Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kōloa Field System

One of the great achievements of the ancient Hawaiians in this region is evidenced in the agricultural Kōloa Field System on the South Shore of Kaua‘i.

Evidence indicates the Kōloa area was forested to the shore before the arrival of the first Polynesians.  When they started to settle in this area, they cleared the land for agriculture by burning.

Because rainfall is low in this area, the early Hawaiians constructed sophisticated irrigation systems for growing taro and other crops.  Ultimately, the Kōloa Field System of agriculture was established with formal growing areas and irrigation system tapping off of Waikomo Stream.

Its elements include parallel and branching ʻauwai (irrigation ditches,) terraced loʻi (taro growing ponds,) and dryland plots. Later intensification includes aqueducted ʻauwai, irrigated mound fields, and subdivision of lo'i and kula plots.

Beginning possibly as early as 1450, the Kōloa Field System was planned and built on the shallow lava soils to the east and west of Waikomo Stream.

It is characterized as a network of fields of both irrigated and dryland crops, built mainly upon one stream system.  Waikomo Stream was adapted into an inverted tree model with smaller branches leading off larger branches.

The associated dispersed housing and field shelters were located among the fields, particularly at junctions of the irrigation ditches (ʻauwai).

In this way, the whole of the field system was contained within the entire makai (seaward) portion of the ahupuaʻa of Kōloa stretching east and west to the ahupuaʻa boundaries.

The field system, with associated clusters of permanent extended family habitations, was in place by the middle of the 16th century and was certainly expanded and intensified continuously from that time. 

Long ʻauwai were constructed along the tops of topographic high points formed by northeast to southwest oriented Kōloa lava flows.   These ʻauwai extended all the way to the sea.

Habitation sites, including small house platforms, enclosures and L-shaped shelters were built in rocky bluff areas which occupied high points in the landscape and were therefore close to ʻauwai, which typically ran along the side of these bluffs.

From A.D. 1650-1795, the Hawaiian Islands were typified by the development of large communal residences, religious structures and an intensification of agriculture.

The Kōloa Field System is unique in a number of ways; its makeup and design tells us much of the pre-contact world and the ingenuity of the ancients with respect to planning, architecture, agriculture and social system.

A complex of wet and dryland agricultural fields and associated habitation sites occur in the lava tablelands of the makai portion of Kōloa ahupua'a on the south coast of Kaua'i.  Although soil deposits are thin and the land is rocky, plentiful irrigation water was available.

This agricultural system which at its peak covered over 1,000 acres extends from the present Kōloa town to the shoreline and includes a complex of wet and dryland agricultural fields and associated habitation sites.

The Kōloa System, at its apex in the early 19th century (probably due to the opportunity for provisioning of the whaling ships,) represents one of the most intensive cultural landscapes in Hawaiʻi.

Kōloa Field System was in use through 1850 AD.  Remnants of this field system still remain in parts of the region. 

The Koloa Field System is a significant Point of Interest in the Holo Holo Kōloa Scenic Byway.  We are working with the Kōloa community in preparing the Corridor Management Plan for this project; one of our recommendations is to restore a portion of the field system.

A special thanks to Hal Hammatt and Cultural Surveys for information and images used here that is based on their extensive research in this area.  In addition, I have added other images and maps of this region in a folder of like name in the Photos section of my Facebook page.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hulihe‘e Palace – Kailua-Kona

Hulihe‘e Palace is Kona’s only existing royal residence and one of three palaces in the United States.  (The other two are ‘Iolani Palace and Queen Emma's Summer Palace, both on O‘ahu.) 

Hulihe‘e, built in 1838, was the residence of Governor John Adams Kuakini and a favorite retreat for Hawai‘i’s royal families.

The Palace was constructed by foreign seamen using lava rock, coral, koa and ōhi‘a timbers.  Kuakini oversaw the construction of both Mokuaikaua Church and Hulihe‘e Palace and these landmarks once shared a similar architectural style with exposed stone.

After Kuakini’s death in 1844, the Palace passed to his adopted son, William Pitt Leleiohoku.  Leleiohoku died a few months later, leaving Hulihe‘e to his wife, Princess Ruth Luka Ke‘elikōlani.  It became a favorite retreat for members of the Hawaiian royal family.

Flanked to the north by Niumalu and to the south by Kiope Fish Pond, Hulihe‘e Palace was also the site of the observation of the Transit of Venus (when the planet Venus crosses between the Earth and the Sun) in 1874 by British astronomers, one of the most important astronomical observations of the 19th century (helping to calculate the distance between the Sun and the Earth.)

When Princess Ruth passed away in 1883 leaving no surviving heirs, the property passed on to her cousin, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.  Princess Bernice died the following year and the home was purchased by King David Kalākaua and Queen Kapi‘olani.

Extensive remodeling by King Kalākaua and Queen Kapi‘olani in 1884 transformed the original structure to suit the Victorian tastes of the late 19th century (with stucco and plaster, widened lanai, and much to the interior décor.)

Early description of Hulihe‘e Place (Hawai‘i Nei, by Mabel Clare Craft Deering – 1898:)
”There is a fine royal residence there, now the property of the dowager Queen Kapiolani. It is a big house with a wide hall and immense rooms. The kitchen and servants' quarters are detached, and there is an open lanai a little way from the house where Kalakaua gave famous luaus and hulas, and where his celebrated red chairs were set in rows.”

“The house is marked by the tabu-sticks set up at the doors, sticks with white balls at the top, in imitation of the old days when balls of white kapa at the top of the sticks marked the residence of the king, within which common people could not go on pain of death.”

“Inside, the house is a marvel of polished woods. There is a table of satiny koa, the mahogany of the Pacific, the" royal tree," fit to make you weep. This table stands in the center of the drawing-room, and around the walls are elaborate carved chairs, vases, and fine pottery from China and Japan. There are portraits of Kalakaua, Kapiolani, and Liliuokalani, as well as busts of royalty. At the windows are exquisite lambrequins of the finest kapa I saw on the islands, painted in patterns, and some of it extremely old.”

