Hilo , a seaport town on the E. side of the island of Hawaii, in a district of the same name; pop. in 1872, 4,220, native and foreign. It is the second town in size, after Honolulu, in the Hawaiian islands. Hilo harbor, formerly called Byron's bay, has from three to eight fathoms of water; it is spacious, and protected by a reef of lava and coral from all winds ex-cept northerly ones, during which sailing vessels find it difficult to leave the port. The village and the district are among the most beautiful regions of the tropics. The climate is extraordinarily rainy. In a single year (1846-'7) there was a total rainfall of 182 in., of which 38.156 in. fell in March, 1847, and 10.466 in. in a single day. The district of Hilo is cut up by the deep channels of no less than 50 large streams, which fall into the sea within a space of coast about 25 m. in extent, discharging the rains that are poured by the trade winds upon the N. E. flanks of Mauna Kea. The freshets in these streams often come on so suddenly as to resemble the deluge produced by the sudden breaking of a mill dam.

The town has four churches, viz.: Protestant and Catholic churches for the Hawaiians, a foreign church, and a seamen's bethel.