Statement of Significance (as of designation - January 7, 1976):
Kalaupapa was founded in 1866 as a colony for the isolation of Hawaiians afflicted with Hansen's Disease. The epicemic was a major health problem for the islands between 1866 and the 1940s. During that time wooden residences, churches and auxiliary buildings were constructed to accommodate the increasing numbers of sufferers. Various religious groups provided aid, including most notably the Belgian priest Father Joseph Damien, who eventually succumbed to the disease himself. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and Kalaupapa National Historical Park was established n 1980 to preserve and interpret the Kalaupapa Settlement for present and future generations.