“The big dining-hall across the vestibule has a fine carved sideboard, and on it are a number of koa calabashes, polished, and marked inside with the crown and royal coat - of- arms, etched with a poker. These calabashes all have covers, and were designed for pink poi.”

In 1925, Hulihe‘e was purchased by the Territory of Hawai‘i to be operated as a museum by the Daughters of Hawai‘i. (My mother was a Daughter.)

Most of the furnishings were originally in the Palace during the Monarchy.  Hulihe‘e Palace was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1973.

Hulihe‘e Palace contains a fine collection of ancient Hawaiian artifacts, as well as ornate furnishings that illustrate the lifestyle of the Hawaiian nobility in the late 19th century.  Intricately carved furniture, European crystal chandeliers and immense four-poster beds fill the rooms.

Hulihe‘e Palace reveals the Hawaiian nobility's passion for western fashions and is a reminder of Kailua's past as a favorite royal residence.

The image shows Hulihe‘e Palace and Princess Ruth’s hale on the palace grounds (while she used and enjoyed the Palace, she typically slept in the grass hale – 1885.)  In addition, I have added other images of Hulihe‘e place in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bond Historic District – North Kohala, Hawai‘i

The Bond  Historic District  is  located  in  the  rural,  agricultural  area  south  of the  town  of Kapaʻau, North Kohala, on the Island of Hawaiʻi.

The buildings  are  grouped  in  three sections  -  The Bond Homestead (established in  1841  by  Boston missionary Reverend  Elias  Bond,)  Kalāhikiola Church (completed  in  1855) and  Kohala  Seminary (Kohala  Girl's  School - complex founded  in  1872.) 

The Reverend and Mrs. Bond sailed with the Ninth Company of Missionaries from Boston and settled at Kohala, Hawai‘i.  Bond arrived in Honolulu in May of 1841.  They were then assigned to Kohala.

Reverend  Isaac Bliss, an  elderly missionary in  Kohala,  had  already completed  the main house of what  is  now known  as  the  Bond  Homestead  compound when  Bond  arrived  in  Kohala  in June,  1841.

As a means to provide employment to the people in the region and support his church and schools, Reverend Bond founded Kohala Sugar Company, known as "The Missionary Plantation,” in 1862.

Reportedly, by 1885, Bond, who gave all his dividends and profits beyond his living expenses to the Board of Missions, was their largest single contributor.  The plantation was shut down in 1973.

The heart of the Bond District is the Bond Homestead located in makai portion of the property.  The Homestead consists of two residential buildings, one doctor's office and several out buildings.  The buildings contain many historic furnishings and artifacts dating from 1844.

The area is described in an 1849 account (in ‘The Island World of the Pacific’) as follows:  "It stands in the center of an area of some five or six acres, enclose with a neat stone wall, and having a part of it cultivated as a garden, adorned with flowering shrubs and trees, as the pineapple, guava, acacia, mimosa, tamarind, kukui, mulberry,  geranium, banana, Pride of China, sugar cane, etc.  The house is thatched with long  leaves of the hala-tree (Pandanus), and has a very pretty, neat appearance, in connection with that tasteful keeping of the walks and grounds, like the pictures we  have of thatched cottages and rural scenes of Old England."

Kalāhikiola Church is located on a gently sloping site in the middle section of the property.  The structure was a rectangular building made of lava rock walls.

Kalāhikiola (“the life-bringing sun” or “the day bringing salvation”) is the name of a small hill on the side of the Kohala Mountain; the name goes back to the time of the arrival of the first Christian missionaries.  ‘Ōhi‘a timbers from forests on the hill were used in building the church; so when the church was consecrated on October 11, 1855 it was appropriately given the name Kalāhikiola.

In 2006, an earthquake severely damaged the building.  In the restoration, the congregation decided to remove the stone walls entirely, shore and brace the building, and erect new walls of reinforced concrete, which was then plastered and scored with mortar lines to resemble the church's original exterior.

The Kohala Girl's School was Reverend Bond's last major undertaking.  For 30-years prior to the 1874 founding of the Kohala Girl's School, Reverend Bond ran a boarding school for boys.  His decision to build a separate facility to educate native Hawaiian women in Christian living and housekeeping was made in 1872.

The Kohala Seminary (Kohala Girl’s School) is located mauka of Kalāhikiola Church; it consists of six wood frame buildings scattered over approximately 3 acres.

The main residence building is a generally rectangular two-and-one-half story structure; the building was constructed in 1874 and was used as dormitory and classroom space.  In 1955, the school stopped functioning.

In addition to the missionary work and founding and operating the school, the Bonds had 11-children born in Hawai‘i.

The District is listed on both the State of Hawai’i and the National Registers of Historic Places.

Many years ago, I had the good fortune to have been able to tour the Bond Homestead with Lyman Bond, great grandson of Reverend Elias Bond.  It was a wonderful experience to have a descendent relate stories of the people and the place.

My brother-in-law, Paul Morgan, while studying architecture, did extensive review of the Kohala Girls School structures; he gave me a tour of the Girls School.

New Moon Foundation acquired about 48 acres of the Bond Historic District and 580 surrounding acres from the Bond family.  The purchase agreement included covenants specifying that real property located in the Bond Homestead is of historic significance and should be preserved and protected.

New Moon Foundation has been working to restore the buildings and put them to education adaptive reuse.  As part of its future vision, they intend to offer public tours of the Historic District.

The image shows the Bond Homestead in about 1900.  In addition, I have included additional Bond Historic District images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Commanding Officer’s Quarters – Ford Island, Pearl Harbor

The US government began acquisition of Ford Island in 1902, and completed this in 1916.  The island was used as a joint aviation facility by the Army and Navy until the late-1930s.

In preparation for World War I, the Navy selected Ford Island as a site for land-based guns to defend the harbor.

