Long before Captain Cook set foot on Hawai’i’s shores, Hāmākua was home to a bustling community composed of generations of Native Hawaiians. This was the original birthplace of kings, and locals believe this place has been infused by mana and honua—power and peace.
King Kamehameha was hidden in this Garden of Eden and raised on its fertile shores.
- 1779: Captain Cook moors in nearby Kealakekua Bay.
- 1802: Chinese immigrants begin refining sugar in Hawai’i.
1820: Missionaries land in Hawai’i.
- 1898: Hawai’i is declared a U.S. Territory.
1899: Hāmākua Sugar Company is formed via a consolidation of seven plantations.
Hawaii Consolidated Railway passenger train emerges from Maulua Tunnel and crosses over Maulua Gulch headed for the line’s end at Hamakua Mill yard below Pa’auilo.
- 1930: Honoka’a People’s Theatre is built.
- 1941: Pearl Harbor is attacked.
1959: Hawai’i is declared the 50th state of the U.S.
- 1986: The first Native Hawaiian wins an official position: Governor John. D. Waike’e III
- 1993: Sugar plantations close; Honoka’a People’s Theatre initiates first annual Hamakua Music Festival
- Today the community is thriving and residents celebrate its diverse culture and roots