Thursday, January 8, 2009

King Kalakaua's Beach House

David Kalakaua was King of the Hawaiian Islands from 1874 to 1891, and was known as the Merry Monarch for his colorful enjoyment of the finer things in life.  He had a very contentious reign, where the struggles between native Hawaiian culture and the encroachments of the Western powers (the United States and United Kingdom mainly) were an ongoing undercurrent culminating in the overthrow of his successor, Queen Liliokalani (who wrote Aloha Oe in protest of her imprisonment in Iolani Palace, bemoaning the loss of Hawaiian independence) and annexation by the United States in 1898.

But in happier times King Kalakaua used to come to Kona and relax at this beach house, which sits on the grounds of what is today the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, and is very close to the birthplace of Kamehameha III. Unassuming by modern standards, it is interesting to think of the Hawaiian King in the glory of his reign spending many a relaxing day fishing or on the beach before coming back to his royal bungalow by the sea. The Devil Dog delights at the thought.

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