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Tong Wo Society Hall

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c. 1890. 53-4370 block of Akoni Pule Hwy., Halawa
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

East of Kapaau and set back on a large lawn at a bend in the highway just beyond the Halawa stream, Tong Wo Society Hall is easy to miss. The best-preserved Chinese Tong hall on the island of Hawaii, this two-story, balloon-frame building probably dates from the late nineteenth century, as the Tong Wo Society was organized in 1886. First-and second-story lanai wrap completely around the building and feature turned balusters as well as chamfered posts and gingerbread bracketing. Typical of Chinese society halls, the entrances on both stories are framed by red and gold Chinese panels. The first floor is used for social and recreational purposes, and the second floor houses an altar for Kwan Ti, the patron god of the Hoong Moon (“Hung Men”) Society. The sole access to the second floor is an exterior stair on the rear lanai which has a handsome banister with turned balusters and a turned newel post. This main building is all that remains of a six-structure complex which included a cook house, living quarters, outhouse, mortuary, and a dining/entertainment hall.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Tong Wo Society Hall", [Waimea, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 281-281.

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