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1885 Hawaiian Government Survey, Maui

Hawaii Giv Survey
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Hawaiian Government Survey MAUI W.D. Alexander, 1885

As the Maui surveys were completed, Frank S. Dodge started to assemble them into a general map of the island. He began the task in 1879 and finished late in 1885, following completion of survey work on West Maui that was done in large part by Sereno E. Bishop. The map was sent to Julius Bien in New York, who printed five hundred copies in the spring of 1886. The map shows the ancient districts, or moku, which have since been realigned on Maui, as well as the ahupua'a and the ili, along with the grants and awards by which they were held.

In addition to the standard colors of yellow for crown and green for government lands, Dodge employed several other colors to cope with the land complexities of Maui. For ex- ample, an unusual land in Hawai'i is the ili kupono of Wailuku, shown in pink and covering the north half of the isthmus that connects the two halves of the island. An ili kupono was an ili that was independent of any ahupua'a. Wailuku was purchased by Claus Spreckels in 1882 and formed a major component of his sugar empire in Hawai'i.

Dodge's map of Maui, like the Lyons / Covington map of O'ahu is a tribute to the skill and dedication of the staff of the Hawaiian Government Survey. Two sections of this map are worth examining in detail. The northeastern portion of East Maui, famed for its twisting road that makes even hardy travelers of today carsick, is one of the most rugged pieces of land anywhere in the United States. Its deeply incised, steeply falling valleys are difficult passage for the strongest of hikers. Yet by 1883 the courses of most of the streams and the ridges sepa- rating them had been mapped with considerable accuracy. The central portion of West Maui is another rugged and wet piece of terrain that required fortitude as well as skill to map.

The north end of the original 1871 baseline can be seen just east of Kahului, and the south base is located halfway across the isthmus in a southwesterly direction. This was the first baseline established by the Hawaiian Government Survey, and the accuracy of the coastline of Maui and all of its internal features on this map can be traced back to the painstaking effort of Alexander and his staff.