Out of all the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai emerged from the sea first. Our ancient island has a rich history full of fascinating facts and interesting folklore, and at Fern Grotto Inn, the premier Vacation Rentals in Kauai, you’re perfectly positioned to explore the island and get a glimpse into what life was like in years gone by. Here are two fascinating historical phases that you can get an up close and personal look at during your stay.
The Menehune Civilization
Some of the island’s first residents were the Menehune. These master builders were seldom seen, due mostly to their very small size, and have been credited with the creation of the beautiful fishponds and aqueducts on the island. The natives on the island were not too fond of their nocturnal construction so they stayed hidden in the forest, only to venture out when no one was around.
The ancient peoples would tell you that to see some of their work, visit Alekoko, better known as Menehune Fishpond, which is located near Lihue.
Captain Cook & King’s Kingdoms
It was on the island of Kauai, at Waimea Bay, that Captain Cook came ashore. As the discoverer of the islands he named them the Sandwich Islands, in honor of The Earl of Sandwich. The year of his “discovery” was 1778. At the same time, King Kamehameha I was trying to bring all of the islands together under his control.
Kauai, and the neighboring island of Niihau, did not want to be included in his “kingdom” so they rebuffed his advances. Eventually, King Kaumualii of Kauai, decided that it would be better to live in harmony, so in the spirit of cooperation (and to avoid further bloodshed), they joined with the other islands under King Kamehameha I.
Unfortunately, Captain Cook brought more than goodwill to the islands. The members of the crew carried disease with them as well. Typhoid, measles and the flu would take their toll on the population who had never been exposed. An estimated 80% of the native population succumbed to disease during the following century.
Not one to hang around too long, Captain Cook left the islands to continue his explorations. When he returned in 1779, he had a run-in over a fishing boat on the Big Island at the north shore of Kealakekua Bay and was killed. Kauai still has a statue dedicated to Captain Cook, which you can see at Waimea Town.
When you stay at our vacation rentals in Kauai, we’ll clue you in about the island’s history and point you in the right direction to uncover it yourself. Tucked on the east side of the island in Kapaa, Fern Grotto Inn offers authentic old-style plantation cottages with island-inspired furnishings and modern amenities. Discover the vacation rentals you’ve been dreaming of, surrounded by a lush landscape of fruit trees and located only a block from the beach. Please contact us to see how we at Fern Grotto Inn can help make your stay on the Isle of Discovery an unforgettable adventure!