Honouliuli: Significant Occurrences in Land Tenure and Land Use, 1836–1910

There are thousands of references contributing to the history of Honouliuli Ahupua‘a. From those references are found classes of information covering such topics as

•  Residency: land ownership and access;
•  Pa‘akai: salt making;
•  Kai lawai‘a: fisheries and access;
•  Ranches and the land development programs in Honouliuli;
•  Water development, railroads, and the ‘Ewa Plantation; and
•  Military condemnation of Honouliuli lands and offshore waters.

The selected narratives categorized as Land Use: Development Period provide eyewitness accounts to historic events. While there are few identifiable references for the immediate area of the Hoakalei program, the narratives give us an historical context for understanding changes on the land since western Contact.

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Native Hawaiian historian Samuel M. Kamakau observed

The Hawaiian people were a race of expert fishermen. The art had been handed down from their ancestors. Agriculture and fishing were the two main professions always passed on by the grandparents … The fishing profession was an important one, and one that could not be undertaken without supplies of canoes, nets, and fishing lines. If a fisherman were a landholder or a chief, or a descendant of a fisherman, or a son in a family which had aumakua of fishing, then he could be a true fisherman with no lack of long canoes, short canoes, light, swift canoes, large and small nets, and long and short fishing lines. He would have everything he needed, and there would be nothing to stop him.

Some kinds of fishing required a fleet of canoes, many nets, and many men; other kinds needed only two, three, or four men, and some, only one man. Some ways of fishing were much work, and some were very easy. Fish was obtained in greatest quantity with nets. Other main ways of fishing were, with basket traps; with hook and line; by prodding about with a stick; by feeling about and grasping by hand or ensnaring between the fingers; by striking loose with stones [the opihi]; and by drugging fish. A man could also fish with his hands, or with crab or shrimp nets, or with a pole from a ledge or the seashore, or catch fish in tide pools with a scoop net, or go along the seashore with a net, or set a fish line; or search for fish with a small basket trap; or draw a net over sandy spots in the sea or up onto the shore; or drive fish into nets by splashing; or with a pole. [17:59]

The fisheries—those along the shore of the open ocean and in Keawalau o Puuloa (now Pearl Harbor), and along the shoreline—were among the highly valued resources of Honouliuli Ahupuaa. With the transitions in land tenure and land use that occurred following 1848, native residents of Honouliuli were steadily denied access to the traditional fisheries. The narratives below are selections from the historical record on the conflicts that arose between the customary practices of Hawaiians with the new landowners and system of access.

The making of paakai—sea salt—was one of the significant traditional practices associated with the coastal lands of Honouliuli. There are a number of Mahele claims by native tenants of the larger Puuloa land division for salt-making sites. While no specific claim was identified for the wetland or shoreline zone within the Hoakalei program area, it is reasonable to assume that the making of paakai was done in the area.

The formation of a salt works business at Puuloa led to continuing residency along the Pakule, Keahi, and Kupaka shoreline leading towards Oneula. The Puuloa Salt Works was in operation from the 1840s to the early 1900s. The narratives below provide an overview of the modern business venture.

The following is from a Puuloa Salt Works advertisement entitled “Puuloa Salt Works—Sandwich Islands” published in the Daily Alta California.

These extensive works are situated at the mouth of Pearl river, Island of Oahu, within ten miles of Honolulu, and has the largest and safest harbor on the entire group of Islands. The entrance is half a mile wide, easily distinguished, with 12 feet of water over the bar at low tide.

These works are capable of supplying the entire Pacific Ocean with the article of salt.

Shippers and masters of vessels may procure entire cargoes or smaller quantities of the above article, in bulk, matt bags or barrels at the works, or delivered on board their vessels in the harbor of Honolulu, by applying to:

C. W. Vincent, Honolulu,
Corner of Mauna Kea and King Streets.1

In 1860, the advertisement below was published announcing the availability of ocean salt which was being made at Puuloa.

From ancient time, the natives have known about and made salt; it is that with which food is seasoned, and is also an item of trade; but the salt of Hawaii is not very good, it is not the best for salting beef and salting pork. If it is left for long, it spoils.

But at this time, salt is made at Puuloa, and it is very good. The bitterness has been removed from within; a mill has been gotten and the salt mixed like flour, and like the salt of other lands; therefore, at this time, the salt of Puuloa is greatly desired. It is taken to other lands and it is a thing that brings prosperity to the land.2

The following 1922 article announced the expansion of the business to production of shaker salt.

Following a policy of doing its share towards making the Hawaiian islands self-supporting—productive of all necessities of life possible—an industry few know exists on Oahu is being brought rapidly to a standard equal to the highest achieved by mainland plants.

By a limpid lagoon, just beyond Pearl Harbor where crystal waters are not contaminated by infusion of foreign substances, the Honouliuli salt works has been developing under the eyes of Honolulu yet few have seen.

Machinery is being installed now to take the industry out of its swaddling clothes—to graduate it from its infant drudgery of feeding ice-cream freezers and supplying demand for crystal and rock salt, into what is known in the trade as the shaker salt field.

Now the word shaker means, in the parlance of salt, something which will shake out of a shaker. So it is a step forward from ice cream freezers to the table.

The plant, producing crude salt, is turning out some 55 tons weekly eight months of the year. The other four months overcast skies and rains minimize production. The product is largely due to the care taken in filling the tanks, which are washed, scrubbed and drained before pure sea waters are pumped in. The tanks are of cement. The element of dust and dirt eliminated by the scrubbing makes the product marketable for cruder uses immediately. A fleet of motor trucks is supplying island consumers.

The new machinery will convert part of this crude output into salt for table and kitchen uses, shaker and bag salt. The demand for coarser salt will not be slighted in expanding to enter the shaker salt field. It is the intention of the men who have brought the industry into being, to increase its capacity as the consumption increases.

The new machinery is designed to shatter the crystals and process the salt so that, in the moist climate of the island coasts, it will not cake—in fact it is the intention of the company to produce a Hawaiian product that will compare on all points with the imported article, with the added feature of ocean freight eliminated.

