In the time of the ruler 'Umi-a-Liloa, 22 generations before the time of King Kamehameha I, the Royal Center moved away from Waipi'o in the island's northern region. As a result of this move, Royal Centers developed along Kona's leeward coast, By the 1600s through the early 1800s, seven Royal Centers were well established in Kona including one located at Kahalu'u and one here at Keauhou.
A Royal Center typically contained residences for the ruling chief and those of the high chiefs, and a complex of sacred areas and significant heiau (stone temples). Other structures often included house sites for family and kahuna (priests), and areas for daily life activities. An abundance of natural resources, recreation opportunities and canoe landings were essential features.
Ocean access at Keauhou Bay is superb and, just as boats use it today, canoe landings once dotted the shore. In the early 1800s, King Kamehameha I and his royal family occasionally resided on the northern shore of Keauhou Bay, on land between Puco and Ha'ikaua Cove. Puco Cove served as the royal canoe landing.
The canoe was a principal means of travel in ancient Hawai'i. Paddlers of a chief's canoe were highly trained, giving him the freedom of ocean mobility regardless of wind conditions.
Before motorized transportation, canoes provided people with easy
access for short coastal trips between villages. Travel by canoe was much faster than on foot, and the canoe could be used for fishing or to carry goods. Hawaiian canoes were also used to cross open-ocean channels of long distance travel between islands.