.)


Excerpts from Documentation Recorded in:

Land Court Application 1053 - W.H. Shipman Limited,

to Register and Confirm Title to Land Situate

at Island of Hawaii, Territory of Hawaii.


I. THE AHUPUAA OF KEAAU: R. P. 7223, L.C.A. 8559-B, Apana 16 to W.C. Lunalilo.

&After W.H. Shipman acquired title in the early '80s [1882] he made no transfer of any portion of the Ahupuaa for more than ten years. Then came the coffee boom between 1894 and 1900 he sold nearly 4000 acres, chiefly in the vicinity of what is now called "9 miles Olaa". Twelve deeds were executed&

In 1899 Shipman leased nearly 4000 acres of Keaau to Olaa Sugar Company, Limited, for a term of 40 years&

HILO RAILROAD COMPANY: Various grants of rights-of-way to this company appear in the Abstract (Pp. 145, 157, 305). The petition and map filed herein show that these rights are now claimed by the Hawaii Consolidated Railway, Limited, by virtue of a deed from John L. Flemming and others to Hawaii Consolidated Railway, Limited, Dated March 15th, 1916, and recorded in Book 450 at Page 113&

OLAA SCHOOL LOT. By various exchanges with the Territory of Hawaii, W.H. Shipman divested himself of title to 5.97 acres of Keaau situate on the Puna Road near its junction with the Volcano Road&

II. AHUPUAA OF WAIKAHEKAHE-NUI. L.C.A. 8525; R.P. 2236, Apana 3 to Kale.

This is a narrow sliver of land with a short frontage on the sea adjoining Keaau on its easterly side and running several miles mauka.

The awardee, Kale, seems to have been Sally Davis, daughter of Isaac Davis, a colleague of John Young, a follower of Kamehameha First, and one of the first white men to settle in Hawaii. W.H. Shipman claimed through a complete paper title from Sally Davis' heirs. The land is chiefly ancient lava flows covered in part with forest, and the boundaries were uncertain and the surveys defective owing to the difficulty of the terrain&

IV. L.C.A. 8081. R.P. 4360 to HEWAHEWA:

This is a kuleana within the boundaries of Keaau and petitioner has good title by unbroken chain of conveyances from the original awardee - a rather unusual condition, seldom met with in discussions of Hawaiian kuleanas.


These were small lots on the beach of Keaau set aside in early days for school purposes. The native population in this vicinity was scant at best and with the advent of Olaa plantation the schools on the beach were closed for lack of pupils, and a large school lot was acquired near the junction of the Pahoa and Volcano Roads in Olaa village. This was obtained by exchanges hereinabove discussed with W.H. Shipman, and the two grants above were given to Shipman. The title to these grants is good. (Land Court Application 1053, File Pages 61-69)


Sept. 2, 1932

Land Court Application 1053

E.L. Wung, County Engineer; to

Honorable Robert D. King, Surveyor, Territory of Hawaii:

&I have received the advance sheet of Land Court Application No. 1053, for which I wish to thank you.

I notice that on the map that only the main trail, "Exception No. 1", was reserved for the Government. It is also noted that the other old trails leading to Papai, Papuaa, Kahului, etc. and also the trails along the beach and another trail from the present Olaa-Pahoa road to the beach are not being reserved.

My attention has been called time and time again about the public being barred from fishing and gathering opihis along the Keaau coast, as well as all fishermen after landing on the beach from canoes and sampans. Also in some instances men walking along the beach from Waiakea were driven out.

I regret to bring these charges up at this time, however, as county engineer and a public servant, I feel that it is my duty to inform you of the conditions here that you may investigate the matter thoroughly and act for the interest of the general public.

You will note that in the Geological Survey maps that some of the trails are shown, but there is no doubt that you have older maps which show several other trails.

About eleven years ago, a poor Hawaiian was charged and brought before court and indicted for trespassing the Keaau land to gather opihis,, finally public sentiment became so great that it was squashed.

Now, land court petition No. 1053 plainly shows that the public will be forever barred from the beach if said land court passes. I feel it is your duty as well as mine to see that the public is not deprived of such rights.

Kindly have the high waterline defined more correctly on the ground and have all the trails relocated and reserved for the public before it is too late.

Kindly keep this letter to yourself as the owners of Keaau are very powerful both politically and financially& (State Survey Division File - Land Court Application 1053)


September 15, 1932

Land Court Application 1053

Robert D. King, Surveyor, Territory of Hawaii; to

Mr. E.L. Wung, County Engineer of Hawaii:

&This is in acknowledgment of your letter of the 2nd instant, in the above entitled matter, and I beg to advise you that all matters regarding the government and the public interests, as they may be affected by this application, will be taken up as soon as the advertisement is published for the hearing of this case.

