King Kamehameha III And How He Changed Real Estate In Hawaii

king kamehameha III sign in forestOn Friday March 17th, Hawaii celebrated the birth of King Kamehameha III who was the King of Hawaii from 1825 to 1854. Biographer P. Christiaan Klieger cites March 17, 1814 as his birthday, however, early historians suggested June or July 1814, but one accepted date is August 11, 1813. This video showing the celebration from Big Island TV explains more.

So, what IS accepted is that King Kamehameha, whose birth name was Kauikeaouli, was born at Keauhou Bay, on Hawaii Island. Every year a celebration is held at the cement monument found atop of a large stone that was said to have been the place that Kauikeaouli was placed after being born without a sign of life. He was prayed over and water sprinkled upon the baby until he breathed, moved and cried. Thus was born the longest reigning monarch in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Each year celebrations begin at the King’s birthplace near Keauhou Bay Harbor and then are in full swing throughout the day at the nearby Sheraton Kona with free hula and cultural celebrations to celebrate the King whose goal was the careful balancing of modernization by adopting Western ways, while keeping his nation intact.

What was King Kamehameha’s connection to real estate in Hawaii?

When foreigners started arriving in Hawaii, they could not legally purchase real estate. However, due to disputes over use of the land, Kamehameha III formed a commission to “Quiet Land Titles” on February 10, 1846. An action to quiet title is a lawsuit brought in a court having jurisdiction over property disputes, in order to establish a party’s title to real property or personal property having a title, of against anyone and everyone, and thus “quiet” any challenges or claims to the title. This legal action is “brought to remove a cloud on the title” so that plaintiff may forever be free of claims against the property. The action to quiet title resembles other forms of “preventive adjudication.” This led to what is called the Great Mahele of 1848 which redistributed land between the government, king, nobles, and commoners. Foreigners were allowed to own land fee simple in Hawaii for the first time.

In English law, a fee simple or fee simple absolute is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is a way that real estate may be owned in common law countries, and is the highest possible ownership interest that can be held in real property.

When you purchase a home or land in Hawaii, you can either own it fee simple or through a leasehold. You can say “Mahalo” to King Kamehameha lll for providing this opportunity to own a piece of paradise here on Hawaii Island.

For more information about the events surrounding the March 17th birthday celebrations for King Kamehameha lll, please visit

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