Expert supply surveys have been conducted in the island from time to time to determine just what imports are necessary to make up the difference between local production of any food article and demands of consumers. It is estimated that the salt works, when under full swing, would be able to eliminate this item from freight lists. The plant is on a branch of the railway. The new unit of the plant will be in operation before summer.3

1Daily Alta California, July 1, 1852, p. 4.

2“Ka Paakai o Puuloa” (The Salt of Puuloa), Ka Hae Hawaii, July 25, 1860.

3“Salt Works on Oahu to Branch Out Into Shaker Salt Field,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, March 11, 1922, p. 11.

Grazing of small herds of cattle, and eventually larger ranching operations, began to develop in Honouliuli by the 1840s. Initially, native tenants and a few foreign residents vied for access to the land. By the 1860s, few native residents could compete, and individuals like Isaac and Daniel Montgomery, John Meek, James Dowsett, and James Campbell came to control the majority of the land in Honouliuli. The consolidation of land title set the foundation for radical changes in the landscape, and also led to problems with access to the Honouliuli fisheries, and changes in the makeup of the population of Honouliuli. The consolidation of title led to the formation of various business schemes like the “Honouliuli Colonization Land and Trust Company,” and large-scale development programs. The narratives also document the relationship between Honouliuli business interests with those of other locations on O‘ahu, in the larger development plans on the island.

The following regards a Honouliuli land case, Coney v. Dowsett, which came before the Supreme Court of the Hawaiian Islands during the October term, 1876. The plaintiff, John H. Coney, claims damages caused by the trespassing of the cattle of the defendant James I. Dowsett on his land. The opinion was written by Justice A. Francis Judd and dated Oct. 23, 1876. Lawyers arguing the case were L. McCully and E. Preston for the plaintiff, and A. S. Hartwell and W. C. Jones for the defendant.

This is an action in which $10,000 are claimed as damages for the trespass of the defendant’s cattle upon the land “Honouliuli” in Ewa Oahu, the property of the plaintiff, since Oct. 16th, 1875.

The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff of $200, and a motion is made to set aside this verdict and grant a new trial on the ground that the jury must have mistaken or disregarded the instructions of the court on the effect of certain leases under which the defendant justified, or that the jury misunderstood the evidence.

The first lease in question is dated March 3rd, 1846, and running for twenty-five years from the 1st of February of that year, expired on the 1st of February, 1871. It demises to John Meek and his heirs, the kula land at Lihue, and the privilege that his cattle should be undisturbed at Honouliuli, if they should go there.

The second lease is dated 13th of July, 1851, and leases to John Meek and his heirs and assigns the land called Waimanalo, at Honouliuli, particularly as follows: The kula and the kuahiwi and the rights appertaining thereto, and the Poalimas, the river with all the rights appertaining thereto. It gives the boundaries as follows: On the mauka side the lands previously leased to John Meek, that is, the kula of Lihue and the kula of Honouliuli; on the makai sides Nanakuli and the Koolina. This lease expired on the 5th of July, 1876.

The third lease is dated the 16th of February, 1853, and it being for twenty-five years, does not expire until the 16th of February, 1878. By this lease there is conveyed to John Meek, his heirs and assigns, all the remaining portions of the lessor’s kula land at Honouliuli: this being explained as follows: All parts of this kula land not included in the previous leases made between A. Keliiahonui, M. Kekauonohi and John Meek for that land called Lihue, on the 3rd of March, 1846, and another lease between J. H.  L. Haalelea and John Meek, of all that land called Waimanalo, on the 15th of July, 1851, the rents of these two lands shall continue and their lease, until the expiration thereof. They are not included in this lease. Before considering the reservations, which are made at length and with considerable particularity.

Let us go on to the fourth lease, which is dated the 1st of February, 1871, and which conveys all of that certain piece of parcel of land situated in the Ahupuaa of Honouliuli, district of Ewa, Island of Oahu, known as the Ili of Lihue, for seven years, and which will not expire until the 1st of February, 1878.

The plaintiff claims that lease No. 1 conveyed not only Lihue but a portion of the kula of Honouliuli, and builds up an argument in support of this from the words of description of Waimanalo, above given, in which the mauka boundary of Waimanalo is stated to be the kula of Lihue and the kula of Honouliuli, and that the portion of Honouliuli conveyed by the first lease and not included in the third lease, was not covered by the fourth lease, which was a lease of the Ili of Lihue only. The plaintiff claims that as there was abundant evidence that the defendant’s cattle pastured upon this tract of land within the dates in which this trespass is laid, the award of the jury of $200 is far from excessive and should be sustained. But can this position of the plaintiff be sustained?

The first lease conveyed only Lihue, the lessor covenanted in addition that the lessee’s cattle should be undisturbed on Honouliuli, if they went there. This does not lease any portion of Honouliuli outside of Lihue, but only protected the lessee from being held liable for trespass if his cattle strayed on Honouliuli. This view is strengthened by the wording of lease No. 3, made in 1853, which shows the interpretation put by the parties on their previous leases after seven years of dealings with each other as landlord and tenant. This lease No. 3 distinctly says that the lease of 1846 was for that land called Lihue, and that the lease of 1851 was for that land called Waimanalo. Now, this lease No. 3 conveyed all parts of the kula of Honouliuli, not included in leases No. 1 and 2, it conveys all of Honouliuli except Lihue and Waimanalo and the reservations.

In a former case between the parties to this suit, the court held that if there exists an ambiguity, in the lease, then such construction must prevail as is most strong against the covenanter, for he might have expressed himself more clearly. But there is no ambiguity here, except, perhaps, the exemption from liability for trespass on Honouliuli, and upon the principle just stated it must be construed to be a mere license, the actual territory over which the license was granted in lease No. 1 being leased by indenture No. 3.

Waimanalo is described in the second lease as being bounded on the mauka side by kula of Lihue and of Honouliuli. This cannot be explained except upon the theory that its extent was not at that time well defined.