We have had a case of a similar nature on the island of Kauai and both the County Attorney and County Engineer cooperated in doing much of the initial work and studies regarding the preservation of the public interests. So in this instance the Attorney General's Department, as well as this office will have to depend to a great extent on the information, data and testimony that officials on the ground can much more conveniently gather. I would therefore ask you to cooperated with us to this extent.

There is one feature of Land Court titles that may not be generally understood and that is: a Land Court title does not take away nor does it extinguish any rights of easement and others of like nature in existence prior to the adjudication of such a title. It is well however, to have such rights, if any, defined at the time of the hearing, so it would be advisable for you and the legal department of the County to make all preliminary surveys and investigations as will preserve any existing rights.

If a map of this application will be of any assistance, I shall be glad to have one made and forwarded to you& (State Survey Division File - Land Court Application 1053)


On September 16, 1932 R.D. King sent a similar communication to Senator William K. Kama'u.


October 24, 1932

Land Court Application 1053

Robert D. King, Surveyor, Territory of Hawaii; to

Harry R. Hewitt, Attorney General:

Honolulu, Hawaii.

&I beg to report as follows:

That when the field and office check of the survey and map presented with Land Court Application 1053, was made and reported to the Land Court by this department, it was considered that the government road along near the beach, which is described in the application as "Exception No. 1", was sufficient to protect the public thoroughfare in vicinity of the coast and that there were no public roads or trails other than that provided for in the various exceptions described in the application. Other trails were noticed by the field surveyor but these were assumed to be cattle trails as Keaau is a cattle ranch.

Whilst I was in Hilo September last, the County Engineer called on me and reported that there were a number of trails which he considered public easements running from the public highways to the sea, so I asked for a conference with officials of the County of Hawaii at which were present the County Engineer, the Deputy County Attorney (Correa) and myself, and drew their attention to the fact that this application would shortly come before the Land Court, and that if it was the wish of the county to make any claims of any nature whatsoever that evidence should be gathered to substantiate such claims and present it through you to the Land Court.

I had previously received letters from Senator William K. Kamau and County Engineer Wung, regarding certain trails which they felt should be preserved in the land of Keaau&

Mr. Wung, the County Engineer of Hawaii, stated that there were no funds available for surveying the trails over which easements should be claimed in the nature of public rights-of-way and he requested that this department make such surveys, but if such public easements exist, descriptions by metes and bounds are not as satisfactory as a map showing the general location of the trails; for in the case of old trails there is often a difference of opinion as to the exact line followed, and the court as in previous cases been willing to reserve such claims by general clause and reference to the applicant's map on which the trails are delineated.

But if you advise that a further survey ought to be made in connection with the claims now being presented by the County Engineer of Hawaii, and that such additional surveys should be made by this department, then it is felt that such additional surveys would only be considered when the county officials of Hawaii have satisfied that there are in fact public interests involved&

I have now received from the County Engineer and enclose you herewith a blue print copy of a plan prepared in the office of the County Engineer of Hawaii on which are shown the trails over which the public easements are claimed. There are also enclosed copies of correspondence between the Territorial Surveyor and County Engineer Wung regarding these claims& (State Survey Division File - Land Court Application 1053)


November 16, 1932

E.L. Wung, County Engineer; to

Robert D. King, Surveyor, Territory of Hawaii:

&The Board of Supervisors discussed with Mr. Herbert Shipman for about two days relative to the Keaau Land Court Petition No. 1053, with many interested people attending.

The County was willing to abandon all the trails above the Waiakea-Kapoho trail (exception No.1) provided Mr. Shipman will turn his private road (Keaau Road) to the Government, but Mr. Shipman would not agree. So, therefore, the Board of Supervisors has instructed Honorable W.H. Beers, County Attorney, and myself to take the matter up with you and Mr. McGhee and request the surveying and reservation of all the old trails below the Kapoho-Waiakea trail (exception No. 1) and at least one trail above the Kapoho-Waiakea trail (exception No. 1) to the Pahoa-Olaa Government road as noted in red on the blue print submitted herewith.

It is recalled that Papai and Papuaa were quite large villages formerly and there were trails along the beach as well as on all parts of the Island of Hawaii where fishermen had the free right to go fishing any time and anywhere with few exceptions.

While you were last you mentioned about helping me to locate and reserve the trails for the Public. Mr. Beers also pointed out that the above subject is a Territorial matter and should be taken care of by the Territory.

However, the County is more that willing to cooperate, so therefore kindly advise me as to what steps to follow.

The Board of Supervisors instructed me to spend not more than $1,000.00 to have the trails surveyed, therefore, I believe with the help of Mr. Charles Murray, your assistant, we can push the work thru. I'll have Mr. John Smith, Surveyor, and some radiomen to help out.

Mr. Beers has already asked Mr. McGhee to postpone hearing of the petition& (State Survey Division File - Land Court Application 1053)

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