In 1916, the War Department acquired two small parcels of land on Ford Island to be used as casements for two batteries of six-inch rifled guns.

The sites were completed in mid-1917 and were the first presence of military on Ford Island.  The batteries were used by the U.S. Army until 1925 by which time they were deactivated and the guns removed.

One of the sites, on the northeast corner of the island, was named Battery Adair (for First Lt. Henry Adair, 10th US Cavalry, who died in Mexico in 1916.)

In the 1920s, the US Navy was building up its Naval Air Station on Ford Island.  As part of this growth, in 1922, the Navy began the construction of officers’ homes on the North End of the Island, later known as "Nob Hill."  The officer’s housing is also referred to as Luke Field Housing.

In 1923, six one-story houses are built on Belleau Woods Loop for married Chief Petty Officers (CPOs).  These houses were physically separate from the Nob Hill homes, but were also north east of the aviation facilities.

In 1932, three additional CPO houses were added to the original six. However, sometime in the 1930s, one of the homes was demolished.

The 19 houses in Ford Island's Nob Hill neighborhood—simple, single-story wood bungalows used by US Navy officers and their families—were built between 1923 and 1936.

Quarters K (Hale Loa - Long House,) the Commanding Officer’s quarters, was built on Battery Adair in 1936.  The Battery serves as the basement of the home.

In 1937, CDR Robert Hickey became the first resident of Quarters K and he returned in 1958 to live in the same house as Rear Admiral.  He planted the tree on the front left hand corner of the house during his first tenure.

During the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, families from the Chief Petty Officers Quarters and Nob Hill gathered in the basement in Quarters K for shelter. 

The swimming pool nearby was in the opening scene of the 1965 epic "In Harm's Way."  Close by, too, is the 1920s bungalow that was John Wayne's quarters in the movie.

The Nob Hill neighborhood is being restored by Hawaii Military Communities, LLC, as part of the Hawai‘i Public-Private venture to develop, restore and manage Navy housing in Hawai‘i.  In June 2009, the first of the homes had been restored.

Partners include Hawaii Military Communities LLC, the US Navy, DLNR’s State Historic Preservation Division, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the City and County of Honolulu and Historic Hawai‘i Foundation.

I had the opportunity to visit Quarters K on a couple of occasions.  Once at a reception hosted by the Admiral of the Submarine Base and another on a tour of Pearl Harbor hosted by the commander at Pearl Harbor.

The image shows the restored Quarters K (Commanding Officer’s Quarters) as an unassuming home on the island – build atop and its basement holds what is left of Battery Adair (image from HistoricHawaiiFoundation.)  In addition, I have included other images/maps on Quarters K and sites around it in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Helumoa, in Waikīkī, became a favorite retreat and home for Ali‘i throughout the ages.

Mā‘ilikūkahi, an O‘ahu Ali‘i who moved the center of government from the Ewa plains on O‘ahu to Waikīkī in the 1400s, is said to have been one of the first to reside there.

Ali‘i nui Kalamakuaakaipuholua, who ruled in the early 1500s, is credited for his major work in establishing lo‘i kalo (wetland taro ponds) in the area, as well as for encouraging cultivation throughout the land.

One story of how Helumoa got its name involves Kākuhihewa, Mā‘ililkūkahi's descendent six generations later, ruling chief of O‘ahu from 1640 to 1660.

It is said that the supernatural chicken, Ka‘auhelemoa, one day flew down from his home in Ka‘au Crater, in Pālolo, and landed at Helumoa.

Furiously scratching into the earth, the impressive rooster then vanished.  Kākuhihewa took this as an omen and planted niu (coconuts) at that very spot.

Helumoa (meaning “chicken scratch”) was the name he bestowed on that niu planting that would multiply into a grove of reportedly 10,000 coconut trees.

This is the same coconut grove that would later be called the King’s Grove, or the Royal Grove, and would be cited in numerous historical accounts for its pleasantness and lush surroundings.

Kamehameha the Great and his warriors camped near here, when they began their conquest of O‘ahu in 1795.

Later, he would return and build a Western style stone house for himself, as well as residences for his wives and retainers in an area known as Pua‘ali‘ili‘i.

Kamehameha I resided at Helumoa periodically from 1795 to 1809.  He ended Waikīkī’s nearly 400-year reign as O‘ahu's capital when he moved the royal headquarters to Honolulu (known then as Kou) in 1808 (to Pākākā.)

King Kamehameha III, son of King Kamehameha I lived at Helumoa during the 1830s.  King Kamehameha V, grandson of King Kamehameha I, also lived at Helumoa in a summer residence, in which he periodically lived.

In the 1880s, Helumoa was inherited by Kamehameha I’s great-granddaughter, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, in 1884, wrote the final codicils (amendments) of her will at Helumoa, in which she bequeathed her land to the Bishop Estate for the establishment of the Kamehameha Schools.

In the last days of her battle with breast cancer, Pauahi returned to Helumoa.  Although the Princess could have gone anywhere to recuperate, she chose Helumoa, for the fond memories it recalled and the tranquility it provided.

The tallest coconut palms in this area, today, date back to the 1930s.

Sheraton Waikīkī, Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center now stand on the land known as Helumoa.

Kamehameha Schools owns the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.  In the center of it is ‘The Royal Grove,’ a 30,000-square-foot landscaped garden inspired by Waikīkī's Helumoa coconut grove.

As one of the largest green spaces in Waikīkī, The Royal Grove is a centerpiece for entertainment and cultural gatherings with local hula halau and other performances.

The image shows the Coconut Grove and Residence of King Kamehameha V at Helumoa, Waikīkī (the image is before 1875.)  In addition, I have included a couple other images and maps of this region in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Honolulu Harbor – Esplanade – Harbor Expansion

As Honolulu developed and grew, lots of changes happened, including along its waterfront.  What is now known as Queen Street was actually the water’s edge.