It is clear that the plaintiff does not claim now that Waimanalo stretches up to Lihue, and I am inclined to rend the description in this way. The land previously leased to John Meek, that is the kula of Lihue and the kula of Honouliuli on the mauka side. Certainly, if Waimanalo is an Ili at one end of Honouliuli, it must have for one boundary the main body of the land of Honouliuli, where it joins the same. The clause “and the kula of Honouliuli.” is not necessarily modified by the clause the land leased to John Meek.

It is claimed further by the plaintiff that as the lease of Waimanalo particularizes kula and kuahiwi as being two distinct classes of land, the kula being low land and kuahiwi being mountain land, and as the third lease does not mention specifically the kuahiwi of Honouliuli, it must be considered as intended to be excluded.

I am of the opinion that in this lease No. 3, “kula” means land not kalo land, however this may be, the “kuahiwi” is not excepted in the large number of reservations made and although the lease does not convey the right to actually take the wood in the kuahiwi, it leases the right of pasturage therein, for the kuahiwi is a part of “keia aina kula i komo ole iloko o na hoolimalima mua,” (this kula land not included in the previous leases.) To lease the whole of a kula land, reserving certain specific portions and then to say that this does not cover kuahiwi or pali, puu, mauna, awaawa or other portions of land to which various topographical terms may be applied would be disingenuous, and it is so manifestly contrary to the intention of the parties as gathered from all these instruments as not to be countenanced by the court, I observe, in passing, that if the defendant is now liable for trespass upon the kuahiwi of Honouliuli or upon the portion of the kula of Honouliuli claimed by the plaintiff’s counsel to be not conveyed by lease No. 3, he was liable for trespass for the same reasons on the list of February, 1871, the date when the first lease of Lihue expired.

I find therefore that as there was no part of the Honouliuli kula between Lihue and Waimanalo not covered by the leases to the defendant the jury were not at liberty to consider in making up their verdict the evidence of the trespass of defendant’s cattle on this territory.

The lease of Waimanalo having expired on the 15th of July, 1876, the jury were instructed that the defendant should be allowed a reasonable time after this date in which to take his cattle off from this land, and in which to restrain them from returning thither. The evidence of damages for trespass on Waimanalo by Dowsett’s cattle since the lease expired, consists in statements of witnesses that they had seen his cattle on this land within the month past, and since the time when they were driven off by Dowsett’s men. The particular evidence was given by Po who testified that he saw nine head there on the 20th of July, and sixteen head there on the 10th of August, but this witness was uncertain as to the boundaries of Waimanalo, and said they had never been pointed out to him. 

When the testimony of Mr. J. H. Wood is considered, who testifies that Waimanalo is worth nothing for pasturage at present, as there is nothing green on it, it is clear that the amount of $200, if awarded for damage for trespass on this land, is excessive, for if the jury found that defendant’s cattle were allowed to remain on this land an unreasonable time after the lease expired, the damage awarded should have been but nominal and not beyond the statutory amount of 12 ¾ cts. for each animal.

The reservations in lease No. 3 are as follows: “These are the places reserved to the party of the first part; the fish ponds in said kula land, having fish in them, and two lots intended to be enclosed hereafter: also Mokumeha adjoining the enclosed taro lands: and also that piece between Kualakai and C. W. Vincent’s lot; that places known as Ka pa Uhi is also reserved; the sea fishery and its rights are also reserved, similar to the Waimanalo sea-right reservation; also the Pa aina at Honouliuli and the said enclosure: and also the cultivatable land at Poupouwela; all of which are reserved and not included in this lease, but John Meek’s cattle shall not be molested should they go on to these places reserved if not fenced in with a fence sufficient to prevent cattle from trespassing. Poupouwela will still remain as in times gone by, and is not intended to be fenced in as its situation is good, not needing a fence. The tabooed woods of the mountains of the lands mentioned in this lease are also reserved to the party of the first part, but he, John Meek, can take said tabooed wood for his own use, as much as he wishes, but not to dispose of to other parties.”

The clause, “but John Meeks cattle shall not be molested should they go on to these places reserved, if not fenced in with a fence sufficient to prevent cattle from trespassing.” Fixes the obligation upon the lessor to keep his reservations fenced, and as there was no evidence offered to the jury to show that this was done, they were not at liberty to found their verdict upon evidences that the cattle of defendant were accustomed to graze and get water on the reserved portions. It is urged that though the lessor covenants that the cattle shall not be considered as trespassing if they shall go on the reserved portions, unless fenced, still the evidence shows that the cattle were continually on one of these portions, that is Pa aina, for water, and that this is in excess of the license, and therefore trespass would lie. I am of the opinion this is not sound, for there could be no trespass on Pa aina, unless fenced with a fence capable of turning stock.

The law will not allow a pit-fall for the un-wary to be thus dug, when it was possible, in framing the lease, to make the intention of the lessor to hold his tenant to such a liability more clear.

As regards Poupouwela, its aina mahiai is reserved. This is translated cultivated or cultivatable land. Whichever rendering is taken there is no evidence that Dowsett’s cattle trespassed upon either the cultivated land or the land capable of cultivation in Poupouwela. The evidence was confined to the statement that the cattle driven from Waimanalo between the 11th and 18th of July were driven from Lihue to water at Poupouwela and back again, but there was no evidence that this water was in the limits of the aina mahiai. I am of the opinion, though the jury were not so instructed, that no trespass could be maintained even on the aina mahiai of Poupouwela, as the clause in reference to immunity from trespassing applies to it, and the lessor disavows his intention of fencing it, as the situation of the land did not require it. The legal inference from this is, that he took the risk of cattle trespassing on it, though unfenced.

The jury were instructed in regard to the testimony that the cattle of defendant had spread a thorny acacia over the land as follows: That the plaintiff could not recover damages for this if done while the cattle were lawfully upon the plaintiff’s land, for he must be held to have foreseen the natural result of the pasturage of cattle in disseminating weeds and thorns on his lands, when he made the lease; and as regards acacia being spread on Waimanalo, the defendant could only be held liable for whatever damage was thus done since July 15, 1876, of which there was no distinct evidence.

