|Nickname: The Friendly Isle|
Satellite image of Molokaʻi
Location in the state of Hawaiʻi
|Area||260 sq mi (670 km2)|
|Area rank||5th largest Hawaiian Island|
|Highest elevation||4,961 ft (1,512.1 m)|
|Pop. density||28 /sq mi (10.8 /km2)|
Molokaʻi ( /
The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The contemporary name is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaii Island.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.
Oʻahu, known as "The Gathering Place", is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to roughly one million people—about two-thirds of the population of the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. The state capital, Honolulu, is on Oʻahu's southeast coast. Including small associated islands such as Ford Island and the islands in Kāneʻohe Bay and off the eastern (windward) coast, its area is 596.7 square miles (1,545.4 km2), making it the 20th-largest island in the United States.
The island has been known both for developments by Molokaʻi Ranch on much of the island, for pineapple production, cattle ranching and tourism. Residents or visitors to the west end of Molokaʻi can see the lights of Honolulu on Oʻahu at night; they can view nearby Lānaʻi and Maui from anywhere along the south shore of the island. In Kalawao County, on the Kalaupapa Peninsula on the north coast, settlements were established in 1866 for quarantined treatment of persons with leprosy; these operated until 1969. The Kalaupapa National Historical Park now preserves this entire county and area.
Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is an unincorporated part of and the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu along the southeast coast of the island of Oʻahu. The city is the main gateway to Hawaiʻi and a major portal into the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.
Lānaʻi is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and the smallest publicly accessible inhabited island in the chain. It is colloquially known as the Pineapple Island because of its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation. The island's only settlement of note is the small town of Lānaʻi City. As of 2012, the island was 97% owned by Larry Ellison, with the remaining 3% owned by the state of Hawaiʻi and privately owned homes.
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles (1,883 km2) and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the State of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, which include Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and unpopulated Kahoʻolawe. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444, third-highest of the Hawaiian Islands, behind that of Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island. Kahului is the largest census-designated place (CDP) on the island with a population of 26,337 as of 2010 and is the commercial and financial hub of the island. Wailuku is the seat of Maui County and is the third-largest CDP as of 2010. Other significant places include Kīhei, Lahaina, Makawao, Pukalani, Pāʻia, Kula, Haʻikū, and Hāna.
Molokaʻi developed from two distinct shield volcanoes known as East Molokaʻi and the much smaller West Molokaʻi. The highest point is Kamakou on East Molokaʻi, at 4,970 feet (1,510 m). Today, East Molokaʻi volcano, like the Koʻolau Range on Oʻahu, is what remains of the southern half of the original mountain. The northern half suffered a catastrophic collapse about 1.5 million years ago and now lies as a debris field scattered northward across the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. What remains of the volcano on the island include the highest sea cliffs in the world. The south shore of Molokaʻi boasts the longest fringing reef in the U.S. and its holdings—nearly 25 miles (40 km) long.
A shield volcano is a type of volcano usually composed almost entirely of fluid lava flows. It is named for its low profile, resembling a warrior's shield lying on the ground. This is caused by the highly fluid lava erupted, which travels farther than lava erupted from a stratovolcano, and results in the steady accumulation of broad sheets of lava, building up the shield volcano's distinctive form.
The East Molokai Volcano, sometimes also known as Wailau for the Wailau valley on its north side, is an extinct shield volcano comprising the eastern two-thirds of the island of Molokaʻi in the U.S. state of Hawaii.
A fringing reef is one of the four main types of coral reef recognized by most coral reef scientists. It is distinguished from the other main types in that it has either an entirely shallow backreef zone (lagoon) or none at all. If a fringing reef grows directly from the shoreline the reef flat extends right to the beach and there is no backreef. In other cases, fringing reefs may grow hundreds of yards from shore and contain extensive backreef areas with numerous seagrass meadows and patch reefs.
