In the late 1980s, the owner of the island at that time began to engage in development on Lāna‘i. The families of the island were concerned that their storied landscape and history would be lost, and they envisioned a place where the history of their island home would be gathered. The idea was to collect a wide range of materials, and develop a place where artifacts and historic memorabilia (photos, papers and textiles), and the stories of our island families would be cared for and passed on to future generations. In 2007 the Lāna‘i CHC was organized in consultation with kūpuna (elders) and island residents as a non-profit charitable organization. In 2010 the center opened a climate controlled display and archive center in the historic Dole Plantation Administration Building. This facility serves as a hub connecting people with traditions, history, land, and the material culture of Lāna‘i. Since opening in late 2007, more than 65,000 people (island residents and guests) have visited Lāna‘i CHC and participated in programs. Our work has been made possible through the support of community members, island guests, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Agape Foundation, the US DOE-Native Hawaiian Education Act, and many individuals who make financial and volunteer contributions to the center.

All financial donations are gratefully acknowledged and tax deductible. All archival collections are cataloged, and recorded in association with the donors and families, and add to our ability to share Lāna‘i's diverse history with the world. Support of the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center helps us protect our valued collection of artifacts and historical resources and enables us to pass Lāna‘i’s natural & cultural heritage on to present and future generations.​