The court charged the jury that up to the 15th of July, 1876, when the Waimanalo lease expired, the defendant had the right of exclusive possession of all Honouliuli except the reserved portions, but on suggestion of plaintiff’s counsel made the qualification that if the jury found that there was any portion of Honouliuli conveyed by lease No. 1 and not included in lease No. 3 and not re-conveyed by lease No. 4 they might find that trespass was committed on such portion. In giving this modification the court had no intention of allowing the jury to infer that there was any such un-leased portion of Honouliuli, for it had charged the contrary. But this may have misled the jury, which is to be regretted.

It is apparent to me that the jury must have understood the instructions of the court upon the evidence of trespass upon any portion of Honouliuli, except Waimanalo, and as to Waimanalo, if the verdict was founded upon trespass on this land, the amount of damage is so clearly excessive as to lead to the inference that the jury based their assessment of damage on some erroneous principle.

Exercising the sound and legal discretion vested in me, I am of the opinion that the verdict should be set aside and a new trial granted which is done accordingly.1

More on the Coney v. Dowsett case is below.

John H. Coney vs. James I. Dowsett.

On Exceptions to the Decision of Mr. Justice Judd.

Present: Chief Justice Allen, Justices Harris and Judd.

The question upon which the opinion of the fall court is desired, is the construction of the leases on file in the case.

The arguments of the counsel for the plaintiff are exceedingly ingenious, and we have given them full consideration. We have likewise reviewed and weighed the opinion given by Mr. Justice Judd, which is excepted to and we concur in that opinion fully, seeing no reason for altering, amending or expanding it.

The jury will be instructed in accordance with this opinion, in case a new trial is proceeded with.

Elisha H. Allens,
Chas. C. Harris,
A.  Francis Judd.
E. Preston and L. McCully for plaintiff, A. S. Hartwell and W. C. Jones for defendant.
Honolulu, Dec. 29, 1876

1Honouliuli Land Case—Coney v. Dowsett before the Supreme Court, Hawaiian Gazette, January 17, 1877, p. 4.

Puuloa, the land area of Honouliuli, and the lochs of the harbor played a major role in Hawaii’s political history and eventual loss of sovereignty. The narratives under Related Documents below take readers through the decades of turmoil in development of sugar plantations, trade agreements, the “Reciprocity Treaty” (1875 & 1884), and eventual military control of Pearl Harbor and large tracts of Honouliuli Ahupuaa by the United States.

In 1884, the “Hawaiian-American Supplementary Convention” amended the January 30, 1875 Treaty to grant sole use of Pearl Harbor to the United States. Article II states:

His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands grants to the Government of the United States the exclusive right to enter the harbor of the Pearl River in the Island of Oahu, and to establish and maintain there a coaling and repair station for the use of vessels of the United States, and to that end the United States may improve the entrance to said harbor and do all other things needful to the purpose aforesaid.1

Military activities directly impacted lands of the Hoakalei program area as roads and training grounds were developed across the region. Cultural sites preserved within the three preservation areas include the remains of military usage, and periodically, unexploded ordinance has been found along the shoreline.

Areas where native Hawaiians and large landowners lived at Puuloa-Honouliuli were condemned, including those of families under the names of Dowsett-Parish, Kealoha, Kealakai, Campbell, Stephenson, and others. The nearshore lands that surround the Pearl Harbor lochs were condemned, and access to the harbor waters is still controlled. During the war years, no access was allowed to the Honouliuli coastline fronting the open ocean as well. The resulting development of bases, communications centers, munitions storage facilities, training grounds, naval fleet yards, and housing—such as Keahi, now called Iroquois Point, the childhood home of Sister Thelma Parish and Kupuna Arline Eaton—have all evolved since 1900.

Colonel David Kalakaua wrote a letter on the Pearl Harbor matter which was published in the Honolulu Bulletin in 1873.

Sir.—this has been an eventful year for Hawaii. It is only thirty-four years since the King and chiefs of this nation granted a Bill of Rights at Luaehu, Lahaina, Maui, 1839, which is the basis of a civilized government by the people. The Constitution granted by King Kamehameha III, by and with the advice and consent of the Nobles and Representatives of the people, followed in 1852. In 1864 the present Constitution, under which the country has been governed was granted by Kamehameha V.

Many feared that the nation was not sufficiently educated in Constitutional Government to elect a Sovereign on the demise of His Late Majesty without naming his successor. But these fears were groundless. The peaceful election which followed showed that Hawaiians are capable of self-government.

Last July the government proposed to the United States Commissioner to renew negotiations for a treaty of commercial reciprocity, and suggested this might be made desirable to the United States by ceding to them the Harbor of Pearl River for a naval station.

It soon appeared that the Hawaiians were not in favor of such a cession. I was myself not in favor of it. Many people had fears that if the United States has possession of Pearl Harbor, the independence of the nation would be jeopardized.

The previous action of the United States does not justify those fears, for that government has always desired to see the Hawaiian nation free and independent. When Kamehameha III. placed this country under the protection of the United States in 1852, to save us from the threatened attack of a French man-of-war, the United States returned the country to its rightful King as soon as the trouble was over.

From my knowledge of all free government, I know that the prosperity and independence of the Hawaiian Islands, depends on our showing to the world that we are a law abiding people and regard our Constitution and laws, which protect every man’s rights.

It is my belief that the Hawaiian people will never permit a violation of the Hawaiian Constitution and laws. If any reforms are needed, there is a lawful way to make them, and that way will always be followed.

We say to the world, as our neighbor the United States says, that we have always welcomed foreigners to our shores. Let them come, and bring with them money and skill to develop the resources of the country, here, as in the freest and strongest nation in the world, all men will be protected in their rights, under civilized law. Whoever says that this is not so, is in my opinion no friend of Hawaii or of Hawaiian independence.

A great deal has been said by a few persons in our community to the effect that the natives are antagonistic to the foreigners. This I deny, and I take this opportunity to say that no such feeling has or now exists; for the proof of which I state that during the discussion about ceding Pearl River to the United States, no violence or threat came from any one of the natives, save a fair criticism in regard to the action of the Ministers.2

1Hawaiian-American Supplementary Convention, December 6, 1884.