Molokaʻi is part of the state of Hawaiʻi and located in Maui County, except for the Kalaupapa Peninsula, which is separately administered as Kalawao County. Maui County encompasses Maui, Lānaʻi, and Kahoʻolawe in addition to Molokaʻi. The largest town on the island is Kaunakakai, which is one of two small ports on the island. Molokaʻi Airport is located on West Molokaʻi.
Maui County, officially the County of Maui, is a county in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It consists of the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, and Molokini. The latter two are uninhabited. As of the 2010 census, the population was 154,834. The county seat is Wailuku.
Kalaupapa is a small unincorporated community on the island of Molokaʻi, within Kalawao County in the U.S. state of Hawaii. In 1866, during the reign of Kamehameha V, the Hawaii legislature passed a law that resulted in the designation of Molokaʻi as the site for a leper colony, where patients who were seriously affected by Hansen's disease could be quarantined, to prevent them from infecting others. At the time, the disease was little understood: it was believed to be highly contagious and incurable. The communities where people with leprosy lived were under the administration of the Board of Health, which appointed superintendents on the island.
Kalawao County is a county in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is the smallest county in the United States both by population and land area. The county encompasses the Kalaupapa or Makanalua Peninsula, on the north coast of the island of Molokaʻi. The small peninsula is isolated from the rest of Molokaʻi by sea cliffs over a quarter-mile high—the only land access is a mule trail.
The United States Census Bureau divides the island into three census tracts: Census Tract 317 and Census Tract 318 of Maui County, Hawaiʻi, and Census Tract 319 of Kalawao County, Hawaiʻi. The total 2010 census population of these was 7,345, living on a land area of 260.02 square miles (673.45 km2). Molokaʻi is separated from Oʻahu on the west by the Kaiwi Channel, from Maui on the southeast by the Pailolo Channel, and from Lānaʻi on the south by the Kalohi Channel.
The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States.
A census tract, census area, census district or meshblock is a geographic region defined for the purpose of taking a census. Sometimes these coincide with the limits of cities, towns or other administrative areas and several tracts commonly exist within a county. In unincorporated areas of the United States these are often arbitrary, except for coinciding with political lines.
Molokaʻi is split into two main geographical areas. The low western half is very dry and the soil is heavily denuded due to poor land management practices, which allowed over-grazing by goats. It lacks significant ground cover and virtually the entire section is covered in non-native kiawe ( Prosopis pallida ) trees. One of the few natural areas remaining almost intact are the coastal dunes of Moʻomomi, which are part of a Nature Conservancy preserve.
Prosopis pallida is a species of mesquite tree. It has the common names kiawe, huarango and American carob, as well as "bayahonda", "algarrobo pálido", and "algarrobo blanco". It is a thorny legume, native to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, particularly drier areas near the coast. While threatened in its native habitat, it is considered an invasive species in many other places.
In physical geography, a dune is a hill of loose sand built by aeolian processes (wind) or the flow of water. Dunes occur in different shapes and sizes, formed by interaction with the flow of air or water. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the stoss (upflow) side, where the sand is pushed up the dune, and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee side. The valley or trough between dunes is called a slack. A "dune field" or erg is an area covered by extensive dunes.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a charitable environmental organization, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, United States.
The eastern half of the island is a high plateau rising up to an elevation of 4,900 ft (1,500 m) on Kamakou peak and includes the 2,774 acres (11.23 km2; 4.334 sq mi) Molokaʻi Forest Reserve. The eastern half is covered with lush wet forests that get more than 300 in (7,600 mm) of rain per year. The high-elevation forests are populated by native ʻōhiʻa lehua ( Metrosideros polymorpha ) trees and an extremely diverse endemic flora and fauna in the understory. Much of the summit area is protected by the Nature Conservancy's Kamakou and Pelekunu valley preserves.
Below 4,000 feet (1,200 m), the vegetation is dominated by exotic flora, including strawberry guava (Psidium littorale), eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus spp.), and cypress ( Cupressus spp.). Introduced axis deer (Axis axis) and feral pigs (Sus scrofa) roam native forests, destroying native plants, expanding exotic plants through disturbance and distribution of their seeds, and threatening endemic insects. Near the summit of Kamakou is the unique Pepepae bog, where dwarf ʻōhiʻa and other plants cover the soggy ground.
