Mormon Pacific Historical Society


Hawaii, Laie, Mormon history, Pacific history, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Along with the few photographs of La’ie during the early plantation era from about 1865 to 1920, several people made verbal sketches of La’ie. La’ie and Hawai’i always have been considered exotic, and before photographs were common in newspapers, magazines and books, a verbal description was a highly developed means of sharing with readers what a place was like. It was meant to help a reader visualize a place the way we now use photographic images. We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words; here follows some examples of people using words in the place of a picture.

In 1871 Elder Harvey Cluff described the low condition in which the early missionaries found La’ie, then pointed out some of the progress taking place in La’ie in the six years the Church had been managing it.