2Letter from Colonel David Kalakaua on the Pearl Harbor Matter, Honolulu Bulletin, December 17, 1873, p. 2.

Below is a notice published in Ka Hae Hawaii stating that horses have trespassed on land owned by the konohiki of Honouliuli. Below the original Hawaiian text is a translation into English.

E IKE auanei na kanaka a pau, owau, o ka mea nona ka inoa malalo iho nei, ke hoike aku nei au, he mau lio komo hewa ma kahi i koe o ke konohiki ma Honouliuli, aole i lilo i ka hoolimalima, he malu no nae ko ka mea nana i hoolimalima mua. Ma keia wahi, he mau lio kane keokeo kukaenalo, o ke ano o ko laua mau hao, he like me keia, P ka hao o kekahi lio, a o ka hao o kekahi lio, e like me keia XX. O ka mea nona keia mau lio e kii mai no me ka uku pu mai, he $20 o na lio elua, he $10 no ka lio hookahi.

D. Kaopala.

Honouliuli, Ewa, Iulai 21, 1856.1

The translation follows.

Know all men, I am the one whose name is below, hereby make knows that there are stray horses that have illegally entered the places that remain to the Konohiki of Honouliuli, without a lease, and reserved for the original lessee. At this place there two horses, one whose brand is thus, P, and the other whose brand is thus, XX. The owner of these horses is instructed to come and claim them and to pay a penalty of $20 for the two horses, or $10 for one horse.

D. Kaopala

Honouliuli, Ewa. July, 21, 1856.

1“Olelo Hoolaha,” Ka Hae Hawaii, July 23, 1856, p. 81.

2Translated by Maly.

While ranching remained a part of Honouliuli’s history through the mid-twentieth century, the development of the Ewa Plantation Company took over as the major revenue generator, and source of the major changes on the land. Thousands of acres were cleared for sugar fields, work force populations were developed, housing and commercial interests grew, and traditional cultural resources were erased from the landscape. Sugar cultivation dominated Honouliuli Ahupuaa through the 1970s.

In an article subtitled “Water prospects of the Colonization lands” the writer discusses the prospects of developing water sources for Honouliuli.

A few weeks ago the writer was one of a party of explorers, to examine the prospects of irrigation on the lands proposed to be developed by the Oahu Colonization Company. The particular occasion was a request from Messrs. John Fowler & Co., a large manufacturing firm of London and Leeds, to Mr. A. M. Sproull, B. E., their practical engineer and correspondent in these Islands, to report on the water prospects of those lands. Since Mr. Sproull’s arrival in this kingdom about five years ago, that firm has supplied a good deal of sugar making machinery to plantations here, and has also acquired a financial interest in some of them. It is gratifying to have such an influential and wealthy firm, so far away as England, manifesting a practical interest in the colonization scheme, the success of which implies a vast increase in the productive resources of this country. What Mr. Sproull’s report will be time may show; but, so far as the unprofessional eye of the Bulletin could judge, the feasibility of ample irrigation of the lands, at a cost not disproportionate to the certain returns, is assured. This conclusion is reached from evidence that may be summarized briefly: 1, Water has been obtained wherever a hole has been bored in the driest of the different properties; 2, the best and widest stretches of soil are below elevations where steady streams have been obtained; 3, Water in great abundance has been procured on other properties, where the conditions do not appear to have been any more favorable than on the colonization lands; 4, In one case, at least, it is demonstrated that the storage of water in mountain gulches is an available resort to a certain extent.

Incidentally the expedition gave an opportunity of inspecting, at close range, other features of the colonization scheme than the one under particular investigation. One fact made prominent was that, an investment, the scheme offers immediate returns from the stock raising branch of the enterprise. Indeed, there seems no necessity for diminishing the scale on which this is conducted, while thousands of acres are being reclaimed for sugar, rice and other cultivation. Also, it seems feasible, by turning water on some now desert stretches that will not be fit for agriculture for a long time to come, to create fresh pastures for herds, thus releasing lands now necessary for their sustenance, on the grassy foothill slopes, for a variety of agricultural operations by prospective settlers. Enough was seen to convince anybody that fruit-growing could be successfully prosecuted over a very large aggregate of ground, in rough and diversified sections, where ordinary agriculture would be attended with more or less difficulty.

A brief report of the expedition referred to, which is given below, will, we think, bear out the generalizations contained in the foregoing. As the lands have been previously described in detail by another member of our staff, in connection with a larger expedition, this narrative only requires to be a brief sketch, as much the record of a very agreeable few days’ outing as anything else.

About 4 o’clock in the afternoon of March 9th, an equipage provided and driven by Mr. B. F. Dillingham, chief promoter of the Oahu Colonization Company, rattled up the Ewa road bound for Honouliuli Ranch. It was a strong but not too heavy wagon, drawn by a large, well-fed span of mares, thoroughly trained roadsters. With an ample commissariat and light baggage, as befits an outing of the sort contemplated, and three passengers, the vehicle was snugly but not uncomfortably laden. Between the enthusiastic colonizer, the critical Bachelor or Engineering, and the journalist—supposed always to be on the seat for information on the public’s account—it may be imagined that not much of the works of either nature or art within the range of vision escaped notice and discussion by the way. This road—as everybody in Honolulu ought to know—affords one of the pleasantest drives in all the kingdom. The views of the city and harbor from Palama and Kalihi are superb pictures, while the scenery all the way to Pearl Harbor is full of majesty, with snatches of beautiful, but quiet—very quiet—pastoral vales and slopes. Health itself blows on us in the cool, pure mountain breezes: the road for the most part is easy: therefore, this stage of our journey may well be described as delightful. Branching off the main road a few miles from the ranch, a remarkable object looms up over the track. It is an immense piece of trestle-work, gossamer-like in the lightness of its material, but towering up, over the deepest part of the gulch it crosses, some 40 or 50 feet, and stretching away more than half a mile. This elaborate piece of engineering is on the property of Mr. Mark P. Robinson, carrying irrigation pipe from a pump over a steep hill to extensive banana fields. That soil is rich and promising of large returns, indeed, which justifies much costly works of irrigation as this. Shortly after sundown, the young moon lighting the now rather rugged way, Mr. James Campbell’s group of houses, local headquarters of the Honouliuli Ranch, is reached. After exhausting his lungs in vain on a tin horn in calling Charlie, our conductor, with the assistance of his guests, proceeds to get up a hot supper. His eminent success in that respect, if allowed as a token of his ability as “chief cook” of the colonization scheme, would leave no doubt of that project doing more than anything else to fulfill his Majesty’s motto, “Increase the nation.”

