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Early map of Honolulu, 1845.

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Elele Hawaii published on October 7, 1845.

Newly arrived surveyor Herman Ehrenberg was hired by the Hawaiian Government to survey the streets of Honolulu and draw up a map. A small version was used to engrave onto wood by missionary Henry Dimond for printing in The Friend (October 1, 1845) and less than a week later in the Hawaiian language newspaper Ka Elele Hawaii (October 7, 1845). Both publications were printed at the Mission Press.

Image: “HONOLULU,” Ka Elele Hawaii, October 7, 1845, p. 105

Image: “Ma keia kii maluna iho…” Ka Elele Hawaii, October 7, 1845, pp. 105–106.

In the image above, you can see the walls and the streets and the nature of Honolulu, the great town of Hawaiʻi nei. This is where the King lives and the Kuhina Nui, and the Nation’s Legislature. 

By the numbers in the image, each place is made clear, like this: 

  1. Palace. 
  2. Fort, where the Governor [Kekūanāoʻa] resides. 
  3. King’s Chapel at Kawaiahaʻo, where Armstrong preaches. 
  4. Roman Catholic Chapel, of Maigret folks. 
  5. Church of Smith at Kaumakapili. 
  6. Haole church at Pōlelewa, of Damon. 
  7. Young Chiefs’ School. 
  8. Hotel. 
  9. Government Building at Honolulu. 
  10. Printing House of the Government. 
  11. Haole school. 
  12. Shop of Brewer and Co. 
  13. Shop of Bay and Co. 
  14. American Seamen Hospital. 
  15. English Seamen Hospital. 
  16. French Seamen Hospital. 
  17. Residence of British Consul General. 
  18. Residence of U. S. Consul. 
  19. Residence of French Consul. 
  20. U. S. Commissioner. 
  21. Residence of Damon, Chaplain to sailors. 
  22. Road to Nuʻuanu. 
  23. Road to ʻEwa. 
  24. Road to Waikīkī. 
  25. Inner harbor,  
  26. French Hotel. 
  27. American Mission  


The number of shops in Honolulu are as follows. 
Wholesale shops 11. 
Retail shops 14. 
Auction houses 2. 
Hotels 5. 
Boarding houses 6. 
Saloons 6. 

(Elele Hawaii, 10/7/1845, pp 105-106) 

In comparison, here is a map of what Honolulu looked like in 1810 as described by John Papa ‘Īʻī. 

Image: “Honolulu in 1810.” Map of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, in the year 1810. Drawn by Paul C. Rockwood, based on data compiled by Dorothy B. Barrère, Bishop Museum Archives SP 121206

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact .

The map below is of Honolulu in 1890. It appears to be the same map found in Thrum’s Annual for 1891. However, this copy is further divided into four parts: Section A, Mrs. Hobron; Section B, Miss Judd; Section C, Mr. Thrum; Section D, Mr. Jones. (What this refers to is not clear.)

Image: “Map of Honolulu City, Hawaiian Islands, Showing Fire and Election Wards.” Map of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi in the year 1890. Bishop Museum Archives SP 200482

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

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