Aloha from the 2019 Lāna‘i Pineapple Festival and the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center. Avery truck and the 1964 Fire truck look great! From left, Lāna'i residents, Warren Osako, Board President, Albert Morita, past Board President with Representative Lynn DeCoite and Senator Kai Kahele. Photo taken by Kepā Maly.
Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center has a collection of more than 10,000 photos from the early ranching era and through the 70 years of Lāna’i’s pineapple plantation. At the Pineapple Festival, museum staff and volunteers set up desks and displayed photo albums of scanned images for viewing. We asked elder kama‘āina and residents to help us identify locations, people, events depicted in the photographs. This is an important community history initiative as it helps us document the stories of families on Lana'i. Over the years, we've had success by doing this, and each year we are able to identify more of those in the photos.
We also displayed panels with a timeline of Lāna‘i’s history, and the 1912 Avery Truck (first motorized vehicle on Lāna‘i), and an early community fire truck. The Avery Truck was purchased and brought to Lana'i in 1912 by Charles Gay. Though it broke down in 1922, it remained on island until 1975. Then Ross Moody and friends (Walker-Moody Construction of Honolulu), took the truck to O'ahu and restored it. In 2011 Mr. Moody and family kindly returned the truck to Lāna‘i. Our goal is to have the truck on permanent display in the not too distant future.
Pineapple plants once covered nearly 20,000 acres of Lāna‘i – with the plantation operating from 1922 to 1992. Today, hardly a pineapple plant is found on the island.
The ethnobotanical gardens fronting the old Dole Administration Building which houses the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center has a small area planted in pineapple by Pūlama Lāna‘i. Today, Uncle Albert Morita harvested a super sweet pineapple from the garden and shared pineapple pieces with guests. For many, it was the first time they’d had freshly harvested pineapple right off the plant.
July 17, 2019