In 1836, an American missionary and doctor by the name of Dwight Baldwin settled on Maui. During this time, the area was separated into seven ahupua’a, or pie slices of land that offered ideal access to different elevations for growing several kinds of crops, including areas of Honolua, Honokahua, Honokowai, Honokohau, Kahana, Mahinahina, and Mailepai. After completing 17 years of diligent service, Reverend Dr. Dwight Baldwin was granted 2,675 acres on the lands of the Mahinahina and Kahana ahupua’a for farming and grazing. New land was acquired until 1902 when Honolua Ranch reached 24,500 acres.
The area was originally used for fishing, raising cattle and farming crops such as coffee beans, aloe, mango, and taro. Honolua Ranch Manager and horticulturist David T. Fleming eventually planted the first 20 acres of hala kahiki, or pineapple, transforming Honolua Ranch into Honolua Plantation. By 1920, the ranch and plantation were renamed Baldwin Packers and became the largest private label producer of pineapple juice and pineapples in the country. By 1923, Baldwin Packers owned and managed 22,000+ acres of land in West Maui, and in 1969, the company merged with Maui Pineapple Company to creaHonolua Kayak Snorkel Turtle Mauite Maui Land & Pineapple Company.
After the opening of Kapalua Resort in 1978, 45 acres of the area encompassing Honolua Bay was declared a Marine Life Conservation District. In 1988, Maui Land & Pineapple Company dedicated an additional 8,304 acres of land to conservation, including the Pu’u Kukui, meaning “hill of enlightenment,” the largest privately owned nature preserve in all of Hawaii.
With the recent possession of Lipoa Point and surrounding area, including Honolua Bay, by the state of Hawaii, October 9th has been officially named Lipoa Point Day.
Members of Save Honolua Coalition, along with many residents and officials, have worked hard to preserve the area as an open space with public access, so please take the time to visit this historic area and appreciate it for yourself.