The reef belonging to the land of Waikahalulu, on the south side of Honolulu Harbor, had been purchased by the government from the Queen Dowager Kalama.

Then, from 1856 to 1860, the work of filling in the land to create an area known as the "Esplanade" or "Ainahou," and building up a water-front and dredging the harbor to a depth from 20 to 25-feet took place.

Following the demolition of Fort Kekuanohu (Fort Honolulu) in 1857; its walls became the 2,000-foot retaining wall used to extend the land out onto the shallow reef in the harbor.

The remaining fort materials were used as fill to create what came to be known as the Esplanade (it’s where Aloha Tower and surrounding land now stand.)

Between 1857 and 1870, 22-acres of reef land were added to the downtown area between Fort Street and Alakea Street; it was filled in with material dredged from the harbor.

The old prison was built in 1856-57, to take the place of the old fort (that also previously served as a prison.)  The new custom-house was completed in 1860.  The water-works were much enlarged, and a system of pipes laid down in 1861.

An 1887 Hawaiian Government Survey map of Honolulu shows continued urban expansion of the Downtown Honolulu area.

Many dredging and filling operations soon followed, and the 1890s and 1900s saw the construction of many new piers and channels in the harbor, the dredged material going to create new dry land areas.

The dredging of Honolulu Harbor and expansion of the Esplanade soon followed; major alteration of Honolulu from its natural configuration began in 1890 with the dredging of the main channel to 200 ft width by 30 ft deep for about 1000 ft through the sand bar at the entrance.

Piers were constructed at the base of Richards Street in 1896, at the site of Piers 17 and 18 in 1901 to accommodate sugar loading and at Piers 7 and 12 in 1907.

Further dredging was conducted at the base of Alakea Street in 1906.

Yes, lots of changes.

The image shows Honolulu in 1854, in a drawing done by Paul Emmert.  It shows Honolulu just before these changes and the expansion of land in the downtown area (you can see people standing on the reef on the right.)

In addition, I have included images and maps of this region in this relative timeframe (mid-1850s to 1900) in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cemetery Pupu Theatre at Oʻahu Cemetery – Videos of Performances

Hawaiian Mission Houses sponsored Cemetery Pupu Theater the past two weekends – if you missed it, you missed some great live performances.  However, I taped each (on my cell phone) and links to each are provided here.

Actors are dressed in period costume telling the life events of select individuals buried at O‘ahu Cemetery - at their respective grave sites.  There was nothing ghoulish about it; rather, it was very effective storytelling.

Portrayed in the June 2012 Hawaiian Mission Houses Cemetery Pupu Theater program were:

John Papa I'i (1800-1870) (portrayed by William Hao)

John Papa Ii was a leading citizen of the Hawaiian kingdom during the nineteenth century. Born in 1800 and raised under the traditional kapu system, I‘i was trained from earliest childhood for a life of service to the high chiefs.

Ii served as a general superintendent of O'ahu schools and was an influential member in the court of Kamehameha III. He was appointed by the king to the Treasury Board; was a member of the Privy Council; Board of Land Commissioners and was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawai‘i .

Cherilla Lowrey (1861-1917) (portrayed by Hanna Gaffney)

Cherilla Lowry founder and first president of the Outdoor Circle (TOC) (100-years ago) whose mission was to “Keep Hawai‘i clean, green and beautiful.” Twenty-two Monkeypod trees were planted in A‘ala Park as the organization’s first tree planting project.

Through its mission, much of TOC’s activities strive to educate youth and local citizens about environmental issues that concern the preservation and conservation of Hawai’i’s natural resources, including planting trees, beautifying parks and public areas including parks, streets, playgrounds and schools and bicycle paths.

Eliab Grimes (1780--1848) (portrayed by Zachary Thomas)

Captain Eliab Grimes, a native of Massachusetts, was a Honolulu merchant of many years and operated with his nephew Hiram, as the firm E & H Grimes.  Eliab Grimes persuaded John Sinclair to occupy the Rancho Del Paso (a 44,371-acre Mexican land grant in present day Sacramento County, California)  until such time as he (Grimes) could take legal title to it.

A fur trader whose voyages in illegal activities brought him face-to-face with the Spanish Armada, and required ransoming a crew which included John Dominis, the future would-be father-in-law to Queen Lili`uokalani.

Lucy Thurston (1795 -- 1876) (portrayed by Cecilia Fordham)

Asa Thurston (1787–1868) and Lucy Goodale Thurston were in the first company of American Christian Missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands.  Lucy Goodale Thurston voyaged to the Hawaiian Islands in 1820 intent on bringing the word of God to its inhabitants.  During the next fifty years she raised a family, dealt with tragedy and helped to change the future of Hawaii forever.

The Thurstons, unlike most missionary couples, spent most of the rest of their lives in the islands.  Lucy compiled her letters and other writings into one of the most vivid accounts of the early mission days.  She underwent a mastectomy without anesthetic in 1855.  She died on October 13, 1876 in Honolulu.

Lorrin Andrews (1795--1868) (portrayed by Jeff Gere)

Lorrin Andrews was an early American missionary to Hawaii and judge.   In June 1831 the mission hoped to establish a seminary on Maui, since it was somewhat centrally located among the Hawaiian Islands. Andrews was selected to run the school called Lahainaluna for "upper Lahaina".

On September 5, 1831 classes began in thatched huts with 25 married Hawaiian young men. It was the first college west of the Rocky Mountains.  His students published the first newspaper and were involved in the first case of counterfeiting currency in Hawaiʻi.  He later served as a judge and became a member of Hawai‘i's first Supreme Court.

Please also consider visiting the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (on King Street, adjoining Kawaiaha‘o Church.)  I am honored and proud to have been recently elected to serve on the Missions Houses Board of Trustees.

Kona Coffee Living History Farm

The Kona Coffee Living History Farm (on the former Uchida Coffee Farm) is a 5.5-acre historic coffee farm, first homesteaded in 1900, and is the only living history coffee farm in the nation.

