The Banyan tree, planted in 1873 covers one city block in Lahaina. It is a gathering place for people from all over the globe and the place where I participate in weekend art fairs. Beside the tree is the Old Courthouse built in 1857 which houses the Banyan Tree Gallery. It is there that I show my art as a member of the Lahaina Arts Society and enjoy the fellowship of other artists.
The Banyan tree borders the harbor which was a major port for 19th century whalers. It holds special significance for me because my great grandfather, Lewis Monto, walked these grounds in 1827 and 1832 when he arrived on a whaling ship, the Plough Boy. When the tourists ask if I’m a native, I can say that Maui “called me” because it is in my genes. Please visit a comprehensive website on the Journals kept by Lewis Monto and on that period of Hawaiian history at: http://mysite.du.edu/~ttyler/ploughboy/pbjournals.htm