Historic Kauai landmark is symbol of Hanalei’s unique heritage.
Yesterday’s blessing to rededicate the Hanalei Pier was well-attended by the local community as well as Governor Abercrombie, Mayor Carvalho and members of the Hanalei Rotary Club.
Abercrombie opened his remarks by explaining why he was late for the event – it was because he had stopped at the Hanalei Lookout to take photos and reminisce about standing there with his mother on her first trip to Kauai. He noted that the view hadn’t changed one bit and he appreciated that the island has maintained its charming character, allowing him to experience that special moment of nostalgia. All the islands in Hawaii have something special about them, said Abercrombie, adding that Kauai is easily the most beautiful island of them all.
Once the speeches were finished, the conch shell was blown to start the precession onto the pier and towards the canopy. A woman danced hula to Hanalei Moon while the audience sang to the lyrics.
It Takes a Village – Community Rallies Around Pier Project
The Hanalei Pier canopy rebuilding effort was spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay and received generous support from Kauai residents and businesses as well as a great deal of support from the other Islands. Contributions were sent in from all around the United States along with notes recounting special memories of time spent at the pier and bay.
The canopy at the end of the pier had reached a dilapidated state by 2010 and had become a safety issue though funds for the project weren’t readily available. This is where the Rotary Club stepped in, working with the Department of Land and Natural Resources in planning the project with support by both the County of Kauai and the State of Hawaii.
Coldwell Banker Bali Hai exuberantly supported the fundraising efforts, helping to rally the community behind the project.
Bali Hai’s own John Ferry was instrumental in the “Save the Pier” campaign, taking it upon himself to create commemorative plaques (custom ceramic tiles of the Hanalei Pier) to entice large donors as well as contributing directly.
We’re excited that the project has now come to fruition with more than $180,000 in donations which exceeds the goal. The extra money will be used for continued maintenance of the pier as a community recreational resource, and to make sure the pier does not fall into disrepair again.
A time lapse video of the rebuilding process, using the Bali Hai web cam, was put together by Steve Kuhn. Click here to see the video, which was taken from March 24 to May 17 – and includes some incredible sunsets! To see what is happening at the pier and Hanalei Bay at this very moment click here to check out the live Bali Hai web cam!
Pier’s History Mirrors the Eras of Hanalei
Since 1892 Hanalei Pier has been an integral part of the Hanalei and Kauai north shore community. Back then the pier was built of wood and was the site of monthly arrivals by inter-island steamers.
Local shopkeepers and rice planters arrived with their horse-pulled carts and wagons to receive their wares including food and farm supplies. A longer Hanalei Pier was built of concrete in 1912 as the rice industry thrived in the region and milled rice was brought down the Hanalei River on flat bottom boats.
Today at Hanalei Pier you’ll see children playing, fishermen casting a line and tourists taking a stroll to enjoy the view of the crescent bay with a backdrop of verdant, waterfall-lined mountains. This spectacular setting is what caught the eye of Hollywood – the pier being seen in many movies from the 1959 “South Pacific” to the more recent “Descendants.”
The Hanalei Pier is listed on both the Hawaii and National Registers of Historic Places, but it’s also a thriving area in the present day. The pier, adjacent Hanalei rivermouth and beach area serve as a community gathering place. This is also the site of Black Pot Beach Park, named after the big, black iron pot that was used to cook the fish caught during a “hukilau” when everyone pitched in to help pull in the large nets holding the catch.
Bali Hai would like to thank everyone involved in this great community effort to preserve our historic landmarks while also providing continued recreational opportunities for the north shore community and visitors. We look forward to many days ahead enjoying the great beauty of Hanalei Bay and its historic pier!
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