In the 1820s, sailors discovered what they believed were diamonds in the rocks on the volcano's slopes. Although the sailor's diamonds turned out to be clear calcite crystals, the name Diamond Head has been associated with the crater ever since.
During the night of October 2, 1893 the SS Miowera grounded on the reef just off Diamond Head. As Diamond Head was obscured that evening, the vessel's captain had mistaken the high land to the north of the crater as Diamond Head and had brought his ship too close to shore. All passengers and cargo were safely off-loaded, but it took six weeks to free the Miowera. Four years later, the magnificent steamship China also ran aground. It was widely believed that both of these incidents could have been avoided had a light been shown from Diamond Head. Captain King became weary of hearing the pros and cons of the case, and after a few trips to the vicinity with Mr. Rowell, the Superintendent of Public Works, drove a stake for the site of the beacon. ... There was ordered at once the material for the illumination and for the towers. The iron for the structure has arrived and as soon as some road is made to the slope point, work on the structure will begin.
Besides continuing its nightly vigil over the reefs at Diamond Head, the lighthouse also serves as one end of the finish line for the biennial Transpac Yacht Race, which starts 2,225 miles away in Long Beach, California. During the race, members of the Transpacific Yacht Club are allowed to use the tower as a lookout for recording finishing times. The road near the lighthouse is packed with people watching the beautiful yachts, under full sail, riding the trade winds towards Honolulu. Even when there isn't a race to watch, the pullouts near the lighthouse offer amazing views of the surf and those who are drawn to ride it. Maria sent me this nice card.