Peter Lee and the Road Ahead

September 29, 2022 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus
19-4074 Old Volcano Rd
Volcano, HI 96785
Free, although a $5 donation is greatly appreciated
(808) 967-8222

Thursday Night at the Center: Peter Lee and the Road Ahead

Thursday, September 29, 2019 | 6pm

If you have ever looked closely at a topographic map of the Ka’u District of Hawai’i Island, you may have noticed a pair of dashed lines identified as the “Peter Lee Road”. Built in 1888 and running roughly parallel to today’s Highway 11, this carriage road was mainly intended to transport people from Pahala to the new Volcano House Hotel perched on the rim of Kilauea Caldera.  Intrepid travelers would first arrive at the Punalu’u boat ramp landing and ride a plantation train to Pahala before starting up the carriage road.

Martha Hoverson, retired librarian, and a volunteer for the Cultural Resources Management Division of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, has researched the history of the road and the man who built it. She will give a presentation entitled “Peter Lee and the Road Ahead” at 6 P.M., Thursday September 29, 2022, at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.

In her talk, she will discuss the role that Peter Lee, an immigrant from Norway who owned a hotel in Punalu’u, played in the early development of tourism in Hawai’i. Peter himself served as a hugely popular manager of the Volcano House Hotel from 1891 until 1898, and later opened his own hotel, The Crater Hotel, in Volcano. It was located near the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences campus on Old Volcano Road.

This presentation is free, although a $5 donation to Volcano Art Center is greatly appreciated. For more information, please call VAC at (808) 967-8222 or visit

This free event, sponsored by the Volcano Community Foundation in conjunction with the Volcano Art Center, will provide a glimpse of the Volcano area during a pivotal time in Hawai’i’s history.

A tour of Kapapala Ranch in Ka’u will be on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at 9:30 A.M.  The tour will include a stop at the location of the “Halfway House” on the Peter Lee Road, and conclude with a catered lunch, followed by an optional visit to another part of the ranch for those with 4-wheel drive vehicles.

This event is hosted by the Volcano Community Foundation. It will give participants a chance to experience parts of the Peter Lee Road firsthand and learn more about the rich history of both the ranch and the road. The fee for the tour and lunch is $75. Advance registration is required due to the limited spots available. To reserve your space,email or call (808) 895-1011. A signup sheet will also be available at the Septmber 29, 2022,Peter Lee presentation.  Registration confirmation and additional program information will be emailed to you prior to the tour.


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