Courthouse once stood at Hale Halawai site


Editor’s note: West Hawaii Today, in conjunction with Kona Historical Society, is presenting a weekly feature called “Historic Kailua Village.” The articles and the accompanying photographs have been compiled by the society and were published in a book titled “Kona Historical Society’s Historic Kailua Village Map.”

Courthouse

On Makai Street, which is today Alii Drive, the district courthouse was once located in the area now occupied by Hale Halawai. This dark red building with cream-colored trim was a grand edifice for the tiny fishing village of Kailua. Alongside it on the same property were a redwood water tank and a windmill.

A small stone jailhouse stood behind the courthouse. It held those found drunk and disorderly, or those who had outstanding bills. Both structures were torn down about 1960.

St. Michael’s Catholic Church

St. Michael’s, the oldest Roman Catholic church in Kona, was completed by Father Joachim Marechal in 1850 on land donated by territorial Gov. John Kuakini in 1841, an indication of royal approval for this “new brand” of Christianity.

In 1935, Father Benno Evers restored the church. The coral grotto on the grounds was put together around 1937 with more than 2,000 pieces of coral gathered by the church’s catechism classes.

A recent earthquake caused the building to become unsafe for human habitation. As a result, it had to be torn down. A replacement is currently under construction.

Copyright 2005 Kona Historical Society. Reprinted by permission.