Molokaʻi is home to a great number of endemic plant and animal species. However, many of its species, including the olomaʻo (Myadestes lanaiensis), kākāwahie (Paroreomyza flammea), and the Bishop's ‘ō‘ō (Moho bishopi) have become extinct. Molokaʻi is home to a wingless fly among many other endemic insects.
It used to be thought that Molokaʻi was first settled around AD 650 by indigenous peoples most likely from the Marquesas Islands. However, a 2010 study using revised, high-precision radiocarbon dating based on more reliable samples has established that the period of eastern Polynesian colonization of the Marquesas Islands took place much later, in a shorter time frame of two waves: the "earliest in the Society Islands c. 1025–1120, four centuries later than previously assumed; then after 70–265 years, dispersal continued in one major pulse to all remaining islands c. 1190–1290." Later migrants likely came from Tahiti and other south Pacific islands.
Although Captain James Cook recorded sighting Molokaʻi in 1778, the first European sailor to visit the island was Captain George Dixon of the British Royal Navy in 1786. The first significant European influence came in 1832 when a Protestant mission was established at Kaluaʻaha on the East End of the island by Reverend Harvey Hitchcock. The first farmer on Molokaʻi to grow, produce and mill sugar and coffee commercially was Rudolph Wilhelm Meyer, an immigrant from Germany who arrived in 1850. He built the first and only sugar mill on the island in 1878, which is now a museum.
Ranching began on Molokaʻi in the first half of the 19th century when King Kamehameha V set up a country estate on the island, which was managed by Meyer and became what is now the Molokaʻi Ranch. In the late 1800s, Kamehameha V built a vacation home in Kaunakakai and ordered the planting of over 1,000 coconut trees in Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove.
Leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) was among Eurasian diseases introduced to the Hawaiian islands by traders, sailors, workers and others who lived in societies where these diseases were endemic. Because of the islanders' lack of immunity to the new diseases, they suffered high rates of infection and death from smallpox, cholera and whooping cough, as well as leprosy. Sugar planters were worried about the effects on their labor force and pressured the government to take action to control the spread of leprosy.
The legislature passed a control act requiring quarantine of people with leprosy. The government established Kalawao located on the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula on the northern side of Molokaʻi, followed by Kalaupapa as the sites of a leper colony that operated from 1866 to 1969. Because Kalaupapa had a better climate and sea access, it developed as the main community. A research hospital was developed at Kalawao. The population of these settlements reached a peak of 1100 shortly after the beginning of the 20th century.
In total over the decades, more than 8500 men, women and children living throughout the Hawaiian islands and diagnosed with leprosy were exiled to the colony by the Hawaiian government and legally declared dead. This public health measure was continued after the Kingdom became a U.S. territory. Patients were not allowed to leave the settlement nor have visitors and had to live out their days here. In the 21st century, there are no persons on the island with active cases of leprosy, which has been controlled through medication, but some former patients chose to continue to live in the settlement after its official closure.
Pater Damiaan de Veuster, a Flemish priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary served as a missionary for 16 years in the communities of sufferers of leprosy. Joseph Dutton, who served in the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1883, came to Molokaʻi in 1886 to help Pater Damiaan and the rest of the population who suffered from leprosy. Pater Damiaan died at Kalaupapa in 1889 while Joseph Dutton died in Honolulu in 1931 at the age of 87. Mother Marianne Cope of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Syracuse, New York, brought six of her Sisters to work in Hawaiʻi with leprosy sufferers in the late 19th century, also serving on Molokaʻi.
Both Father Damiaan and Mother Marianne have been canonized as Saints by the Roman Catholic Church for their charitable work and devotion to sufferers of leprosy. In December 2015, the cause of Joseph Dutton was formally opened, obtaining him the title Servant of God.[ citation needed ]
Over the years the Ranch company has also acted as a developer, establishing hotels and related amenities for resort tourists on their property and over the same period of time has seen protests and activities by community activists such as fence cutting and poisoning of the Ranch’s exotic African Safari animals in 1994, an arson attack on a recently renovated Ranch house at Kaupoa in 1995 or the destruction of five miles of Ranch water pipes in 1996.
