Big Island

Kona Historic Society (Part 1) – Photo Archives are Great for Decor & Gifts

One of the best things about buying a new home is gathering art and décor from various galleries and resources around the Big Island. You may rely on your interior decorator or perhaps visit a few galleries on your own, but what many don’t realize is that the Kona Historic Society has an incredible collection of historic photo prints for purchase. 

Great for conversation, historical images always peak guest’s interests, especially if it is a photograph of a location that they have visited. Because the Kona Historic Society offers an array of programs, this blog is part of a 3 part series highlighting what they have to offer.


Aerial Photo of Kailua Bay | Photo Courtesy of the Kona Historic Society

The organization’s photo archives date back as far as 1890 capturing life as it was on Hawaii’s Big Island. For over 30 years local resident Jean Greenwell, under the guidance of her mentor, Dorothy Barerre, took on the task of collecting all references to Kona history scattered among repositories throughout the Hawaiian Island.


Kahaluu Bay circa 1910 | Photo Courtesy of the Kona Historic Society

Ms. Greenwell’s efforts resulted in an extensive collection of archival images that are now available for purchase. Each image is printed using archival ink on archival rag paper, so they will last for generations. Images such as “Snow on the Three Mountains” captures a rare glimpse of Mauna Kea, Hualalai, and Mauna Loa mountains simultaneously capped with snow.


Snow on The Mountain circa 1938 | Photo Courtesy of the Kona Historic Society

Another classic is the photo of the The Waihou House located in North Kona. A well known lodge that housed travelers such as Jack London who stayed there with his new bride on their honeymoon. Hawaii was one of London’s favorite destinations. The collection includes an array of other images such Keauhou, Kailua Bay, and Parker Ranch Paniolo.


The Waihou House, North Kona, Hawaii | Photo Courtesy of the Kona Historic Society

How to Order Prints

With the holidays right around the corner, the photo archives are a great gift item for that hard-to-shop-for person. To preview the archive collection and to order prints, please visit the Kona Historic Society’s website.

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Elizabeth Fowler

January 5, 2019

Would you know where I could find any photos of Alii Dr in Kailua in 1969-70. I lived there then and worked at the Kona Hilton. I’ve seen several pics of the hotel but I would love to see some between the areas of the banyan tree and the King Kam. So many memories from that time. Thanks for any help.
Aloha Nui Loa

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