Hale Pa'ahao / Lahaina Prison

Image Credit Anson Chappell|https://www.flickr.com/photos/ansonchappell/24059932209
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Phone (808) 661-3262
Address 187 Prison Street, Lahaina, HI 96761
Tour Lahaina's old prison for a new perspective on your freedom.

• General: Botanical Garden • General: Cost: Free • General: Educational • Cultural & Historical: Historic / Landmarks • Cultural & Historical: Museum / Art Center

Hale Pa'ahao / Lahaina Prison was built in 1853 and a much need place to put criminals of the whaling era. It's not hard to envision times when these streets were filled with drunken sailors causing all sorts of problems in Lahaina.

The property housed two jail cell buildings, one for men and another for women. Each building contained several cells, complete with shackles to tie up the more rowdy criminals.

In the early days of the prison, those who were detained here were allowed to roam freely in the (contained) backyard lawn where they could smoke and play cards. By night, it was back to the cells to be chained up. In most cases, the captain of the boat they were whaling on would bail them out and they would be back to the seas.

In 1967, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation made efforts to restore and preserve the old prison as a museum for visitor to tour. Today you can enter and check out the buildings and jail cells for free. Also note that in addition to a prison this property is also a small botanical garden.

No for some fun facts! The most popular crime that would have landed you in the Lahaina Prison back in the mid-1800s? Drunkenness! No surprise there. Next up on the naughty list were adultery / fornication, assault and battery, and (my favorite of all) furious riding. Yes, furious riding! That must have been the illegal street racing (Fast & Furious style) of the 1800s. Of course, oddities such as "giving birth to bastard children" and "lewd conversation" would also get you tossed into a cell back then.