Approximately seven hundred years ago, under the rule of Mano-ka-lani-o, ruler of all Kaua`i, the island was divided into five moku, or land districts, each of which was further divided into multiple ahupua`a, or land divisions. JKR lies in the Ko`olau district, an area so named because it is the windward side of the island. Among the ten ahupua`a of this district was Kahili, the site of today's Jurassic Kahili Ranch. A kahili is a feather standard - a bundle of feathers tied to the end of a pole, which serves as the marker of a royal person in Hawaiian culture. In 1847, King Kamehameha III separated the land of the islands into three groupings: crown lands for the king, government land for the chiefs, and people's lands. For the first time, individuals could own their own lands, and local commoners could buy small parcels for their own farming from the government for fifty cents per acre. Soon, even foreigners were allowed to buy land.
The land comprising today's ranch was a gift directly from Kamehameha III to the Mary N. Lucas family, an old kama`aina family whose ancestors arrived in Hawai`i in 1816 from Scotland and became one of the first and closest advisors to Kamehameha III. The land remained in the ownership of the Mary N. Lucas family and its trustees until it was purchased in 2003 by Jurassic Kahili Ranch LLC, a land management company. Under the ownership of the Lucas family, much of the land that was once the Kahili ahupua`a became known as Kahili Ranch. The images evoked by its almost prehistoric grandeur prompted the expansion of its name in 2003 to Jurassic Kahili Ranch, or JKR. Because so much of the island's story was preserved in oral history that is now being lost to the ages, all accounts of events small and large regarding this land are welcomed by JKR. The accumulated knowledge is of great cultural value to residents, visitors, historians, and our descendants.