Kahukini’s Koloa secret treasure cave

At Koloa, Kauai, during the 1800s, there lived a very energetic and shrewd Native Hawaiian businessman by the name of Kahukini (early 1800s-1883), whose 20-acre property was located very close to St. Raphael Catholic Church, founded in 1841 by Irish-born Fr. Arsenius Walsh (1804-1869).

Although it’s unclear what business Kahukini was initially engaged in, it is, however, documented that he succeeded in laying up a good deal of money from that enterprise, which he then loaned here and there at interest on very reasonable terms.

Sugar plantations in particular were accustomed to going to him whenever they happened to be short of cash to pay off their laborers.

Kahukini was in the habit of stowing his savings away in some place or another, and when he’d obtained between $40,000 and $50,000, “he left the money with a Catholic priest who lived very close by” in the rectory of St. Raphael Church.

That priest may have been Fr. Walsh, who was on Kauai from 1841 until 1859, but more likely, he was Fr. Eustache Preteseille (1821-1886), a Frenchman assigned to St. Raphael from 1859 until his death.

Hawaiians called Fr. Eustache “Kauka Minuke,” which meant “one-minute doctor,” and he became skilled in the use of Native Hawaiian drugs, improved upon them, and was remarkably effective in curing illnesses.

Later, Kahukini took his money back and hid it in one of the many caves on his property.

By that time, he was an old man, and soon afterwards his mind began to fail him, and he forgot where his treasure was hidden.

His wife tried in vain to learn from him the exact spot but it was useless; he could recall facts regarding his riches and he would mention them to her, but he never told her where he hid the treasure, and when he died his secret went with him to the grave.

Several people who worked for Kahukini searched for his wealth without success, and by all accounts his secret cave has yet to be discovered.

  1. Salazar June 11, 2018 10:41 am Reply

    I love hearing these historical stories. Where do you get your sources for these stories

  2. Reverend Malama Robinson June 11, 2018 11:01 am Reply

    Call in Mythbusters!

    There are so many Legends of the area that the write could have referred to… but nooo!
    Focus always on how to STEAL the Hawaiian Kingdom possessions by desecration and deceit!

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