Polynesian Pioneers

We spent Pioneer Day in the little ghost town of Iosepa, Utah.  After 2 hours on the mountain, we found it… Story Rock!  Iosepa is where early Polynesian saints settled in order to be nearer to LDS church headquarters during 1889 to 1917.  Story Rock is where those early pioneers carved sea creatures (i.e. petroglyphs) reminiscent of their homeland.  We first became aware of Iosepa a few years ago when our daughters’ halau hula (i.e. dance group) were scheduled to dance there on Memorial Day.  We were impressed by the new structures including a large pavilion/stage and restrooms as well as fenced in protection for the little cemetery/ memorial.  Today we noticed even more improvements including more restrooms, small playground, and BBQ pits near the covered cooking stations with running water.  The annual luaus (always during Memorial Day weekend) have grown and feature teaching stations for Hawaiian cooking and craft skills.

My husband claims 2 different connections to Iosepa through Kahana Pukahi & Kaloi Hawele, both pioneers that lived there.  Dean’s uncle, Daniel Pukahi, is a grandson of this couple.  Also, Kaloi Hawele is a sister to Dean’s 2nd great-grandmother, Kaluna Hawele.  According to the genealogical website mentioned below, Kahana Pukahi may have traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah (from Kauai) as early as 1873.  Kaloi also traveled to Utah (from Maui) as a young teen.  Both traveled with missionaries.  They met in Utah and were married in the Logan Temple on 1 Apr 1891.  LDS church membership records indicate they had 9 children in Iosepa, two of whom died as babies and were buried there.  Here is the 1910 US Fed Census showing them with seven living children living in Utah.  However, the Pukahi ‘Ohana returned to Hawaii in time to show up on the 1920 US Fed Census (shows parents and three youngest, unmarried children) with the exception of the oldest son, William, who registered for the army on 2 Jun 1917 in Los Angeles, California.

*Go to this KSL article to read about the history of Iosepa!

*Go to this Bonneville Mariner blog and scroll through the archives to read more information about Story Rock, the annual luau, and the 2008/2009 archaeological dig at Iosepa!

*Darci and Amelia resting in the shade of Story Rock!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kaloi Nawahine
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 20:23:49

    Kahana and Kaloi Pukahi are my great-great grandparents.


    • lcrandall
      Apr 27, 2014 @ 07:53:59

      Hey cousin… thanks for your comment 🙂 Please email a pic of your great-great grandparents if you have one!


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