The concrete platform along the highway reminds travelers that Highway 19 was built over what was once a railway. Behind the platform stands a simple single-story building, the former station manager's house and later the residence of Mr. Stanley, the superintendent of maintenance for the railroad. The intact interior, with its coffered ceilings, tongue-and-groove walls, and built-in seating and cabinets, is alone worth a visit. This former house is now used as a railroad museum.
The Hilo Railroad was constructed from 1909 to 1913 and ran between Hilo and Paauilo. The Laupahoehoe station was built in 1912, but after the tsunami of 1946 destroyed a number of the railway's bridges and trestles, the system was abandoned and the station removed. In 1953, the present highway was completed, largely following the former railroad right-of-way. In making the journey north from Hilo, five of the former railroad trestles are now traversed as highway bridges.