Early the next morning the much-wasted Charlie, the head driver of the ranch, a very active native man, had horses ready for a ride over the property. A short distance from the house a flowing excavated well was encountered, its troughs surrounded with cattle. Cantering off over very even ground, the slaughterhouse on the margin of Pearl Harbor is shortly reached and its unrivalled natural facilities for shipping are observed. A pipe line leads to a well dug through ragged coral, a little distance off, which, at an elevation of 20 feet, shows water 15 feet from the surface, which is pumped by one of the patent windmills supplied by the Pacific Hardware Co. Then, to horse again, and after going through large enclosed paddocks with a capacity of thousands of cattle, we ride for several miles over rich, alluvial soil, apparently of great depth. This part of the estate consists of almost imperceptible slopes from the foothills of the Waianae Mountains, divided at intervals by light gulches. Here and there are the beds of small lakes or large pools, now dry but affording evidence of large volumes running to waste from watersheds above in the rainy season.

After resting a few minutes, while Mr. Sproull takes bearing and notes on his map, on a knob 400 feet above the sea, we head for the top of the mountains. On a high but even slope, beside a vast gulch, a herd of wild goats is seen ahead, and Charlie is after them in a moment with his lasso. He makes a splendidly exciting chase, down and up the precipitous banks, and wheeling like lightning when the goats double on him. It was no use, however; the frisky creatures went through the flying snare and would not be caught. Onward and upward, now, the sure-footed cattle-driving horses are urged, and still it is “Excelsior.” Inclines so steep are surmounted, ridges overlooking such awful depths are traversed, and a path so rugged in some places is climbed or descended as on stairs, that nobody who faces the difficulties for the first time would think it possible to get over them on horseback until he was the guide ahead actually performing the varied feats—or rather letting the horse do them. Once the writer’s horse stopped at a descent of about four feet at one step, over bare rocks, with a slope of about 45 degrees beyond, and both sides of the path tumbling down through the trees a thousand feet at an angle of 70. It looked prudent to get off, and horse and rider each choose his own way of climbing down. But the reckless brigands below shouted, “Let the reins loose and hit the horse.” Not without apprehension this injunction was followed: the animal carefully felt for the notch beneath with his forefeet, then with a lurch brought down his posterior limbs, the saddle creaked and groaned, its bands giving a crack—the descent was made. We reached an altitude of 4,320 feet before returning by an equally difficult way to the plain. The scenery away up there was sublime in lofty peaks, awful gorges, and gaping notches: while beautiful with the foliage of a profuse growth of trees on the mountain sides, and bright green herbage away down in the valleys. Cattle swarmed out of the woods in countless number in answer to the peculiar “whoophoo” of the cowboy. They were rolling fat on the teeming rank grass and rich browsing. Going back over the plain we come to a well sunk over 300 feet at an elevation of 60 feet, in which the water is 20 feet from the surface. There is an engine and piping on the spot, but not in working order.

Next morning the road is taken for Waialua, the wagon having a smooth thoroughfare for several miles before getting off Honouliuli, traversing a magnificent stretch of heavily greased land, containing hundreds more of well-favored cattle of good breed. At an elevation of 800 feet is a windmill, at the foot of the mountain, placed on a dug well 30 feet deep, in which there is 15 feet of water. Just on the border of Honouliuli ranch, close to Hon. C. H. Judd’s ranch, at an elevation of 1,000 feet, is a flowing artesian well 80 feet deep, from which a perennial stream flows through a gulch presenting very favorable conditions for storing unlimited supplies of the essential element. It should be mentioned that we had been traveling all morning on the edge of gulches leading from the watershed, which would lend themselves easily and cheaply to a system of water storage. At the main road, the saddles were taken again for a three or four miles’ jaunt, to take a view of the Kaukoanahua and neighboring gulches, the one named being the source of the Waialua river. There could be vast reservoirs made almost anywhere here, and judging by the rain clouds bathing the distant mountain summits water would not be wanting to till them.

Early in the afternoon we reach Waialua, where, at the hospitable cottages of Mr. Robert Dickson, manager of the Kawailoa and Waimea ranches, adjoining each other, we have a chance of changing apparel after being caught in the heavy rain shower, as well as of procuring a bountiful meal. Then we push on to Kahuku ranch, 12 miles distant along the beach. At the Waimea sand spit the breakers catch us when the wheels are down to near the hubs, and we are thankful at getting across with nothing worse than the whipple-tree broken. Having made repairs, the remainder of the road is a pleasant drive over green pastures close to old Ocean. Mr. W. C. Lane, manager of Kahuku, with his amiable partner, gives us hospitable welcome, good cheer and inviting beds. In the morning he and two sturdy sons accompany us on horseback over the mountains to Laie, the Mormon settlement. An orange grove in the mountains is visited on the way, and levied on for its luscious fruit. The chief men of Laie show the party round with great courtesy, the mill and fields being visited. There is a powerful flowing well on the property, but without irrigation this community have got six tons of sugar to the acre. Returning to the ranch house by the plain, any number of wells full of water are inspected.

Returning to Waialua, Mr. Dickson meets us a little way out, and conducts the carriage straight up over the Kahuku ranch, five miles on a luxuriantly grassy slope, smooth as a race course. As much more distance may be traversed the same way, but this brings us to the object of pursuit. Here is a storage dam, with a retaining wall 150 feet in length, 100 feet thick at the bottom and five feet at the top, having a capacity of nine million gallons.

