Old Town Wailuku: Homes With Deep Roots in Maui’s History
By Alexandra Mitchel
Maui’s historic town of Wailuku definitely has more than meets the eye! Those of us who live on the amazing Valley Isle know about the great Battle of ʻĪao Valley (Kepaniwai) that took place in 1790. This area is the famous site where King Kamehameha I defeated Kalanikupule of Maui and Oʻahu–a critical battle in his effort to unite the Hawaiian Islands.
In the early 1800s, Wailuku became the Hawaiian monarchy’s center for rule and power. By the mid-1800s, missionaries brought Christianity, their western skills and agricultural practices to the Island of Maui. In 1860, the Wailuku Sugar Company was created and thousands of immigrants began to flood the island to work in a booming agricultural economy.
Maui’s newest residents came from all over the world (Japan, China, Europe, Puerto Rico, Korea and the Philippines), and with them came aspects of their unique cultures that have made Maui’s local culture what it is today.
In the early 1900s, Wailuku became the Maui County seat where business, commerce and entertainment venues would thrive. Wailuku became a “modern” town, known throughout the Hawaiian Islands for a host of unique offerings and opportunities for entrepreneurs.
As it is today, the Wailuku and ʻĪao Valley areas are still two of the most fascinating areas in the Hawaiian Islands–full of glimpses of Old Hawaiʻi and Maui’s unique historical and colonial past.
With sprawling vistas, Hawaiian cultural sites, historic buildings and some of the most charming displays of Maui’s rare plantation-style architecture, Wailuku remains one of the most in-demand locales for Maui property opportunities. Wailuku is without a doubt a great area for those seeking residential and commercial properties that are rich in Maui’s history.
Here are a few available options to own a piece of history in the Wailuku area:
59 Kanoa Street (commercial)
The “Hokama Building,” a historic Wailuku landmark, is for sale. This Maui commercial property opportunity offers a 12,910-square-foot parcel that includes retail and office spaces in a 3,300-square-foot three-unit building and 14 on-site parking stalls. Price: $1,350.000
550 Kaikoʻo Place (residential)
Built in the 1940s, this Wailuku single-family home has a lot of potential with the right buyer. Located within a short walk away from the Big Lefts surf break, this home offers historic charm and a great investment opportunity. Needs a lot of TLC, but it would be worth it! Price: $329,500
240 West Waiko Road (residential)
This Wailuku residential property built in 1855 was originally a historic stone church. Although the property has been renovated with modern amenities, glimpses of the past are seen through gorgeous arched windows and cathedral ceilings. The main house offers three bedrooms and the detached two-bedroom ʻohana provides a possibility for guest quarters, a caretaker cottage or a private rental. The estate is surrounded by tropical gardens and provides gorgeous Haleakalā views from a partially covered lānai. Price: $1,076,000