Many on the islands, including the queen who founded the hospital in 1859, feared that native Hawaiians, devastated by smallpox, measles and other illnesses brought by foreigners, were in danger of dying off completely.
Today, the people who walk under these trees are some of the healthiest in America.
Hawaiians live longer than their counterparts on the mainland. They die less frequently from common diseases, such as breast and colon cancers, even though these cancers occur more often here than in most other states. They also pay less for their care; the state's healthcare costs are among the lowest in the country.
Hawaii's success owes much to the state's trailblazing health system and its long history of near-universal health insurance.
Forty years ago, the state became the first to require employers to provide health benefits, codifying a tradition that grew out of Hawaii's agrarian past, when sugar and pineapple plantations employed doctors to care for their workers.
That system has led to some of the highest rates of coverage and best access to medical care in the country.
"There has always been a mentality here that if you are sick, you go to the doctor. It's just part of the culture," said Myra Williams, 64, who has lived in Hawaii for 35 years and was recently treated successfully for early-stage breast cancer.
Nearly 99% of the patients at the cancer center at Queen's have health coverage, a level unheard of at most urban medical centers on the mainland.
Obamacare is affecting the Hawaii healthcare system.
Healthcare in America is a tale of two countries.
Residents of the healthiest communities live as much as 14 years longer on average than those in unhealthy places. They are a third less likely to die from treatable illnesses such as breast cancer, childhood measles and diabetes, according to data from the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation dedicated to improving the healthcare system.
Big variations in poverty, education and diet may explain part of this divide. In Hawaii, the large share of residents of East Asian descent, who have lower mortality rates for many diseases, may also have an impact.
But differences in local health systems nationwide — including disparities in insurance coverage — also likely play an important role, according to an analysis of local and national healthcare data, a review of academic studies, interviews with scores of experts, and visits to communities across the country.
Nearly everyone is covered in the nation's healthiest places, including Hawaii, Massachusetts and parts of the Upper Midwest. By contrast, fewer than 7 in 10 working-age adults have health insurance in parts of Texas, Florida and the Deep South — areas with some of the highest rates of death from preventable illnesses.
In Texas, which has the lowest rate of insurance coverage in the nation, residents are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than they are in Hawaii, according to federal cancer data.
These disparities may grow even larger in coming years as the Affordable Care Act is implemented unevenly around the country. Although the law offers states the opportunity to guarantee their residents insurance, only about half the states have elected to do so.
Ramona Engoring, left, sees Dr. Randall Suzuka for a checkup at Haleiwa Family Clinic in Haleiwa, Hawaii, in a rural area of Oahu once covered with sugar cane plantations. Suzuka took over a former plantation doctor's practice.