The Uchida Coffee Farm is an intact example of the lifestyle of early Kona Coffee farmers, many of whom were Japanese and brought Japanese customs and culture to Hawai‘i.

Don Francisco de Paula y Marin recorded in his journal, dated January 21, 1813, that he had planted coffee seedlings on the island of Oʻahu.  The British warship H.M.S. Blonde brought coffee trees, to Hawaii, from Brazil in 1825.

Coffee was planted in Mānoa Valley on O‘ahu, and from a small field, trees were introduced to other areas of O‘ahu and neighbor islands.

Reverend Samuel Ruggles moved trees to Captain Cook, Kona in 1828.  Hanalei Valley on the North Shore of Kaua‘i was home to the first coffee plantation.

Between 1868 and 1924, more than 140,000 Japanese came to Hawai‘i with 3-year labor contracts to work for the sugar plantations and, when their contract expired, many decided that a different lifestyle suited them better.

The 1890s boom in coffee-growing in North Kona was encouraged by rising prices.  Although sugarcane plantations expanded with US annexation in 1898, coffee-growing grew in Kona because of its adaptability to land that was too rocky for sugarcane.

During the early coffee boom, Portuguese and then Japanese laborers had filtered into Kona.  As one coffee plantation after another gave up when coffee prices fell and sugar plantations became more attractive, these plantations were broken up into small parcels (3 to 5-acres) and leased to these laborers.

Many worked on the newly formed sugar plantations and worked their coffee orchards as side lines.  As the coffee prices remained low, the Portuguese abandoned the coffee orchards, and by 1910, the Japanese were about the only growers left to tend the coffee trees.

By the 1930s there were more than 1,000 farms and, as late as the 1950s, there were 6,000-acres of coffee in Kona.

At the turn of the last century there was coffee on all the major Hawaii islands, and now 100 years later, there is once again coffee on all the major islands.

The Uchida Coffee Farm illustrates the development of small-scale coffee farming facilities along the Kona coffee belt of the Big Island, now considered a world class coffee.

It serves as an intact example of the structures that typify the coffee farm lifestyle and technology used in the 1900-1950s by Japanese coffee farmers in Kona.

The house is an excellent example of architecture adapted to the climate and needs of a particular family; it demonstrates some of the influences Japanese culture and tradition has had on Hawai‘i's architecture.

The “Living History Farm” brings the coffee pioneer’s story to life by depicting the daily lives of early Japanese immigrants during the period of 1920-1945.

Electricity was installed just before the war in the early-1940s and hot running water wasn't established until the late-1960s, when the modern bathroom was added.  There was never a shower or bath tub, the furo was used.

Although the family did use a gas stove in the last years at the farm, the stone fireplaces, used up until recently for rice and wok cooking, are still in place.

The Farm museum, operated by the Kona Historical Society, is open for tours and 100% Kona coffee sales Monday - Thursday, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.  There is a small fee for the tour.  Please call for special group arrangements: (808) 323-2006 or email at

Living history gives visitors an opportunity to experience history “brought to life” by costumed interpreters who demonstrate traditional crafts, agricultural activities and the everyday tasks of people from the past.

Visitors may walk through the coffee and macadamia nut orchards, tour the historic farmhouse, talk story with the interpreters and visit with the donkey and chickens.
The Kona Historical Society is raising money to expand its award-winning Kona Coffee Living History Farm.  The money raised will be used to create a permanent exhibit space for “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawai`i Belt Road.”

The image shows the mill on the Uchida Farm; in addition, I have included other images on Kona Coffee in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hale‘iwa Hotel

While the Moana is touted as the First lady of Waikīkī, the Hale‘iwa Hotel, at the end of the OR&L train line in North Shore O‘ahu was constructed a year before the Moana.

In 1898, as part of the O‘ahu Railway & Land Company (OR&L) rail system, the Hale‘iwa Hotel ("house of the ‘iwa", or frigate bird) was completed.

The hotel was part of a bigger plan to expand and diversify operations of the OR&L rail line.  OR&L primarily serviced the sugar plantations, adding a hotel at the end of the line opened up opportunities to expand the number of people riding the train.

Passenger travel was an add-on opportunity that not only included train rides; they also operated a bus system.  However, the hauling for the agricultural ventures was the most lucrative.

Typical hotels, like the Moana and later the Alexander Young Hotel in downtown Honolulu, served the traditional function of accommodating visitors; Ben F. Dillingham’s hotel sought that, as well as the diversified use of his train line.

On the continent, railroads were building hotels on their lines as a means to enhance the passenger counts – Hawai‘i, through OR&L, was doing the same.

By the early-1900s, the expanded railway cut across the island, serving several sugar and pineapple plantations, and the popular Hale‘iwa Hotel.  They even included a “Kodak Camera Train” (associated with the Hula Show) for Sunday trips to Hale‘iwa for picture-taking.

When the hotel opened on August 5, 1899, guests were conveyed from the railway terminal over the Anahulu stream to fourteen luxurious suites, each had a bath with hot-and-cold running water.

Thrum’s ‘Hawaiian Annual’ (1900,) noted, “In providing so tempting an inn as an adjunct and special attraction for travel by the Oahu Railway – also of his (Dillinghams’s) creation – the old maxim of ‘what is worth doing is worth doing well’ has been well observed, everything About the hotel is first class…”

The weekend getaway from Honolulu to the Hale‘iwa Hotel became hugely popular with the city affluent who enjoyed a retreat in "the country."

Reportedly, a round-trip, two-day excursion by train from Honolulu to Hale‘iwa, around Ka‘ena Point, cost $10.  It included an overnight stay at the Hotel, a tour through Waialua sugar mill and a ride up to Wahiawa to tour the plantations.

The original manager was Curtis Iaukea, who had been chamberlain to Kalākaua’s royal household and was famed for his knowledge of protocol.

