Volcano Watch: The legacy of Alexander Lancaster

  • Photos courtesy of NPS, HVNP and the James Tsuchiya family Photographs of Alexander (“Alec”) Lancaster, renown guide to visitors of Kilauea and Mauna Loa, early Hawaiian Volcano Observatory field observer and assistant, and the first Park Ranger of Hawaii Volcanoes Park. (Top left) An 1893 photograph of Alex sitting on the bluff below the original visitor’s shelter on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater. (Top right) An undated photograph of Alex at Kilauea’s “Crater Trail,” likely from the 1920s. (Bottom) Alex guiding two visitors to the former “Devil’s Kitchen” area on the floor of Kilauea caldera in 1924.

Known to many as “Pele’s Grandson,” Alexander (“Alex” or “Alec”) Lancaster guided both tourists and scientists to Hawaii’s volcanoes for over forty years, from 1885 to 1928.