Ka Lanakila O Ka Malamalama Church is located in Keomoku on the remote “backside” of Lana’i. The road to the church is unpaved and dusty, and on blustery days the tradewinds can cause the sand dunes to merge with the road. There was once a time in the year 1900 when Keomoku was the island’s population center, and over 1,000 workers flocked to the town to work in the newly-built sugar plantation. The plantation would be short-lived, however, and it folded after only a year. The plantation’s water source inexplicably turned brackish, something the local’s attributed to the dismantling of a heiau (temple) in order to use the stones. The town faltered with the closing of the plantation, and in the 1950’s the town’s last resident moved to Lana’i City. Today the church is slowly being refurbished, and sermons in the Hawaiian language are periodically held. Plans are in place for a luxury resort to be built on a nearby beach, although until the “bungalows” are open for business, you’ll most likely have this rustic church entirely all to yourself.
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