Events Calendar

May’s Hanohano O Kona Lecture

Wednesday, May 30, 5:30pm to 7:00pm at the West Hawaii Civic Center

Kona Historical Society is happy to return to the West Hawaii Civic Center with this month’s installment of Hanohano `O Kona, featuring a presentation about historical plantation communities from Eileen “Momi” Naughton, Heritage Center Coordinator of the North Hawaii Education and Research Center.

In the late 1800s, the early days of the Honoka`a Sugar Plantation’s operation, most of the working force was Hawaiian. As the Company grew people from various parts of the world came to work on the plantation: Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, Koreans, Filipinos, Russians and Spaniards. The plantation furnished for free use about two hundred houses for its employees, laid out in villages containing outdoor cookhouses, bathhouses, laundries, and running water. Free fuel was also supplied for cooking and heating water (Source: Hawaii Sugar Plantation Association).

Momi’s presentation will highlight the plantation history of Honoka`a through the lens of NHERC’s collections and exhibits. The exhibits and collections are curated as a way to empower the Honoka`a community to tell the diverse stories of their history.

Momi Naughton was born and raised on Oʻahu and received her BA from the University of Hawaiʻi.  Her Masterʻs Degree in Anthropology from Western Washington University focused on Hawaiians in the Fur Trade on the Pacific Northwest Coast.  Dr. Naughtonʻs doctorate is in Visual Communication from Simon Fraser University in Canada with an emphasis on cultural representation in museums and heritage sites. In 1990, Momi received a Fulbright award to study the bicultural model in museums in New Zealand.  She coordinated the Hawaiian artists for the Festival of Pacific Arts in Townsville, Australia in 1989 and was part of the Hawaiʻi delagation to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival the following year. 

Cinnamon Bread at the Portuguese Stone Oven

Thursday, June 7, 10am - 2:00pm, Portuguese Stone Oven

Kona Historical Society will make its famous Portuguese cinnamon bread at Kona Historical Society’s stone oven, or forno, located in the pasture below its main office and its historic general store museum in Kealakekua on Thrusday, June 7.

From 10 a.m. to noon, the public is able to watch Kona Historical Society staff and volunteers create these sticky, sweet loaves of cinnamon bread at the outdoor stone oven, a reproduction of the “forno,” the oven used by the Portuguese immigrants who came to Kona in the 1880s. Attendees will also learn about the traditional art of Portuguese bread making and the contributions of the Portuguese.

The loaves are sold for $8 each on a first-come, first-serve basis from 12:45 p.m. until sold out.  Proceeds benefit the Kona Historical Society, a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona Districts and their larger context in the history of Hawaii. These Special Bakes are part of the Society’s free Portuguese Bread Baking Program, which celebrates Portuguese contributions to Kona’s ranching heritage and perpetuates the art of baking of Portuguese bread in the traditional way. Portuguese families typically shared their ovens communally and worked together to produce the weekly bread for everyone.

Kealapu`ali Jeep Trip featuring a Performance by Jackie Pualani Johnston

Saturday, June 23, Kealapu`ali

The Performance Is Part Of Kona Historical Society’s Exclusive Tour Of Kealapu`ali On Hualalai

Kona Historical Society’s next Historical Jeep Trip will lead guests on an exclusive tour of Kealapu`ali on Hualalai on Saturday, June 23, featuring an incredible presentation by Jackie Pualani Johnston of Kona Historical Society’s one-woman play “Isabella Bird: A Living History Performance” written by Victoria Nalani Kneubul. The cost of this excursion is $190, and includes transportation, a no-host bar and lunch served at a ranch family home.

Isabella Lucy Bird was one of the first of England’s female adventurers to defy societal norms by traveling alone to distant countries. Bird visited Hawaii in 1873 and wrote about her experiences in letters to relatives, which were eventually published in the book, “Six Months in the Sandwich Isles,” published in 1875. In the summer of 1873, Isabella Bird visited Charles Wall’s mountain home and sheep station at Kealapu’ali and wrote about her observations in letters to her sister Hennie.

Kona Historical Society’s Isabella Rides Again Jeep Trip will take guests through Kaumalumalu to Kealapu`ali, where the adventurer’s writing about the ranch will spring to life through this stellar performance. Born and raised in Hilo, Jackie Pualani Johnston spent decades providing the UH Performing Arts Department drama program with classical, musical, and ethnic theatre. She has directed several living history productions with KHS, including Kona Coffee Days, A Visit to Kalukalu, and Isabella Bird in 2013.

As with all of our Historical Jeep Trips, guest must be current members to participate, and anyone can become a member of Kona Historical Society. To become a member or to renew a membership, please call the Kona Historical Society office at (808)323-3222 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Reservations can be made at or by calling the Kona Historical Society office up until June 23. Refunds will not be given if a cancellation is made less than 72 hours prior to the day of the event. Seating is extremely limited with only 26 seats available for sale. Once those seats are reserved, interested patrons will be added to a waiting list in the event of cancellation. Guests should bring a jacket, appropriate walking shoes, sunscreen and a folding chair.

Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.

Hands On History

Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm, 11a.m.


Kona Historical Society’s Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook will be having “Hands On History” activities every Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 11a.m. - 1p.m. that help visitors explore Kona’s history in a deeper and more sensory way. Participation is free with the purchase of admission to the farm. The Society hopes this program will help perpetuate these cultural traditions and further preserve the history behind Kona’s coffee industry and its pioneers. This unique program is supported through a grant from Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Come and experience Kona’s Stories!
The schedule for upcoming activities is as follows:

April 23 - Backyard Groceries: Sustainability in the Kitchen Garden

April 25 - Home Grown Remedies: Kona’s Traditions of Medicinal Gardening

April 27 - Beans in the Skillet: Coffee Roasting at Home

April 30 - Fresh Off the Press: Making Tofu in the Family Kitchen

May 2 - Weaving Tools & Treasures: Lauhala on a Kona Coffee Farm

May 4 - Koinoburi: Carp Streamers to Celebrate Boy’s Day

May 7 - Backyard Groceries: Sustainability in the Kitchen Garden

May 9 - Balanced Bento: Pickles as a Mainstay of the Japanese Table

May 11 - Art & Language: Learning Japanese with Calligraphy

May 14 - Beans in the Skillet: Coffee Roasting at Home

May 16 - Home Grown Remedies: Kona’s Traditions of Medicinal Gardening

May 18 - Weaving Tools & Treasures: Lauhala on a Kona Coffee Farm

May 21 - Utility Meets Beauty: The Tradition of Sashiko Stitching

May 23 - Beans in the Skillet: Coffee Roasting at Home

May 25 - Floral Philosophy: The Art and Harmony of Ikebana



Bread Baking at the Portuguese Stone Oven

Every Thursday between 10a.m.-12:30p.m.


The Kona Historical Society’s Portuguese Stone Oven is a reproduction of a typical oven used by the Portuguese immigrants who came to Kona in the 1880’s.  Join the process of panning the dough and baking 96 loaves of the traditional sweet, white and whole wheat every Thursday between 10:00a.m.-12:30p.m. The program is free and the bread is $8 per loaf (sorry, we cannot reserve loaves of bread; first come, first served).  Bread sales begin around 1:00p.m. until we sell out.  Bring your lunch and make a day of it with an oven-side picnic in the pasture!  We hope to see you at the Portuguese Stone Oven in the pasture below KHS headquarters in Kealakekua.