Two Lahaina redwood signs still missing after West Maui fires

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PC: courtesy Lahaina Restoration Foundation

The community continues to be dismayed that the two large, redwood signs, one at the north and one at south entrances to Lahaina along the Honoapiʻilani Highway (30), have gone missing and have not yet been found.

These signs, installed in 1998, were truly a community project with several groups, individuals and nonprofits contributing to their success.

“It is unconceivable to think that someone would selfishly take these signs, especially now, when Lahaina has suffered so much,” said Theo Morrison, executive director of Lahaina Restoration Foundation.


According to foundation leaders, the signs were taken in mid-October 2023, and the poles that held them in place were sawed through.

Around 1997, when Morrison was the executive director of Lahaina Town Action Committee, she had the idea to create welcome signs at the two entrances to Lahaina. Jim Dankworth, a local businessman, who was on the LAC board and a member of the Rotary Club of Lahaina, approached architect and Rotarian Uwe Schultz to design the sign and asked the Rotary Club of Lahaina for funding for the two signs.

Wanting the signs to signify the significance of Lahaina, Morrison approached Mary Helen Lindsey, from the well-known Lindsey family on Front Street. Lindsey suggested that the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, adopted around 1850, would be an appropriate image to use on the signs. Significantly, the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi was recognized by the College of Arms in England and was a national symbol of the Hawaiian Kingdom.  


The signs were soon constructed, and the next step was installing them along the highway once permits were secured from the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation.

At the time, the Front Street Improvement Project was underway, and Kiewit Construction was the contractor.

A phone call to Kiewit Construction confirmed that the company would be happy to bring their equipment to the site and dig the holes for the large supporting posts and install the signs. However, they said they did not have the ability to drill the two, long horizontal holes through each sign and the supporting posts to hold the 4-inch thick steel rods from which the signs were to be suspended.


When asked, local builder, Jim Kohler, quickly agreed to drill the holes, but said he did not have a drill bit long enough to do the job. Morrison then made more phone calls and purchased the large drill bit that was needed.

Over the 26 years that the signs have stood at the entrances to Lahaina, several individuals and groups have maintained them including the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise, Jesse Neizman of Lahaina Restoration Foundation and Saltwater Signs.

If you have any information about the signs, please email Lahaina Restoration Foundation at or contact the Maui Police Department.


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