What and where is Ulupono? This question has been asked and answered many times over the years. Many who grew up here or familiar with Wailuku do not remember a place called Ulupono.
Ulupono translates as “To grow and flourish in righteousness.” This name was bestowed upon our property in 1994 by our good friend and Kumu Hula Hokulani Holt. The name was to give blessings of growth and prosperity for our new business. This inspired local designer Sig Zane to give the gift of an ulu tree which was planted on the day of our property blessing. It continues to also grow and flourish—giving enough fruit each season to “feed a village.” The ulu tree is a staple in Polynesia known for its abundance of fruit, hardiness and strength.
This property was originally owned by Maui banker and community leader Charles Dexter Lufkin who established Maui’s first bank, First National Bank of Wailuku, in 1901. Ulupono is located kitty corner to Wailuku Elementary School on the corner of Kahookele Street and High Street. Kahookele Street was originally an awai (waterway) used by the Sugar plantation to irrigate the sugarcane fields. In 1924, this home which is now The Old Wailuku Inn was built as a wedding gift to Mr. Lufkin’s new daughter-in-law, Lenore.
The home was later owned by the Makino family of Makino Shoe Store. Many still remember playing with the Makino children in the neighborhood. Others remember another owner who rented out rooms to local college students attending Maui Community College and learning to play soccer in the front yard coached by Maui Attorney, Bill Cohen. Through the years the home has always been a place of gathering of good friends and family. It seems appropriate to have become a Bed and Breakfast as we continue to host guests from all over the world.