To while away the time there, the hotel recreational activities offered guests golf (reportedly the second course to be constructed in the islands,) tennis, fishing, canoeing and glass-bottom boat rides.

With the opening of the Hale‘iwa Hotel, the business climate expanded and tourism began to play a hand in the area. Many of the early business families and their original business buildings still remain in Hale‘iwa town today.  Some of the town's buildings are protected landmarks.

As noted in ‘The Union Pacific Magazine,’ (1924) “there are few more charming spots in the Hawaiian Islands than this delightful hotel with its bungalow cottages for guests and its beautiful grounds sloping gently back to the bank of a crystal clear river that runs out between lava rocks to the sea”.

By the late-1920s, it was hard to maintain the luxury and level of service at the hotel.  What had been built two decades before to lure passengers to ride the train no longer applied, as more and more people owned cars.

In 1930 the railroad closed the hotel and it became a private ‘Haleiwa Beach Club.’  Later, the Haleiwa Hotel became the ‘Haleiwa Army Officer’s Club.’

During the height of its popularity, the hotel had made the name Hale‘iwa famous, and when its, ultimately, doors closed in 1943; its name remained as the name of the surrounding community – Hale‘iwa.

The last ride on OR&L’s train operations was on December 31, 1947, ending 58-years of steam locomotives hauling all kinds of people, freight and other around O‘ahu.

By 1953, the aged, termite-ridden structure had been torn down.  Hale‘iwa Joe’s restaurant now stands where the Hale‘iwa Hotel once stood.

The image shows the Hale‘iwa Hotel in 1902.  (Some of the information here is from Next Stop Honolulu – The Story of OR&L and North Shore Chamber of Commerce.)  In addition, I have included other images of the Hale‘iwa Hotel in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hawaiian Dynasties

The Kamehameha Dynasty ruled for nearly a century from the late-1700s to the late-1800s, while the Kalākaua Dynasty ruled from 1874 to 1893.

Kamehameha Dynasty

Kamehameha I, Paiʻea, Kamehameha the Great (1758-1819)
Born in North Kohala on the Big Island, Kamehameha united all the major islands under one rule in 1810.

The king traded with foreign ships arriving in the islands and enlisted some of the foreigners into his service. During his reign, the export of sandalwood to the Orient brought about the ability for island chiefs to purchase merchandise from abroad.

Kamehameha II, Liholiho - (1796-1824)
The son of Kamehameha and his sacred wife Keōpūolani, Liholiho overthrew the ancient kapu system by allowing men and women of the court to eat at the same table.  At the same time, he announced that the heiau (temples) should be destroyed with all the old idols.

Believing like his father that the islands were under the protection of Great Britain, Liholiho and his favorite wife Kamamalu traveled to England in May of 1824, where they were received by the government of King George IV. However, measles afflicted the royal party and Kamāmalu died on July 8 followed by Liholiho on July 14, 1824.

Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli (1813-1854)
The younger brother of Liholiho had the longest reign in Hawaiian history. He was 10 years old when he was proclaimed king in 1825 under a regency with Ka‘ahumanu, his father’s favorite queen, as joint ruler.

Realizing the need for written laws to control growing problems brought about by increasing numbers of foreigners settling in the kingdom, the declaration of rights, called the Hawaiian Magna Charta, was issued on June 7, 1839. The rights of residents were repeated in the Constitution of 1840.

The Great Mahele (division), the first legal basis for land ownership in the kingdom, was enacted and divided the land between the king, his chiefs and others.

Kamehameha IV, Alexander Liholiho (1834-1863)
The nephew of Kauikeaouli, Alexander Liholiho was the son of Kekūanāoʻa and his wife Kīna‘u, the grandson of Kamehameha I, younger brother of Lot Kapuāiwa and elder brother of Victoria Kamāmalu.

He ascended to the throne after the death of his uncle in December of 1854. On June 19, 1856, he married Emma Rooke. 

Concerned about the toll that foreign diseases were taking on his subjects, the king signed a law on April 20, 1859 that established a hospital in Honolulu for sick and destitute Hawaiians. He and Emma personally solicited funds to erect Queen’s Hospital, named in honor of Emma.

Kamehameha V, Lot Kapuāiwa (1830-1872)
Four years older than his brother Kamehameha IV, Lot would also rule for just nine years.   In 1864, when it appeared that a new constitution could not be agreed upon, he declared that the Constitution of 1852 be replaced by one he had written himself.

Known as "the bachelor king," Lot Kamehameha did not name a successor, which led to the invoking of the constitutional provision for electing kings of Hawai`i.

William Charles Lunalilo (1835-1874)
The grandson of a half-brother of Kamehameha I, Lunalilo was the son of Charles Kanaina and Kekauluohi, a sister of Kīnaʻu. 

He defeated David Kalākaua in 1873 to become the first king to be elected (therefore, technically, not a part of the Kamehameha Dynasty, although he was related.)  He offered many amendments to the Constitution of 1864, such as abolishing the property qualifications for voting. 

Lunalilo died of tuberculosis on February 3, 1874, a little more than a year after his election. He became the first Hawaiian to leave his property to a work of charity, creating the Lunalilo Home, which accommodates elderly Hawaiians who are poor, destitute and infirm.

Kalākaua Dynasty

David Kalākaua (1836-1891)
After the death of Lunalilo, Kalākaua (married to Kapiʻolani) ran against and defeated the queen dowager, Emma.  Kalākaua was the first king in history to visit the United States.

"The Merry Monarch" was fond of old Hawaiian customs, and he attempted to restore the people’s lost heritage - such actions gave rise to anti-monarchy movements, such as the Reform Party.

In 1887, Kalākaua signed the "Bayonet Constitution," (signed under threat of an armed uprising) that stripped the king of most of his power and gave foreigners the right to vote. Kalākaua died while on a trip to San Francisco on January 20, 1891, leaving his younger sister Liliuokalani to ascend the throne.

