Welcome to the Kailua Historical Society website. We are a small nonprofit dedicated to collecting, sharing, and preserving the history of Kailua, located on the windward side of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. Please use the links to the right or at top to explore our site.
“Kailua Blue” comes in many shapes, sizes, and, of course, colors. The White House may have its own elegant, official chinaware, but in our little seaside town, we have our own “place settings” appropriate to the values of the past. For one kamaaina family it might be hukilau nets, for another, calabashes, and for another, ukuleles. Whatever has been handed down through the generations—from keepsakes to collectors’ items to sentimental objects—family members have carefully preserved and treasured them. Or, they may well have forgotten such pieces until rummaging through their attic.
The Kailua Historical Society will bravely uncover this subject in its public program on May 17, 2015, from 3:00 – 4:30, on the outdoor lanai of Faith Baptist Church (1230 Kailua Road). Departing from its usual practice of highlighting historical themes, the Society chooses to air the subject of how to recognize documents and objects with common historical value, and how to transfer them to other forms of usefulness. Practical advice for restoration and preservation will be shared.
Speaking on the subject will be DeSoto Brown from the Archives Department of the Bishop Museum. A life-long collector himself, and a professional archivist as well, DeSoto will give practical advice for distinguishing between trash and treasure. Introducing this subject will be three Kailua families, bringing different illustrations of what they have found in their own “attics” and how they have chosen to not only “clean out” their own space, but to share their treasures with others as well.
Come expecting a lively discussion, as well as to be inspired and learn from your neighbors as well. In Kailua’s time-honored practice, prepare also to carry home with you someone else’s “trash”.
Feel free to post or share our flyer for the upcoming event!
Have you ever found a stash of antiquated tools, wonderful vintage postcards, or newspaper archives yellowed with age? Do you wonder if these items have historical interest beyond your own family? Are you baffled about how to best store them or donate them? Mark your calendars and start thinking of good questions about archiving and sorting historical items in your family or personal collections. We will be having our next event on May 17 at 3:00 at Faith Baptist Church. Desoto Brown has agreed to come to speak on our theme, “Cleaning Out Kailua’s Attic: Trash or Treasure?” More details to come soon.
The absence of a central, public cemetery in Kailua today, unlike Kāneʻohe, should not suggest that our ahupuaʻa was devoid of human burials. Many remains—both pre-contact and later—have been found widely throughout our community by natural exposure and construction disturbance. In fact, iwi continue to be exposed in the center of town as the Target property, the adjacent housing complex, and the former Arby’s site have witnessed probes beneath the soil. Archaeological monitoring has been required by the state, anticipating that human remains would be uncovered.
How should such “discoveries” be handled? Where should re-interment be made? What protocol should be used? Who should preside over these transfers? What patterns of ancient burials are suggested? Further, where were/are family cemeteries located within Kailua? Have others been bulldozed away during road and building construction?
Present to discuss such questions will be Nanette Napoleon, June Cleghorn, family representatives, caretakers, and current Iwi Council members.
In the context of the formulation of the Master Plan for Kawainui Marsh, it seems especially appropriate that consideration be given for a final resting place for Kailua’s ancestors.
SEPTEMBER 23, 7:00 – 9:00pm
TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
(875 Auloa Rd.)
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED
DECEMBER 10, 2013 • 7:00 – 9:00 pm
LANIKAI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The program is open to the public.
Among the many boulders of Kailua’s ahupuaʻa, the best known and most celebrated is “Lanikai Rock.” Visible to the earliest Hawaiian seafarers, this promontory–called Alāla, stood like a motionless sentinel, inviting travelers of every kind to recognize its sacred prominence, for its name meant “Awakening”. From this vantage point one could (and still can) see in one panoramic sweep the outline of the entire ahupuaʻa, all the way to the base of Konahuanui, descending down to the waters of Mōkapu. Continue reading
Here is an overview of our public meetings in 2012-2013. We have one more meeting this year – information and details will be coming soon!
A Sample of Recent Public Meetings:
- February 2012 Descending Stories: How shall we tell them? with Kaui Hart Hemmings, Tom Coffman and Maile Meyer.
- May 2012 Hula in Kailua with family and graduates of Bella Richards, Lani Kalama, Puluelo Park and the Beamer ʻohana.
- July 2012 Kailua: How Shall We Paint It with Sherree KcKellar, Carter Black and the Windward Artists Guild.
- October 2012 Before the Military: Mōkapu Peninsula with archaeology and former resident panelists.
- November 2011 Historic Harmonies: Kailua’s musical legacy with Charlani Kalama, Mihana Souza and Mrs. Shigeru Hotoke.
- January 2013 Going with the Flow: Roadside Stands with panelists Lydia Asato Ranger, Norman Kawauchi and Leroy Gilliland featuring the photographs from the Nishikawa-Kimura family.
- April 2013 The Castle Legacy: Fifty Years of Philanthropy with panelists Terry George, Mitch D’Olier, Randy Moore, Lisa DeLong and Corbett Kalama
- July 2013 Kids’ Play: Before the Rec and the Y with panelists Howard Okita, Jane Lipp, Doryne Decker Ringler, and Jiro Tanabe
The Making of Kailua: Preserving the Kawai’nui Marsh – a conversation with Muriel Seto, a community leader who led the preservation effort.
Muriel Seto returns briefly to Kailua and will trace her life-long love affair with the Kawai’nui Marsh and the many challenges – dating back to the 60s – faced in preserving it. Muriel, who was along-time member of the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle, will describe the strategies and events that took place due to her efforts and those who she worked closely with.
In establishing the Kawai’nui Heritage Foundation, Muriel and her colleagues were successful in advocating for the preservation of the marsh and laid the groundwork for the preservation and restoration of this significant community feature of Kailua’s landscape – one that continues to have historical, agricultural, environmental, and cultural significance today.
Today Kawaiʻnui Marsh is among a very select group from around the globe that is recognized as “Wetlands of International Importance.”
Please Join Us: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 7 PM
Le Jardin Academy
917 Kalanianaole Hwy (corner of Kapaa Quarry road)
Kailua, HI 96734-4600
For information about the Kawai’nui and Hamakua Marsh complex, go to