All the ranches visited are included in the Oahu colonization scheme.

Having enjoyed Mr. and Mrs. Dickson’s royal hospitality over breakfast on Saturday morning, the party visit Mr. Robt. Halstead’s sugar mill— one of the best equipped on the Island—then drive on to Mr. James Gay’s stock ranch. At his place there are eight or ten abundantly flowing wells. Some 150 acres of dry pasture land have been converted into rice fields, which are leased at $25 per acre. Mr. Gaspar Silva, on the adjoining estate, has an equal area similarly transformed, yielding an annual rental of $30 per acre. After a bountiful lunch at Mr. Gay’s hospitable board, the road is taken for home, Honolulu being reached at sharp, five in the evening, the time fixed three days previously.1

The article below, entitled “Over the Oahu Railway Line,” describes the Oahu Railway Line through Ewa. The development of the railway is yet another factor in grooming Ewa to be an area for agriculture.

Just at sunrise on a glorious morning, such a day-break as only Hawaii can furnish, we started for Ewa to glance over the line and Ewa terminus of the first section of the projected railway. The grass, trees, flowers, fences, everything sparkled with the dew. A few tufts of white and fleecy clouds tipped the mountain summits; a cool air, fresh from the northern ocean, wafted down the valleys and lent an unwonted vigor to us and our horses. The blockade at Leleo causes a wide detour to School street, emphasizing the need of the new street continuing Beretania to Liliha. After the roughness of the Palama road it was a delight to roll over the smooth hard road through Kalihi and Moanalua. On account of the grade the railway will run off makai from Palama, crossing Kalihi-kai and Kahauiki a good way below the road; but in Moanalua it will tap the center of that thriving and contented looking settlement. The whistle of the engine and roar of the cars will wake the echoes along the cliffs and palis of that old domain of Pele. A new life will be infused into our hitherto sleepy suburbs, and the ancient Hawaiian as he squats on the ground pounding his poi will gaze with astonishment at the speed of the iron horse. Will he realize that it is whirling him and his whole race into a more and more complex life? The changes in Kalihi and Moanalua have been so rapid that one needs to go out there often to keep abreast with the times. The old road leading through a dusty wilderness has changed into a pretty street with the fine buildings and grounds of the Kamehameha School and many private residences, on the one hand, while on the other, a short distance off, a fine rice plantation stretches towards the sea. In Kahauiki the magnificent artesian well near the road still wastes its wealth of waters, although mauka of the road a banana plantation shows how rich the soil and how prolific when it gets the water. In Moanalua improvement has been the order and both sides of the road attest of what the place is capable. Near the head of the valley where the village lies, stands a tall derrick where Mr. Damon, the enterprising owner of the ahupuaa, is sinking a well to supplement the abundant springs in the valley.

At Moanalua the road will turn makai, running south and around the old volcanic crater. It will pass through a very dry but fertile section of country which, if irrigated, will produce abundant crops and support a considerable population. The salt industry might also be made a good deal of here and undoubtedly will be when there are facilities for transportation. The road will reach the shores of the lagoon in Halawa kai, and from this point on to Hoaeae will run along the shores, passing through a continuous and unbroken rice field. The tourists, however, did not turn off and follow the line of the road but continued on the Government road up to the romantic and wonderful gorge which has been torn open in some remote past age by the waters of the Moanalua River. The efficient road supervisor under our Reform administration has made a splendid piece of work of this road; the grades have been improved, the rocks covered, and a carriage rolls through from one end to the other with hardly a jolt. Rising from the gorge our party soon reached the point separating Ewa from Honolulu, the highest point on the road. Here the cool air coming down the valley in the morning reminded one of a colder clime and wraps were in demand. The recent rains have made the whole country green, which rendered it doubly beautiful. Only a short stay was made, when the party dashed down the long hill of “Kapukakii;” everywhere along the road are visible the signs of improvement; land in the past considered almost worthless are being fenced, wells are being sunk in the valleys in order that new land may be put under cultivation; the rice fields are green with waving rice, and in some places are already well headed out. Whirling on past the old Mission station at Waiawa and here turning south-west the party soon reached the Waipio residence of this estate. Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Brown were of the party and soon made us all at home. A pre-requisite in this place is a dash in the clear cold water of the bathing tank. The water is absolutely clear and pure, flowing in directly from an artesian well. It is protected from the wind, and a bath there is simply perfection. Most of our party evidently thought so, for instead of coming out when they were washed and cool they sat in the water talking railroad! They might have been there to the present moment had it not been that a call from outside announced the arrival from the fields of a large number of watermelons. All hands now scrambled to see who should get dressed first and in a few minutes were engaged in devouring the most delicious watermelons that ever fell to mortal share. After this a half hour’s rest in the delightful cool of the trees surrounding the residence, admiring the beautiful view across the waters of the bay, prepared us for a mount. Half a dozen of us took horse and rode out upon the peninsula which forms the makai extremity of the land of Waipio. This peninsula is divided into two sections, separated from each other by a low and narrow isthmus and from the mainland by a marshy flat now covered with rice fields. The inner section contains about four hundred acres, the outer about one thousand. On the west side lie the Waipio and Honouliuli lochs, on the north-east side is the large body of water comprising the main portion of Pearl Harbor. The extreme point of the peninsula is directly opposite of and in from the mouth of the harbor. It is said that the United States Government has been in negotiation for the purchase of this extremity. It is the commanding point in the entire system of lochs. Upon the inner section Mr. Brown has sunk a fine artesian well which has a magnificent flow of pure sweet water which will rise to an altitude of about thirty-four feet above the sea level. As the highest point of the peninsula is only about thirty feet, water can be made to flow all over it. The success of this well demonstrates that water can be obtained elsewhere on the peninsula. The shores are very much indented with little bays and inlets. They are lined with bluffs or fall gently off into sandy or pebbly beaches. In the little bays it is generally shallow; out-side it is usually deep. The view from the north-east side is one beautiful almost beyond description. The whole Kaukonahuanui range of mountains is in dew. Upon the morning we were there nearly every peak could be seen, for it was perfectly clear. The trade winds coming over the broad water gathers freshness and loses heat, fanning the cheeks with delicious coolness. Across the water the shores of the bay are extremely varied, the low rice fields being broken by the densely wooded Manana point. The soil along this shore is fertile and in some pockets quite deep. It is an interesting question as to where it could have come from, in view of the fact that it could never have received the mountain wash. There are most interesting points all along the shore; at several places are banks composed of immense masses of oyster shells, in some places nearly perfect, in others having the appearance of having been melted by heat or possibly by the action of the water itself. Where these oyster shells could have come from is an interesting question. One of the younger members of the party very nearly wept at the thought of the great waste of oysters which was shown on this great bank. It was saddening to think that we could have none.

