Cultural Resources Management Program
Pacific Region / California & Nevada Region

Highlights of Cultural Heritage- HAWAI'I and PACIFIC ISLANDS


Hanalei NWR: Long hidden by a thick jungle of vegetation, an agricultural temple known as a heiau was discovered on Hanalei NWR in the mid-1990s. In addition to the heiau, still functioning taro fields, walls, and drainage ditches on the Refuge are witness to generations of taro farming along the Hanalei River. Top

Hakalau Forest NWR: The koa wood-framed Pua Akala Cabin was built in the late 1800s by D.H. and E.G. Hitchcock, owners of the Hitchcock and Company Sugar Plantation in Papa'ikou. It served as a way station for vacationers, surveyors, cattle hunters, and other guests of the family. Top

Kilauea Point NWR: One of the most-visited Refuges in the country, Kilauea Point NWR is home to the Kilauea Point Lighthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. First lit in 1913 and deactivated in 1976, the lighthouse still holds the original Second Order Fresnel Lens. Today, visitors, and quite a few nene (native Hawaiian goose), can be seen walking around its base. Thousands of Laysan albatross, red-footed boobies, shearwaters and other species descend on the nearby cliffs and trees to nest, feed, and rest. Top

Midway Atoll NWR: To World War II veterans and history buffs, Midway Atoll NWR is a place of pilgrimage. Historians cite the Battle of Midway as the turning point of the War in the Pacific Theater. But the history of Midway doesn't start on that fateful day in 1942. Initial human occupation of the atoll was sporadic after the first recorded landing in 1859. Survivors from two shipwrecks in the 1880s found shelter on the atoll. In 1903 it became a relay station for the Commercial Pacific Cable Company which installed the first Pan Pacific submerged communication cable. By 1940 the atoll had well-developed aircraft and ship refueling facilities, and as World War II started in Europe, military interest in Midway accelerated. At the time of the Battle on June 4, 1942, hundreds of fighter planes, war ships, and submarines were stationed on Midway. The atoll continued, on and off, to be a strategic military base through the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Today, examples of military architecture still serve as offices, hotels, and residences on what is now the most unusual wildlife refuge in the world.For more information about the history of the atoll, click here. For an overview of ongoing historic preservation activities, click here.

  • For online lesson plans about the Battle of Midway at Midway Atoll, go toTeaching with Historic Places (if you click here you will leave this FWS web page).



Last updated: December 20, 2012

Cultural Resources Management Program
Pacific Region National Wildlife Refuges
Pacific Region Home
California & Nevada Region Home

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior  |  | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA