Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kanakea Pond

In the Waiākea area called Keaukaha (‘passing current’) at Hilo on the Island of Hawaiʻi a legend refers to a hole called Kaluakoko beneath the water.

A man and a woman lived nearby, and later a second woman came to live with them.

The new wife became jealous of the first, and convinced her to go net fishing one day when the husband was fishing, though the husband had forbidden it because it would affect his fishing.

As she caught shrimp at the edge of a large hole, the second wife pushed her into the hole and covered the entrance with a rock, killing her. Blood spread through the sea foam and the fisherman, followed its trail in his canoe, moved the stone, and saw what had happened.

He confronted the second wife, who lied, and then beat her to death. According to the story, the hole has been referred to as Kaluakoko (‘the Hole of Blood.’) (Cultural Surveys)

Here, Kanakea (‘wide stream’) pond is located. A freshwater subterranean spring rises from a large sinkhole and feeds cold water into the bay at a former fishpond.

Due to apparent remnant of a seaward rock wall at the narrowest point of the channel to the ocean, it is believed to be a loko kuapā.  A cobble field, submerged except during low tide, is in a linear pattern, suggesting they may have been in the formation of the pond wall.  (However, the cobbles may have simple accumulated there by currents or tsunami.)

“There are plenty of ducks in the ponds and streams, at a short distance from the sea, and several large ponds or lakes literally swarm with fish, principally of the mullet kind.”

“The fish in these ponds belong to the king and chiefs, and are tabued from the common people. Along the stone walls which partly encircle these ponds, we saw a number of small huts, where the persons reside who have the care of the fish, and are obliged frequently to feed them with a small kind of muscle, which they procure in the sands round the bay.”  (Ellis, 1823)

“On the nights of high tides every keeper slept by the mākāhā of which he had charge. It was the custom to build small watch houses from which to guard the fish from being stolen at high tide, or from being killed by pigs and dogs; when the tides receded the fish would return to the middle of the pond, out of reach of thieves.”

“On these nights, the keeper would dip his foot into the water at the mākāhā and if the sea pressed in like a stream and felt warm, then he knew that the sluice would be full of fish.”  (Kamakau; Maly)

Railway tracks crossed the pond from about 1916 until 1946 (when they were destroyed by a tsunami;) remnants of the railroad trestle are still visible within and above the surface of the pond.  (Hawaiʻi County)

The pond’s modern name is ‘Ice Pond’ (due to the cold spring-fed waters.)  It is brackish (that word comes from the Middle Dutch root ‘brak’ (‘salty.’))

The adjoining small bay consists of white sand and coral rubble; between 1925 and 1930, coral material dredged from Hilo harbor was deposited on the western side.

The small bay is now referred to as ‘Reed’s Bay.’  It is named after William H Reed. Born in 1814 Belfast, Ireland, Reed was a businessman. He created Reed’s Landing, which he used to moor boats carrying lumber for one of his businesses.  (Hawaiʻi County)

Reed arrived in the Islands in the 1840s and set up a contracting concern specializing in the construction of wharfs, landings, bridges and roads.  Other interests included ranching, trading and retailing.  (Clark)

Across Hilo Bay, Reed also bought an island in 1861, originally known as ‘Koloiki’ (‘little crawling,’) once surrounded by the Wailuku River and Waikapu Stream.

Reed married Jane Stobie Shipman on July 8, 1868 (she was a widow, previously married to William Cornelius Shipman, a missionary assigned to Waiʻōhinu in the district of Kaʻū.  Shipman died in 1861, leaving Jane with her three children, William Herbert, Oliver Taylor and Margaret Clarissa.)

Jane was born in Scotland. At an early age she came to the US with her parents, lived in Quincy, Illinois, and was educated to be a teacher; and in 1853 was married to Reverend Shipman.  (The Friend, December, 1902)

Following his death, Jane moved to Hilo, with her three children and maintained the family by keeping a boarding school until 1868 (when she was married to Reed.)  (The Friend, December, 1902)

William Reed died on November 11, 1880 with no children of his own; Jane inherited the Reed land holdings.  (In 1881, Reed’s stepson William Herbert Shipman and two partners (Captain J. E. Eldarts and Samuel M Damon) purchased the entire ahupuaʻa of Keaʻau, about 70,000-acres from the King Lunalilo estate.)

The image shows the damaged rail line at Kanakea Pond.  (Hawaiʻi County)  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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