In 2007 community residents organized the "Save Laʻau Point" movement to oppose Molokaʻi Ranch's attempt to expand its resort operation. As a result, on March 24, 2008, Molokaʻi Ranch, then the island's largest employer, decided to shut down all resort operations, including hotels, movie theater, restaurants, and golf course, and dismiss 120 workers. In September 2017 the company that owns Molokaʻi Ranch, Singapore-based Guoco Leisure Ltd, put this 55,575 acre property, encompassing 35% of the island of Molokaʻi, on the market for $260 million.
Because of its rural, agricultural nature, Molokaʻi has Hawaiʻi's highest unemployment rate. One third of its residents use food stamps. As of 2014 [update] , the largest industry on the island is seed production for Monsanto and Mycogen Seeds, including GMO seeds.
The tourism industry on Molokaʻi is relatively small, compared to the other islands in Hawaiʻi. Only 64,767 tourists visited Molokaʻi in 2015. For years, residents of Molokaʻi have resisted private developers' attempts to dramatically increase tourism. Accommodations are limited; as of 2014, only one hotel was open on the island. Most tourists find lodgings at rental condos and houses.
National Geographic Traveler magazine and the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations conduct annual Destination Scorecard surveys, aided by George Washington University. In 2007, a panel of 522 experts in sustainable tourism and destination stewardship reviewed 111 selected human-inhabited islands and archipelagos around the world. Molokaʻi ranked 10th among the 111 destination locales. The survey cited Molokaʻi's pristine, breathtaking tropical landscape; environmental stewardship; rich and deep Hawaiian traditions (the island's mana ); and visitor-friendly culture. The neighbor islands of Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui and Oʻahu, ranked 50, 61, 81 and 104, respectively.
Molokaʻi is believed to be the birthplace of the hula. The annual Molokaʻ Ka Hula Piko festival is held on this island.
Molokaʻi can be reached by plane. Planes fly into Molokaʻi daily from other Hawaiian islands including Oʻahu (Honolulu and Kalaeloa), Maui (Kahului) and Hawaiʻi (Kona) on Mokulele Airlines, Makani Kai Air, Paragon Air and Hawaiian Airlines.
A ferry that formerly sailed between Molokaʻi and Lāhainā Harbor, Maui closed operations on October 27, 2016. Sea Link President and Senior Capt. Dave Jung attributed the closure to competition from federally subsidized commuter air travel and declining ridership.
The island of Molokaʻi is served by Molokaʻi General Hospital, which operates all day, every day. It is also serviced by Molokaʻi Community Health Center, Molokaʻi Family Health Center, and Daniel McGuire, MD.
The island public school system includes 4 elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. There is also a community college.The island has one private middle/high school.
The island contains many parks and other protected areas, including Palaʻau State Park, Kiowea Beach Park, Kakahaia National Wildlife Refuge, Molokaʻi Forest Reserve, Pelekunu Preserve, George Murphy Beach Park, Halawa Beach Park, and Papohaku Beach Park (3 miles of pristine beach) in the portion within Maui County. Today Kalawao County is preserved by the Kalaupapa National Historical Park (accessible by guided mule or hiking tour).
The island can be traversed by a two-lane highway running east to west (highways 450 and 460). Highway 470 is a spur up to the barrier mountains of Kalawao County and the Kalaupapa peninsula. By land this area (Kalaupapa) can only be reached by mule and hiking trails. Most access to the Kalaupapa peninsula is by sea.
Maui Economic Opportunity operates public transportation on Molokaʻi.
Father Damien or Saint Damien of Molokai, SS.CC. or Saint Damien De Veuster, born Jozef De Veuster, was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a missionary religious institute. He won recognition for his ministry from 1873 to 1889 in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi to people with leprosy, who were required to live under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine on the island of Molokaʻi on the Kalaupapa Peninsula.