Queen Lili‘uokalani, Lydia Kamakaʻeha Pākī (1839-1917)
Liliʻuokalani (married to John Owen Dominis and living at his mother’s home, Washington Place) inherited the throne from her brother, King Kalākaua, on January 29, 1891.

Two years later, a group composed of Americans and Europeans formed a Committee of Safety seeking to overthrow the Hawaiian Kingdom, depose the Queen and seek annexation to the United States; the Queen was deposed on January 17, 1893.

Queen Lili‘uokalani flew the US flag over her personal residence, Washington Place, in 1917 to mourn and honor Hawaiians killed in World War I.

The image shows the sequential leadership of the Hawaiian Kingdom; in addition, I have added other images of the Ali‘i and some of their spouses in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Half Full or Half Empty?

I heard this years ago; it moved me then, and it moves me whenever I think of it. I thought now is a good time to share it with others.

As we look to the future and address our challenges, let’s first address the proverbial question:

Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

For some, the involved, the optimistic, the problem solvers, the glass is half-full.

We also realize there are others who will see the glass as half-empty.

Yet, there are a few who will see the glass 100% full: some air, some water and a sparkle of light.

Air, water and light.

In old Hawai‘i, the air of your breath - “Ha” - symbolized life, your breath of life. “Ha” is your spirit, your heritage.

In Hawai‘i and essentially in all cultures – water meant life and growth. In Hawai‘i - “Wai” - fresh water; a life force – it meant abundance and wealth.

Light symbolizes the creator - “I” - Supreme.

Ha - wai - i … the place of life’s breath with abundant life-giving waters of the Creator.

The world is changing; let’s work together and change it for the better.

The challenge is to improve people’s lives, without compromising Hawai‘i’s special economic, social, cultural or environmental qualities.

There are many challenges ahead, problems to solve, issues to address and opportunities to explore.

Let’s work together and continue to make Hawai‘i a great place to live.

If the answers were easy we wouldn’t be here.

We need to work together, stay informed and share what we learn.

Keep in context another important Hawaiian term - Aloha.

Aloha is more than a word of greeting or farewell.

Aloha means love, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity; greeting, salutation, regards; sweetheart, lover, loved one; beloved, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, lovable; to love, be fond of; to show kindness, mercy, charity …

Aloha means mutual regard and affection - and extends warmth, generosity and caring … with no obligation in return.

Pearl Harbor Historic Trail

Pearl Harbor Historic Trail is a partially-existing heritage and recreational corridor that has the goal of establishing an 18+ mile multi-use recreational trail that will highlight historic sites from the USS Arizona Memorial to the west coast Oʻahu community of Nānākuli.

The full Pearl Harbor Historic Trail is still only an idea, but there is already a multi-use trail from the Arizona Memorial parking lot to Waipi'o Point Access Road.  The path is intended to be improved as part of the historic trail project.

The long-range Master Plan (prepared in 2001) stemmed from the Aiea-Pearl City Community Vision Group’s Year 2000 project.

The Pearl Harbor Historic Trail is a vital element in the Aiea-Pearl City Livable Communities Plan as its proposed projects for the area are integrated into the Plan.

The former Oahu Railway and Land Company (OR&L) right-of-way is the foundation upon which the proposed Pearl Harbor Historic Trail will be built.

A key project of the Master Plan is the re-establishment of the historic railway operation for the entire 18+ miles of the Trail.

The Hawaiian Railway Society (HRS) currently operates a six-mile long narrated railway train tour between its Ewa station museum and Kahe Tracks Beach Park in Nanakuli.

The Community Vision Group saw the 40-foot wide OR&L right-of-way as a valuable asset within their community that had the potential to meet a number of community needs such as safe bicycle and pedestrian paths, a natural and historic preservation project, a recreation resource, a means of opening up shoreline access, and an opportunity for economic revitalization.

The Master Plan incorporates a combination shared-use path and railway that includes major components, attractions and activity centers that will establish the Trail as a world-class heritage and recreation corridor.

The Trail will feature a continuous path for bicyclists and pedestrians alongside an historic train, diverging from the OR&L right-of-way where advantageous to take in shoreline views.

Miles of greenway and bikeway connections and gateways to the path are proposed, enhancing access to nearby communities and attractions. 

A few years ago, Nelia and I biked from Aiea Bay State Recreation Area, first to the Arizona Memorial side, then to Waipiʻo Peninsula along the existing portion of the trail.

At that time, it was in generally good condition; it is used daily by bikers, joggers and walkers.  There are great views of Pearl Harbor, as well as other odds and ends along the way.

The image shows the general route of the bike path; I have also included some photos of the bike trip we took a few years ago on the trail in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Evolution of Ancient Trails to Roads and Streets

Although the canoe was a principal means of travel in ancient Hawai`i, extensive cross-country trail networks enabled gathering of food and water and harvesting of materials for shelter, clothing, medicine, religious observances and other necessities for survival. 

Ancient trails, those developed before western contact in 1778, facilitated trading between upland and coastal villages and communications between ahupua‘a and extended families.

These trails were usually narrow, following the topography of the land.  Sometimes, over ‘a‘ā lava, they were paved with water-worn stones.

Before 1778, land travel was only foot traffic, over little more than trails and pathways.

The missionaries, who arrived in April 1820, selected their key stations and localities based on their accessibility via the ala loa (long trail) and smaller ala hele (paths) from neighboring ahupua‘a.

The mission stations generally coincided with the traditional chiefly centers, which by that time, were also developing as trade points with foreign vessels.

Various archaeologists note the following evolution of Hawai‘i trails:

•  Pre-contact/Early historical … Single-file footpath … Follow contours of coast
•  1820-1840 … Widened for one horse … Coastal - curbstones added
•  1820-1840 … Built in straight lines, inland
•  1841-1918 … Widened for two horses … Straight, leveled
•  Late-1800s-early 1900s … Widened for horse cart … Straight, leveled

Bridges also became necessary.  Perhaps the first was a footbridge across the Wailuku River in Hilo, described in 1825. The first important span on O‘ahu was the Beretania Street bridge built over Nu‘uanu Stream in 1840.

