Friday, July 18, 2014


Waikīkī (“water spurting from many sources”) ahupuaʻa lies between Honolulu (from the west side of Makiki Valley) and Maunalua (the east side of Wailupe) - essentially from Piʻikoi Street to the ʻĀina Haina/Niu Valley boundary.

Three main valleys Makiki, Mānoa, and Pālolo are mauka of Waikīkī and through them their respective streams (and springs in Mānoa (Punahou and Kānewai)) watered the marshland below.

As they entered the flat Waikīkī Plain (and merge and separate,) the names of the streams changed; the Mānoa became the Kālia and the Pālolo became the Pāhoa (they joined near Hamohamo (now an area mauka of the Kapahulu Library.))

While at the upper elevations, the streams have the ahupuaʻa names, at lower elevations, after merging/dividing, they have different names, as they enter the ocean, Pi‘inaio, ‘Āpuakēhau and Kuekaunahi.

The Pi‘inaio (Makiki) entered the sea at Kālia (near what is now Fort DeRussy as a wide delta (kahawai.))  The ‘Āpuakēhau (Mānoa and Kālia,) also called the Muliwai o Kawehewehe (“the stream that opens the way” on some maps,) emptied in the ocean at Helumoa (between the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Hotels.)

The Kuekaunahi (Pālolo) once emptied into the sea at Hamohamo (near the intersection of ‘Ōhua and Kalākaua Avenues.)  The land between these three streams was called Waikolu, meaning “three waters.”

Pālolo valley, within the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, has ʻili for kalo (taro loʻi) and forest products that benefitted other portions of the ahupuaʻa (such as ʻĀina Haina, Wailupe, Niu and areas near the beach) – they are essentially ʻili lele (jumping ʻili) that provide these resource lands (wetland for kalo and mauka forest lands) to the other areas of the ahupuaʻa that do not have them.

According to legend, Kākuhihewa, Māʻilikūkahi’s descendent six generations later, encountered the supernatural rooster, “Kaʻauhelemoa” who flew from Pālolo valley and landed at Waikīkī to challenge Kākuhihewa by scratching the ground.  The place was then named "Helumoa" which means "chicken scratch."

Kākuhihewa felt that the appearance of the supernatural rooster was an omen, so he planted a grove of trees, which later multiplied into an estimated 10,000-coconut trees (this is the area in and around the Sheraton Waikīkī hotel.)

Fast forward a few centuries.

Pālolo Valley was once home to a golf course, rock quarry, two dairies and, during World War II, an airfield.

Pālolo Elementary School first opened its doors in September 1921 under the leadership of Principal William Kekepa. Its first buildings were converted military barracks and the school was next to a golf course.

Opened in 1931, the nine-hole Pālolo course was first one open to the masses (the Islands’ first course, Moanalua Valley course, opened in 1898; Oʻahu Country Club opened in 1906, Waiʻalae in 1928.)  Later, that golf course was turned into a public housing project that is now Pālolo Valley Homes.

A May 1941 article in the Honolulu Advertiser titled "Army Maps Areas to Be Evacuated in Event of Emergency" informed civilians that 86,000-persons living in Honolulu resided in danger zones, and that half would have to evacuate in the event of a war.  (Johnson)

The Pālolo evacuation camp, which the Office of Civilian Defense had erected in case of another Japanese attack, was later turned over to the Hawaiʻi Housing Authority (HHA) and converted into wartime public housing for several hundred families.  (HHF)

Additional shelters for evacuees were built in Pālolo; however, they were "held in readiness for evacuees in connection with (another) attack."  The Pālolo Valley Camp never accommodated Islanders displaced after the initial attack on December 7. A memorandum written in February 1942 confirmed that Pālolo remained unoccupied.

The HHA also developed public housing.  Members of a Congressional subcommittee, which came to investigate Honolulu’s housing situation (in Pālolo and elsewhere) in March 1945, learned of “hot bed apartments” where as many as eighteen men occupied one room in three shifts.

With the conclusion of World War II, the Pālolo School Camp was closed as they were deemed unsatisfactory for occupancy.  The Pālolo Evacuation Camp adjacent to the 362-unit emergency housing project in Pālolo remained in operation.

Pālolo provided post-war housing opportunities; a three-bedroom home in 1950 cost about $11,500.  In 1955, the Pālolo Golf Course was replaced by Jarrett Middle School and the Pālolo Valley District Park.  More housing was also provided.

Jarrett Middle School was established in 1955. The school was named in honor of William Paul Jarrett (1877-1929,) who was a delegate to the US Congress when Hawaiʻi was a Territory. Mr Jarrett gained national and international recognition for his efforts as a humanitarian.

After it closed in 1951, the rock quarry became a 200-home residential subdivision and the airfield was developed into Pālolo Valley Housing.  (Shellabarger)  (Lots of information here from Green and Johnson.)

The image shows a map of Pālolo in 1881.  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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