Volcano House is the name of a series of historic hotels built at the edge of the Kīlauea volcano, within the grounds of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawai'i.
The original 1877 building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now houses the Volcano Art Center.
The hotel in use today was built in 1941 and expanded in 1961.
In ancient Hawaii the volcano was the place to make offerings to the fire goddess Pele.
Archeological evidence shows activity for hundreds of years, including gathering of volcanic glass to use as cutting tools.
Only a few rare eruptions such as the one in 1790 are explosive, and the northeast rim provides a relatively safe vantage point.
The prevailing northeast trade winds and higher elevation cause poisonous gasses and lava to flow in the other direction. William Ellis describes camping in this area in his journal of his 1823 missionary tour with Asa Thurston.
About 1846 a primitive one-room grass shelter was constructed at the rim of the Kīlauea crater by Benjamin Pitman, the first hotel to call itself "Volcano House".
However, sometimes visitors would show up after the long journey and nobody would be home.
A wood-sided building about 104 by 110 feet (32 m × 34 m) was built in 1877.
It included six guest rooms, two for the manager's family, and a dining room.
Lumber for rafters and posts were harvested from local forests of naio (Myoporum sandwicense) and In 1891, a group led by Honolulu businessman and politician Lorrin A.