This peninsula is covered with a luxuriant growth containing many algarobas. When the railroad is finished no doubt this whole northeastern shore will be occupied by residences; people will enjoy living out of town, when they can go and come from such a delightful point within an hour. It is to be hoped that prior to selling lots or permitting the erection of dwellings the whole peninsula may be laid out upon an artistic plan whereby the full effectiveness of its beautiful location and surroundings may be secured. After a long and careful inspection of this land and all of its surroundings till we were satiated with its beauties, the party returned to the Brown residence. Upon the way back a fine view was had of the thousands of acres of splendid agricultural and grazing land lying west of the lagoon. Waipio, Hoaeae and Honouliuli contain thousands of acres of land susceptible of fine cultivation and the production of abundant crops. Several thousands of acres of land lie below the level of artesian water flow and no doubt a series of wells could be bored on the lower Honouliuli lands which would supply flowing water for a first-class sugar plantation. This whole country will grow potatoes and other root crops, melons of every kind, corn, and could no doubt raise all of the hay and feed required for Honolulu. One marvels that these splendid resources should remain so long undeveloped. Were this in California there would have been such a boom long ago as Los Angeles never dreamed of! It lies with the Oahu railway to develop these resources and reap the fruits of the business so created.

We soon reached the house where a most delicious luau was awaiting our arrival. Under the combined attacks of a lot of hungry travelers the good things soon disappeared, and after that the party broke up, some remained to spend the night, others returned to town, and thus ended one of the never-to-be-forgotten days.2

The narrative below, entitled “Teachers’ Excursion,” describes the experience of teachers who traveled to Ewa on the Oahu Railroad and Land Company train line.

The national school bell rang at the depot of the O. R. and L. Co., at ten o’clock Saturday morning and thereupon came hurrying and scurrying from all parts of the city, dominies and school marms galore, to the trysting place. Five passenger coaches with the band car in the rear were pulled up alongside the platform. At sharp ten, the Royal Hawaiian band struck up a merry air, the engine gave the usual screech and the train moved out leaving nothing but vain regrets for all “passengers aboard who had been left behind.” A more highly delighted crowd than filled the coaches could hardly be imagined. As the train went rolling through the rice fields, the clatter of the wheels, the easy rocking of the coaches and the mountain breezes playing through the open windows, recalled to many present some pleasing recollections of home lands beyond the sea. At Pearl City a stop of twenty minutes gave groups of excursionists the opportunity of strolling through the streets and avenues of the Ewa metropolis. Whether any of them located corner lots for themselves deponent saith not. “All aboard” was called again, and the party was run through to Honouliuli, where track laying has been carried forward to within about a quart of a mile of the great artesian wells which have already solved the “water problem” of the colonization scheme. Four wells have been sunk and the fifth is in progress. Most of the excursion party having gathered round, the fourth well was uncapped for their entertainment. A volume of water came rushing up through the ten-inch pipe from a depth of 450 feet, with a force that drove the column about a foot above the mouth of the pipe. Hard by, the brick layers are at work on the foundation of a building in which pumping machinery will be fixed with a capacity of raising six million gallons of water per day and delivering it over the adjacent bluff to irrigate the new plantation. The water is clear as crystal and has a barely perceptible brackish taste. On the return trip, a halt was called at Manana for refreshments. A splendid collation was provided in the grand pavilion, Mr. Johnson of the Hamilton House, caterer. In quantity, quality and variety, the bill of fare was first class. “Mine host” of the day, the Hon. C. R. Bishop, personally supervised the serving of the large company and seemed to possess the facility of being everywhere at the same time seeing that no guest’s timidity abound preventing his wants being fully satisfied. After lunch, the teachers were grouped in the grove and photographed by Mr. J. A. Gonsalves and other operators. The assembly next came to order with the Inspector General standing under a big tree as chairman, when a resolution was read: “That the hearty thanks of all the teachers present are hereby tendered the Hon. C. R. Bishop, President of the Board of Education, for this delightful excursion and entertainment.” The motion passed with a strong unanimous “aye,” backed by three cheers. The Hon. President responded in brief and cordial terms: “Ladies and gentlemen, if you have enjoyed the day as much as I have, I am satisfied.” Then followed a return to the pavilion where the band struck up music, a large number of the guests took the floor and whirled through the maxes of the dance until the foot of the locomotive announced that it was time to return to town. The afternoon train from Honolulu, just arrived, let down one passenger and thereupon the fine physique of the Hon. Secretary of the Board of Education was seen moving toward the pavilion. The “late Mr. Smith” expressed himself well pleased on hearing about the fun that office duties had prevented his sharing. At 3:30 P. M., the train arrived back at the depot, whence the excursionists disperse, all very grateful to the Honorable President of the Board for his kindness in providing them with such an exceedingly pleasant wind up of the past year’s work.3

1Development of Water at Honouliuli, Daily Bulletin, April 8, 1886, p. 4.

2“Progress on the New Oahu Railway Line through Ewa,” Hawaiian Gazette, September 25, 1888, p. 5.

3“Narrative of a Visit by Teachers to Ewa via the Oahu Railroad and Land Company Train Line— Development Described,” Daily Bulletin, July 23, 1890, p. 4.