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History & Culture

Makahu’ena, also known as Makahū‘ena Point, stands as a prominent cape within Kauaʻi County, Hawaii. Historical findings indicate that Makahu’ena Point and Keoneloa Bay were once bustling hubs for a vibrant Native Hawaiian fishing community. Makahū‘ena is situated within the ahupua‘a of Weliweli, a testament to the ancient Hawaiian land management system. The ahupua‘a, characterized by wedge-shaped land divisions extending from mountain to sea, provided a sustainable resource base for the native population. Each ahupua‘a encompassed a diverse range of resources, including fish, salt, fertile land for taro and sweet potato cultivation, as well as valuable timber such as koa trees found in the upland areas.

Archaeological findings reveal that Keoneloa Bay and Makahū‘ena Point on Kauaʻi once thrived as a bustling native Hawaiian fishing village. These industrious villagers engaged in trade, exchanging fish for various sustenance and materials, including wood for constructing homes and canoes. Today, remnants of their legacy endure along the coastline heritage trail, where breadfruit, coconut, and taro can still be spotted, preserving the rich cultural heritage of the area.


Learn more about Kaua‘i’s fascinating history by visiting the Kaua‘i Historical Society.
  • 1908
    The Lighthouse Service, part of the U.S. Commerce and Labor Department, erected a lighthouse at Kōloa Point. In 1914, the facility was described in lighthouse records as a white house with a 40 ft high lead-colored mast and a red fixed light.
  • The Makahū‘ena Light was erected, supplanting the original at Kōloa Point. Today, the lens and lantern from the original Makahu'ena Light are exhibited at the Hawai'i Maritime Center in Honolulu, preserving a piece of maritime history for future generations to admire.
  • 1951
    A new station for a LORAN-A receiver was established at Makahū‘ena Point adjoining what is now Makahū‘ena Estates. The facility included up to 6 buildings and a 280-foot-tall antenna.
  • Upon the deactivation of the LORAN station, the facilities at Makahū‘ena Point evolved into a group home and emergency shelter for Hale ‘Ōpio, a Kaua‘i based non-profit offering youth, family services and treatment facilities.
  • 1996
    The U.S Government deemed Makahū‘ena Point a surplus property and auctioned it to Cook Inlet Region, Inc., (CIRI). CIRI acquired the property as part of the 1976 Cook Inlet Land Exchange, which enabled the company to bid on federal surplus properties throughout the U.S. Initially, the land on which Makahū‘ena Estates would be built was platted for 25 single-family lots and several other larger parcels; today the development provides for just 10 premier parcels.

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