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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 below or the main navigation buttons above to explore our site.

Read more about the history of our organization.
Acquaint yourself with the history of Kailua, our community.
Add your support to our activities.
Explore our publications, including THE book about Kailua.
Read the occasional articles on our blog.
Contact us if we can assist you or if you have Kailua stories to share with us.

Kailua’s Rock: December, 2013 Meeting

DECEMBER 10, 2013 • 7:00 – 9:00 pm
LANIKAI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

The program is open to the public.

photot of Kailua's Rock

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

A Summary of KHS Meetings 2012-2013

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 – A Conversation with Muriel Seto

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

http://kailuatown.com/files/history_popups/kawainui-wetlands.html

http://kaukanawai.blogspot.com/2008/03/kawainui-marsh.html

The extraordinary book KAILUA is now available!


See what’s being said about our book Kailua.

KAILUA – in the wisps of the Malanai breeze

Kailua showcases the rich cultural and environmental history of the ahupua’a through vintage and contemporary photographs, maps, insightful essays and stories, and songs written by residents, past and present. The book has been in the making for several years. It is nearly 300 pages, includes over 180 photographs, and features the perspective of 23 authors and contributors on topics such as early land ownership, culture, agriculture, archaeology, geology, and environment.

Your Kailua Historical Society membership will entitle you to purchase this book at a 15% discount. Membership and book purchase information is available on this website.

Lucille’s Bench

Lucille's BenchA few years ago the Friends of the Boettcher Estate disbanded and gifted their remaining treasury to the Kailua Historical Society. They asked us to have a bench placed on the grounds of the Estate in memory of Lucille Gibson. Lucille was a gracious lady with flaming red hair who was active in the real estate markets of the Windward side. (Click each photo to see a larger version.)

She and her husband, Ted, were among the founding members of the Friends as well as the Historical Society. She became a most knowledgeable, tireless advocate for our community concerns over the years.

lucille-plaqueWe worked with the Department of Parks and the “Lucille Bench” was placed at the entrance of the Estate (now known as Kalama Park, on Kalahao Road). Those of you who use the park, stop by, have a rest, enjoy the view of the Koolaus and remember this great lady who gave so much to our community.

Contributed by Mary Jane Heilbron