The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the U.S. state of Hawaii:
Marianne Cope, also known as Saint Marianne of Molokaʻi, was a German-born American religious sister who was a member of the Sisters of St Francis of Syracuse, New York, and administrator of its St. Joseph's Hospital in the city. Known also for her charitable works, in 1883 she relocated with six other sisters to Hawaiʻi to care for persons suffering Hansen's Disease on the island of Molokaʻi and aid in developing the medical infrastructure in Hawaiʻi. Despite direct contact with the patients over many years, Cope did not contract the disease.
Kalaupapa National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located in Kalaupapa, Hawaiʻi, on the island of Molokaʻi. Coterminous with the boundaries of Kalawao County and primarily on Kalaupapa peninsula, it was established by Congress in 1980 to expand upon the earlier National Historic Landmark site of the Kalaupapa Leper Settlement. It is administered by the National Park Service. Its goal is to preserve the cultural and physical settings of the two leper colonies on the island of Molokaʻi, which operated from 1866 to 1969 and had a total of 8500 residents over the decades.
This is a list of properties and historic districts in Hawaii listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 340 listings appear on all but one of Hawaii's main islands and the Northwestern Islands, and in all of its five counties. Included are houses, schools, archeological sites, ships, shipwrecks and various other types of listings. These properties and districts are listed by island, beginning at the northwestern end of the chain.
Kalawao is a location on the eastern side of the Kalaupapa Peninsula of the island of Molokai, in Hawaii, which was the site of Hawaii's leper colony between 1866 and the early 20th century. Thousands of people in total came to the island to live in quarantine. It was one of two such settlements on Molokai, the other being Kalaupapa. Administratively Kalawao is part of Kalawao County.
The Aliʻi nui of Kauaʻi was the sovereign king or queen of the islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau.
The Aliʻi nui of Maui was the supreme ruler of the island of Maui, one of the four main Hawaiian Islands. The title is the same as that of the Aliʻi nui of the other islands. The title or phrase Mōʻī is sometimes used for the title of the monarchs of Maui; however, it is not an ancient word in the Hawaiian language and has origins in the mid 19th century. The only monarchs to officially hold the title of Mōʻī are Kalākaua and his sister Liliuokalani.
Peter Young Kaʻeo Kekuaokalani (1836–1880) was a Hawaiian high chief (aliʻi) and politician of the Kingdom of Hawaii. His cousin was Emma, who contended for the throne after the death of Kamehameha. After being diagnosed with leprosy, he was exiled in 1873 to Kalaupapa, the isolation settlement on Molokaʻ. He was later permitted to return to Honolulu, where he died.
The Aliʻi nui were high chiefs of the four main Hawaiian Islands. The rulers of Molokai, like those of the other Hawaiian islands, claim descent from god Wākea.
The 2016 United States House of Representatives elections in Hawaii occurred on November 8, 2016. The electorate chose two candidates to act in the U.S. House, one from each of the state's two districts. Hawaii is one of 14 states that employ an open primary system, meaning voters do not have to state a party affiliation in the election. The primaries were held on August 13.
George Naʻea, was a high chief of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and father of Queen Emma of Hawaii. He became one of the first Native Hawaiians to contract leprosy and the disease became known as maʻi aliʻi in the Hawaiian language because of this association.
Ambrose Kanoeali‘i or Ambrose Kanewali‘i Hutchison was a long-time Native Hawaiian resident of the leper settlement of Kalaupapa on the island of Molokaʻi who resided there for fifty-three years from 1879 to his death in 1932. During his residence, he assumed a prominent leadership role in the patient community and served as luna or resident superintendent of Kalaupapa from 1884 to 1897.
Maria Leopoldina Burns, was an American religious sister who was a member of the Sisters of St Francis of Syracuse, New York, and a close companion and biographer of Saint Marianne Cope during the 1883 Hansen's Disease epidemic on the island of Molokaʻi, Hawaii.
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