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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.