By the 1830s, King Kamehameha III initiated a program of island-wide improvements on the ala loa, and in 1847, a formal program for development of the alanui aupuni (government roads) was initiated.

Sidewalks were constructed, usually of wood, as early as 1838.  The first sidewalk made of brick was laid down in 1857 by watchmaker Samuel Tawson in front of his shop on Merchant Street.

Until the 1840s, overland travel was predominantly by foot and followed the traditional trails.  By the 1840s, the use of introduced horses, mules and bullocks for transportation was increasing, and many traditional trails - the ala loa and mauka-makai trails within ahupua‘a - were modified by removing the smooth stepping stones that caused the animals to slip.

Eventually, wider, straighter trails were constructed to accommodate horse drawn carts.  Unlike the earlier trails, these later trails could not conform to the natural, sometimes steep, terrain.

They often by-passed the traditional trails as more remote coastal villages became depopulated due to introduced diseases and the changing economic and social systems.

By the early 1850s, specific criteria were developed for realigning trails and roadways, including the straightening of alignments and development of causeways and bridges.

This system of roadwork, supervised by district overseers, and funded through government appropriations - with labor by prisoners and individuals unable to pay taxes in another way - evolved over the next 40 years.

Paved streets were unknown until 1881.  In that year, Fort Street was macadamized (a paving process using aggregate layers of stone with a cementing agent binder - a process named after Scotsman John Loudon McAdam,) followed by Nu‘uanu Avenue.

In 1892, Queen Lili`uokalani and the Legislature of the Kingdom of Hawai`i signed into law an “Act Defining Highways, and Defining and Establishing Certain Routes and Duties in Connection Therewith,” to be known as The Highways Act, 1892.

Through this act, all roads, alleys, streets, ways, lanes, courts, places, trails and bridges in the Hawaiian Islands, whether laid out or built by the Government or by private parties were declared to be public highways; ownership was placed in the Government (typically, under the control of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.)

The pioneering highway in Hawai‘i was the Mauka Arterial (later christened Lunalilo Freeway).  The three ‘Ewa-bound lanes, extending one mile between Old Wai‘alae Road and Alexander Street, were opened to traffic November 9, 1953.  The Kaimuki-bound lanes along the same stretch were opened and the highway was formally dedicated on January 5, 1954.

This photo shows Māmalahoa Trail in North Kona, as a horse trail in the 1900s (HMCS-NPS.)  In addition, I have posted some other trail images (and some evolutionary stages of various trails to roads) in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wailupe Pond (Punakou Pond)

In ancient Hawai‘i, fishponds were an integral part of the ahupua‘a.  Hawaiians built rock-walled enclosures in near shore waters, to raise fish for their communities and families.  It is believed these were first built around the fifteenth century.

The ancient Hawaiian fishpond is a sophisticated land and ocean resource management technique.  Utilizing raw materials such as rocks, corals, vines and woods, the Hawaiians created great walls (kuapā) and gates (mākāhā) for these fishponds.

It is reported that there were 488 fishponds statewide, however only about 60 fishponds remain recognizable today.

Thirteen fishponds have been restored statewide, with six ponds currently in use: three on Moloka‘i, one on the island of Hawai‘i and two on O‘ahu.

Reportedly, O‘ahu alone had 97 fishponds, but only six accessible ponds remain today and all are located on the windward side.

In 1848, when King Kamehameha III pronounced the Great Māhele, or land distribution, Hawaiian fishponds were considered private property by landowners and by the Hawaiian government.

This was confirmed in subsequent Court cases that noted “titles to fishponds are recognized to the same extent and in the same manner as rights recognized in fast land.”

Some coastal fishponds are privately owned.  Over the years, many of them have been filled and, typically, developed with houses.

Loko Nui o Wailupe, the large fishpond at Wailupe, was simply called "Wailupe fishpond" or "big pond" in Boundary Commission records (it was also referenced as Punakou Pond).

The pond covered an overall area of approximately 41-acres.  Its perimeter wall was approximately 2,500 feet long; it had four mākāhā (sluice gates.)  The typical section of the wall was approximately 2-feet thick.

It was claimed as Crown land together with the Punakou spring (Punakou spring was formerly on the mauka side of Wailupe fishpond.)

Wailupe Pond is an example of an ancient fishpond that was subsequently filled and developed.  It was one of a few historic fishponds that were built on the shore of Maunalua Bay.

Some of the others include Niu, now Niu Peninsula and Kuapā at Hawaii Kai, now Hawaii Kai Marina.

The pond lay within the Wailupe ahupua‘a owned by the Hind family.  Apparently, the tsunami of 1946 severely damaged the seaward walls of the pond.

The Hinds then sold the property to Lowell Dillingham (owner of Hawaiian Dredging Company) who lived nearby.

In 1947, Robert Hind, Ltd began developing Wailupe Valley as the residential community of ‘Āina Haina.  In 1948, in conjunction with the development of the valley, the Hawaiian Dredging Company, owner of the historic fishpond, converted it into a residential subdivision.

A deep channel (depth of approximately 12 to 20 feet) was dredged around the pond, as well as a channel through the reef to the open ocean) and dredge material filled in the pond, creating what is now Wailupe Peninsula (commonly referred to Wailupe Circle.)

The fishpond was filled with more than half a million cubic yards of coral (the at-grade elevation of the Peninsula is approximately five feet above mean sea level (msl.))

When the boat channel was dredged, a narrow margin of shallow reef (approximately 10 to 20-feet wide) was left to remain between the perimeter seawall and the boat channel.

Times and land uses have changed.  What once was a fishpond is now a residential community.  Wailupe Pond is an illustration of that.  The image shows Wailupe Pond in a 1934 USGS map.  In addition, I have included some other images and maps of the area, before and after the pond was filled, in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.