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Lanai is a small island off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Maui. Lanai is a unique island in that not many people live there and there is plenty of desolate and unsettled land. The island was "discovered" by a man named Kaululaau. Kaululaau was the son of Chief Kakaalaneo. Kakaalaneo wanted the best for his son. He wanted him to be happy. He wanted him to succeed, and he wanted him to have friends. He told Kaululaau and his friends to all live in Lahaina. But when Kaululaau one day made a mistake and destroyed the entire area’s crop of breadfruit, Kakaalaneo had had enough. He banished his own son from Maui and ordered him to go live on the island of Lanai. At the time it had been unexplored and thought of as a place where evil spirits resided.
Kaululaau cleared the island and found that there were no evil spirits there. Then in the 15th Century, there were a few hundred people who came to settle on Lanai. Fishing and farming then became big industries on the island.
Since this time, many people have tried to do different things on the island. The Chinese tried to bring sugar cane to the island, but because of the terrain and water level, they didn’t succeed. Then a major company came in and tried again to plant and grow sugar cane. They also found that that wasn’t possible. Then people tried to raise cattle on the island. That didn’t proof to be worthwhile.
But that’s when a man named James Dole came and bought the entire island in 1922. He paid an amazing $1.1 million for the island, which at the time was a huge amount of money. He tried growing pineapple on the island–and guess what!–it worked! Dole raised and canned pineapples right there on Lanai and proved an instant success. People living on the mainland United States started buying canned pineapples, an item they had never even heard of before. And people liked it and kept buying more and more of it. To this day, pineapples are grown on Lanai and it’s become quite the site.