Lanai's History

The history of lanai states that it was first discovered by a person called Kaululaau who was the son of a chief on Maui by the name of Kakaalaneo. And it was here that Kaululaau was banished to by his father after he managed to destroy the population's breadfruit crop. Many still believe that this is the isle where the evil spirits reside to this day.

According to the history books it was only in the fifteenth century when people started to settle on the island and thought about trying to bring life to some kind of agricultural industry - although this took a number of attempts. China thought this Hawaiian Island would be perfect for sugar cane plantations, yet this was not met well by the islands geography or its water levels. Private companies even tried to come in and set down a crop of sugar cane, while people like Charles Gay, after purchasing the whole island, tried to introduce sheep ranching - he was forced to sell up in 1909.

Lanai's history finally took a turn when a pineapple grower by the name of James Dole arrived and purchased the island in 1922 for about 1.1 million US dollars. Many thought he was mad and taking an incredible gamble.however, his pineapple scheme - if you will excuse the pun - bore fruit. It was due to the mass growing, and production of tinned pineapple did this little island become know historically as "The Pineapple Island." People from around the world - Korea, Philippines, Japan, China and Portugal - were being shipped into man the large plantations at the turn of the 20th Century. Thus Lanai's cultural history is rather broad and cannot be traced back to a single group of people - we therefore use the word multicultural.

Lanai City emerged in the early 1920's after a lot of investment from the Hawaiian Pineapple Company which later became known as Dole Pineapple. During those times Cook Pines from Norfolk took root in the soil and flourished, growing as high as 134 feet and more - these trees have been inscribed onto the city's character and act as a "fog drip" catching water.

To this day this historical city has managed to keep some of the old-world, bucolic and rural traits it once had. The pineapple industry has is now been paved over by tourism.As the industry dried up, Dole Pineapple merged with the Castle & Cooke Company and a greater focus was then placed on generating a tourism industry. The latest additions to this have been the development of The Lodge at Koele and The Manele Bay Hotel both which draw visitors in by the thousands, especially with their two unique Golf Courses - the Experience at Koele and the Challenge at Manele. These were designed by Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus, respectively. Pineapple production is now only set to satisfy local demand, with less emphasis placed on exportation.

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