National Register Listings in
Hawaii County, Hawaii

1790 Footprints Ahole Holua Complex Ainahou Ranch Ainapo Trail Ala Loa Anna Ranch Bank of Hawai'i, Ltd. Bond District Brown, Francis E. Ii, House Chee Ying Society Daifukuji Soto Zen Mission District Courthouse and Police Station Ferreira Building First Bank of Hilo, Ltd. Fujino, Matsujiro, Property Greenwell Store Guard, Thomas, House Hale Halawai O Holualoa Hata, S., Building Henderson, Walter Irving and Jean, House Hilina Pali Road Hill, W.H., House Hilo Masonic Lodge Hall-Bishop Trust Building Hind, James M., House Holualoa 4 Archeological District (State Site No. 50-10-37-23.661) Honoka'a Public Library Honoka'a United Methodist Church Honokaa People's Theatre Honoka Ľa Hongwanji Buddhist Mission Hotel Honokaa Club Hulihee Palace Imiola Church International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Jack Wayne Hall Building Kahikolu Church Kalaoa Permanent House Site 10,205 Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park Kamakahonu, Residence Of King Kamehameha I Kamehameha Hall Kamehameha III's Birthplace Kealakekua Bay Historical District Keauhou Holua Slide Kilauea Crater Kohala District Courthouse Kojiro Yamato Store and Garage Kotake, Kamekichi and Mika, Store Property Lyman, Levi and Netti, House Lyman, Rev. D. B., House M.S. Botelho Building and Garage Mauna Loa Road Mokuaikaua Church Mookini Heiau Moses, Edward H. and Claire, House Nanbu, A., Hotel-Holy's Bakery Old Volcano House No. 42 Palace Theater Parker, James and Catherine, House Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park Pu'ukohola Heiau Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site Puna-Ka'u Historic District Shipman, W. H., House Souza, John Dias, Property St. Benedict's Catholic Church Star of the Sea Church-Kalapana Painted Church Tong Wo Society Building Truslow, Herbert Austin, House U.S. Post Office and Office Building Uchida Coffee Farm Volcano Block Building Waiakea Mission Station-Hilo Station Waimea Elementary School Whitney Seismograph Vault No. 29 Wilkes Campsite Williamson, A. J., House
Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States on August 21, 1959. It is the only state in the U.S. made up entirely of islands and is also the only state with a majority Asian population.
Hawaii County, also known as the Big Island, is the largest and youngest of the Hawaiian Islands. The history of Hawaii County is shaped by the arrival of Polynesians, Europeans, and the eventual annexation by the United States.

The Polynesians were the first to settle in Hawaii County, arriving around 1,500 years ago. They brought with them their culture, traditions, and agricultural practices. They established a flourishing society based on fishing, farming, and trade. The island was ruled by chiefdoms, and their hierarchical structure was based on the division of labor and a system of religion and customs.

In 1778, British Captain James Cook arrived on the island, introducing Europeans to Hawaii County. Cook's arrival brought both curiosity and conflict. While Cook's initial visit was peaceful, tensions escalated on subsequent visits, leading to his death in 1779. European influence grew as more explorers, traders, and missionaries arrived in Hawaii County, bringing new technologies, diseases, and religious beliefs.

In the late 19th century, Hawaii County faced significant changes. Influenced by the economic interests of American businesspeople, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893, leading to the establishment of a provisional government and later the Republic of Hawaii. In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii County as a territory, primarily driven by strategic military interests.

In 1959, Hawaii County became the 50th state of the United States. Since then, it has experienced growth in both population and tourism. The island's diverse landscapes, including active volcanoes, pristine beaches, and lush tropical forests, have made it a popular destination for visitors from around the world. Hawaii County continues to embrace its rich cultural heritage while evolving into a modern and vibrant place to live and visit.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Hawaii County, Hawaii.

  • Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, is believed to have been settled by Polynesians around 1,500 years ago.
  • In 1778, British explorer Captain James Cook became the first recorded European to visit the island during his third Pacific voyage.
  • In 1790, the famous Battle of Kepaniwai took place between forces of the Hawaiian Kingdom and Maui warriors near present-day Hilo.
  • In 1791, the American merchant vessel "Eleanor" became the first recorded foreign ship to anchor in Hilo Bay, marking the beginning of increased foreign trade and influence on the island.
  • In 1840, Hilo was designated as the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii by King Kamehameha III.
  • In 1885, the first sugarcane plantation was established in Puna, marking the beginning of large-scale sugarcane cultivation on the island.
  • In 1893, the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown by a group of American and European businessmen, leading to the establishment of a provisional government dominated by foreign interests.
  • In 1900, Hawaii became a territory of the United States, and Hilo became the county seat of Hawaii County.
  • In 1946, the Hilo tsunami, caused by an earthquake near the Aleutian Islands, struck the island and devastated many coastal areas.
  • In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States.
  • In 1983, the eruption of Kilauea volcano started, which has continued to shape the landscape of the island throughout the years.