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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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It was the year 1840 when the Kilauea volcano region became a place to stop for the tourists of Hawaii. There was a volcano house that would shelter the tourist passing through, if they did not wish to stay in the community bed there were huts provided and if that was not good for them they would need to provide tents to pitch as their shelter. This Volcano house went under reconstruction around the 1860's and was said to be able to hold at least forty people. It wasn't until 1866 that a permanent hotel was built at the volcano of Kilauea. The hotel was to provide comfort for the travelers.

The travel in early days to the volcano took a full two days to get there from any nearby port. If in Hilo you would have had to travel along a path that ran through dripping rain forests to a stop at a mountain view house, then there was another fifteen miles through the damp forests until you cross Oilskin Flats, then only two more miles to the Volcano house. The road to the Volcano has been improved over the years and transportation has progressed from a weary horse, to a four horse stage in 1894, and then to an actual railroad that went as far as Glenwood in 1901. Now the road to Kilauea from Hilo will get you there in 45 minutes.

In 1907, Hawaii's territorial legislature approved 50 congressmen and their wives to see the designated area for the park first hand. This was to gain support in creating a national park in the state of Hawaii. January 20, 1916 was the date of the fourth and final draft of the Hawaii National Park bill; this was introduced by Jonah Kuhio. The committees met and on April 17 the House approved the bill. Then the Senate followed and on August 1, 1916; our president at the time President Wilson signed the bill into law and created the twelfth National Park. It wasn't until five years later that a group of people got together at the crater for the dedication of the Hawaii National Park. In the early years of this park the five year period was due to a restriction in one of the clauses which required that the park be "reasonably accessible in all of its parts" before the public funds could be used to maintain and develop areas of the park. The first superintendent of the Hawaii National Park came into office in April of 1922. His name was Thomas R. Boles; he was also an engineer by training. He had the first park headquarters built in 1923 by the parks staff and Boles.

The development of the park continued over subsequent years. In 1927 the chain of craters road was extended to Makaopuhi crater. The chain of craters road was undesirable



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