Koʻolauloa moku (district) is one of six district divisions of the Island of Oʻahu (Koʻolauloa, Koʻolaupoko, Kona, ʻEwa, Waiʻanae and Waialua.)
Koʻolauloa or “long Koʻolau,” along with Koʻolaupoko or “short Koʻolau” make up the koʻolau (windward) side of Oʻahu – encompassing the lands on, and reefs offshore of, the north and northeast-facing slopes of Koʻolau (one of two shield volcanos that formed the island.)
Historical documentation indicates that as early as the Voyaging Period (1000-1180 AD) during the reign of Laʻamaikahiki, Koʻolauloa, with its vast natural resources, was a preferred location for royal residence, second only to that of the Waikīkī-Nuʻuanu-Mānoa region
Numerous native oral traditions and foreign accounts from the late 1700s suggest that the various ahupuaʻa within the district were part of a larger and significant political and population center primarily sustained by a variety of wetland agricultural practices and aquaculture activity. (DWS)
Between 1812 and 1830, the increased demand for sandalwood created a new trade that influenced and changed previous land tenure practices in Koʻolau Loa. The timber, cut from the upland slopes of the Koʻolau Mountains, was hauled down to Waialua Bay for transport and trade. (DWS)
“The district of Koʻolauloa is of considerable extent along the sea coast, but the arable land is generally embraced in a narrow strip between the mountains and the sea, varying in width from one half to two or three miles.”
“Several of the vallies are very fertile, and many tracts of considerable extent are watered by springs which burst out from the banks at a sufficient elevation to be conducted over large fields, and in a sufficient quantity to fill many fish ponds and taro patches.” (Hall, 1838; Maly)
Koʻolauloa moku is further divided into a number of ahupuaʻa – (north to south) Waimea, Pūpūkea, Paumalū, Kaunala, Waialeʻe, Pahipahiʻālua, Nāʻopana 1, Nāʻopana 2, Kawela, Hanakaoe, ʻŌʻio 1, ʻŌʻio 2, Ulupehupehu, Kahuku, Keana, Malaekahana, Lāʻie 1, Lāʻie 2, Kaipapaʻu, Hauʻula, Mākao, Kapaka, Kaluanui, Papaʻakoko, Haleʻaha, Kapano, Pūheʻemiki, Waiʻono, Punaluʻu, Kahana, Makaua and Kaʻaʻawa.
Hauʻula is the subject of this summary; it lies approximately midway in the extent of the Koʻolauloa moku.
Its name refers to a native hibiscus, the hau; it blossoms during the summer months. Its flowers are bright yellow when they open in the morning, but turn red by the time they fall to the ground. (Lit., red hau (flower.)) (Pukui) By sunset in July and August, Hauʻula is ablaze with the deep red color of hau flowers.
“Hauula, twenty-eight and one-half miles from Honolulu, has some rice fields, and stock raising is carried on. There is a considerable native population.” (Whitney, 1890; Maly)
“… we passed on to Hauula and examined two schools one of which consisted of sandal wood cutters from the mountains and exhibited on the slate. The scholars wrote down the alphabet both the capital and small letters; the letters were not very accurately formed; but the disposition to learn was commendable, and with a view of encouraging them to persevere, I gave each of them a spelling book.” (Chamberlain, 1828)
In 1890, two prominent businessmen, James Campbell and Benjamin Dillingham, worked together to establish and expand lands for sugarcane production under the Kahuku Plantation Company and the development of the Oʻahu Railway and Land Company (OR&L.) By 1903, the railroad between Lāʻie and Kahuku Sugar Mill was laid out. (DWS)
As early as 1904, the Territorial Government enacted legislation setting aside lands in Koʻolauloa as a part of the newly developing Forest Reserve program of the Territory.
The primary function of early forestry programs in the Hawaiian Islands was the protection of forest watersheds to ensure a viable water supply. The Kaipapaʻu Forest Reserve was one of the first established in the Territory. Public interest in the lands continued through 1918, when the larger Hauʻula Forest Reserve was established. (Maly)
James Castle moved to connect the OR&L rail line in Kahuku with the proposed street railway system in Honolulu by way of the Windward Coast.
His plan was to extend his Koʻolau Railroad Co south of Kahana Bay through Kāneʻohe and Kailua, and on to Waimanalo where it would go through a tunnel and into Manoa Valley and connect with the Rapid Transit & Land Co.
By 1908 the Koʻolau Railway Company was running an eleven-mile rail circuit between Kahuku and Kahana. (McElroy) (Castle died in 1918, before the project into Koʻolaupoko could be completed.)
“At Hauʻula the train makes a short stay. This appears to be a station of growing importance. As at Kahuku, this depot embraces also the post office. The former agent made it also serve as the village inn, but the present incumbent has constructed a neat cottage directly opposite the station for the comfort and convenience of wayfarers. It stands a little distance off the road, its green sward giving it a cool and attractive appearance.”
“Near here is the noted valley of the celebrated Kamapuaʻa’s exploits, and residents of Hauʻula seldom fail to remind visitors of the fact and point with pride to Kaliuwaʻa gorge, where the demi-god escaped from his pursuers.” (Thrum, 1911)
“For this a guide will have to be obtained. Almost any of the natives around will be willing to undertake the task. The valley is really a cleft in the mountains, with almost precipitous sides. The vegetation is very dense, showing varieties of almost every tree and plant found on Oʻahu.” (Whitney, 1890; Maly)
Two curious formations called by the Hawaiians waʻa, or canoes (hence the name, Kaliuwaʻa, the valley of the canoe,) are quite striking. They are semicircular cuts in the cliff, extending from the base to the top, like the half of a well.
In no other part of the islands is a similar formation found. The valley is sacred to Kamapuaʻa, a native demigod, half pig, half man. (Whitney, 1890; Maly)
Kamapuaʻa was accused of eating ʻOlopana’s chickens. ʻOlopana, chief of O`ahu, decided that he must apprehend the hog-thief, so he called to all of Oʻahu to wage war against Kamapuaʻa. Kamapuaʻa heard of ʻOlopana’s plans and took his people to Kaliuwaʻa, where they climbed up his body to the safety of the cliff top.
In doing so, Kamapuaʻa’s back gouged out indentations on the cliff-side that can still be seen today.
Once his people were safe, Kamapuaʻa dammed the water of Kaliuwaʻa. ʻOlopana and his men arrived, and a battle ensued. Kamapuaʻa was nearly killed, but he released the dammed water, killing ʻOlopana and all but one of his men; Makaliʻi knew that Kamapuaʻa could not be killed and escaped to Kaua`i. (McElroy)
Kaliuwaʻa (often called Sacred Falls) is regarded as sacred for its association with the deity Kamapuaʻa, but the name Sacred Falls is a relatively recent phenomenon. Forms of the name first appear in historical documents in the 1890s, where the valley is called Sacred Ravine.
Over the years, this name evolved into Sacred Valley, and it wasn’t until the 1950s that the name Sacred Falls appeared in the literature. A fatal landslide on May 9, 1999 (Mother’s Day) forced closure of the park due to safety concerns. (McElroy)