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Time Line for He‘eia

A chronology of events in He‘eia. This chronology includes relevant incidents both in He‘eia and in O‘ahu more generally—and in some cases, in the Hawaiian Islands as a whole.

This is not a comprehensive time line, and recommendations for additions are welcome.


First millenium C.E.

People now known as menehune arrive in the Hawaiian Islands, most likely from the Marquesas.


Tahitians arrive in the Hawaiian Islands.


Captain James Cook locates the Hawaiian Islands, January 20.


Richard Cadman Etches partners including Nathaniel Portlock and George Dixon, form a partnership commonly called the King George's Sound Company, to develop the fur trade. They set sail from England.


Nathaniel Portlock and George Dixon visit Kāne‘ohe.


Captain George Vancouver visits O‘ahu.


Kamehameha unites all the islands under his authority


First company of Congregationalist Missionaries from New England arrive in the islands.


Boki appoints Kaniani/Keanini as district chief of Ko‘olaupoko.


First Catholic missionaries arrive in the Hawaiian Islands.


Rev. Benjamin Wyman Parker establishes Kāne‘ohe Protestant mission station, later called Kāne‘ohe Congregational Church.

Persecution of Catholics in Honolulu leads many Hawaiians to move over to Ko‘olaupoko.


Commodore Charles Wilkes of the United States Exploring Expedition come to Kāne‘ohe.


Father Robert Martial Janvier, SS.CC. centered the Catholic mission in the He‘eia area. St. Anns church established.


St. Catherine’s Church is built on the high ground of Keawanui on the western edge of Mōkapu, in the area now called Pali Kilo.


King Kamehameha III institutes the partitioning of lands, later known as the 1848 Mahele. Through these legal acts, Abner Pākī receives the ahupua‘a of He‘eia with the exception of the ‘Ili of ‘Ioleka‘a. Victoria Kamamalu receives 140 acres, the Catholic Mission receives 216.50 acres and Makekehau receives 14.65 acres.


Kāne‘ohe Protestant Church granted 7 acres of landby King Kamehemeha III.


Pākī leases 2000 acres of He‘eia to George Lathrop for 50 years.


Abner Pākī dies on June 13, leaving his lands in He‘eia to his daughter Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

For $870, John and William Sumner buy the ‘ili of Mōkapu.


Pauahi signs an agreement to lease portions of the ahupua`a to 97 individuals.


Konia dies and Bernice Pauahi (daughter of Pākī and Konia) inherits He‘eia which totaled 4712 acres, including the loko i‘a (fishpond).

Late 1850s

St. Catherine’s church on Mōkapu abandoned after plague and migration decimated the peninsula population.


Pauahi sells 772 acres “from the top of Ma‘eli‘eli peak” to Catholic Bishop Maigret for $970.00.

Sixteen year-old Joseph Paul Mendonça comes to Hawai‘i from the Azore Islands, 1,500 miles off the coast of Portugal. One of his leases was Mōkapu Peninsula, where he became a primary shareholder in the 1893 Kāne‘ohe Ranch Company,


Pauahi leases 2,500 acres in He‘eia for 15 years to John McKeague for growing sugar. McKeague formed the He‘eia Sugar Company and extended the lease in 1869 for an additional 13 years.

McKeague mortgages his lease to Hackfield and Co. and deeds half-interest in his lease to Alexander Kennedy, his partner in the He‘eia Sugar Plantation Co.


Bernice Pauahi Bishop leases land to Chinese rice farmers in He‘eia: Wing Wo Tai Company.

St. Anns church, under Fr. Mattias Limburg, SS.CC., establishes a boarding school for eight boys. The following year, a regular day school was started for boys and girls. The McCabe family was instrumental in running the school until the arrival of the Maryknoll Sisters in 1927.


Sugar mill completed on the estate of Mr. J. McKeague at He‘eia.


Rice mill built on leased Bishop land.


McKeague sells all of his interest in He‘eia lease to He‘eia Sugar Plantation Co. [HSPC] for $1.00 and a new lease is written between HSPC, Ltd. and Charles Reed Bishop for much of the land in He‘eia.


The lease is augmented for the lands already had, and grants the company all traditional konohiki rights to fisheries and seas appertaining to He‘eia, including the loko, Moku o Lo‘e (Coconut Island) and Ha‘ikū Valley.

A railroad was installed for the sugar company.


John Sumner became sole owner of the ‘ili of Mōkapu when his brother died, a victim of Hansen’s disease.


Cultivation of pineapple begins.


John Sumner leaves Mōkapu in a trust to his nephew, Robert Wyllie Davis (the son of Sumner’s younger sister Maria).


Kāne‘ohe Ranch opens with a herd based on imported Angus cattle. Horses, sheep, and goats rounded out the livestock assets. At its beginning, the ranch had a shepherd’s house and two windmills and tanks on the peninsula.


Hawaiian Monarchy forcibly overthrown by a handful of non-Hawaiian businessmen. Efforts by the deposed Queen, Lili‘uokalani, to restore Hawaiian sovereignty were unsuccessful. U.S. President Cleveland chose not to annex the islands. The provisional government declared the independent Republic of Hawaii. After the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of the Philippines, President McKinley chose to annex the Hawaiian Islands, which became the U.S. Territory of Hawai‘i.


He‘eia Sugar Plantation ceases operations.


Cattle Ranch in He‘eia run by George W. Rowan.


Libby, McNeill, & Libby acquirs the Hawaiian Cannery Company on windward O‘ahu. Libby acquires over 1,600 acres of land in He‘eia, Kāne‘ohe, Kailua, Waiāhole and Waikāne, mostly under lease.


Kea‘ahala Military Reservation created when the federal government acquired the land, which had been surveyed by the Territory for homesteads. The military reservation had been intended for use as camp site for a brigade-sized unit when on maneuvers, but the land was never utilized.


From around 1915, Arthur H. Rice, Sr., uses a lease on the ‘ili of Heleloa from Harold K.L. Castle and an arrangement with Wally Davis for the ‘ili of Mōkapu to run cattle on the peninsula, as well as cultivate commercial crops. He also had pigs and horses.


Libby purchases Ko`olau Fruit Company, acquiring its 500 acres of leased land in He‘eia.


Harold K.L. Castle, owner of Kāne‘ohe Ranch establishes maintains a beach home on the ocean side of the high Heleloa Dune, Mōkapu


Through Executive Order 2900, President Woodrow Wilson designates 322 acres in the central portion of Mōkapu Peninsula as the U.S. Army’s Kuwaaohe Military Reservation. Deactivated at the end of World War I, the reservation was leased for ranching until 1939, when it was reactivated as Fort Kuwaaohe.


Taro begins to make a comeback, as rice production declines.


Territorial Governor executed Executive Order 112 to establish a game farm on 345 acres on the north side of the Mōkapu fishponds. Between 1921 and 1928, 1,200 Mongolian pheasants were hatched. In the 1930s, over 40,000 game birds were raised and released. At the end of the decade, over 60,000 birds had been released to six different islands, with 18,409 birds still at the farm in early 1941.


Libby withdraws from windward O‘ahu and dismantles its cannery.


Under Presidential (Coolidge) Executive Order No. 4036, 141 acres of Kāne‘ohe land consisting of the Keaahala Military Reservation were turned over to the Territory of Hawaii from the federal government for the construction of an insane asylum that would become the Hawaii State Hospital. Building construction at the new hospital got underway in late 1926.


Mōkapu tract subdivision gets underway. Samuel Wilder King, Bishop Trust Co., Ltd., and A.H. Rice & Co., Ltd., subdivided the ‘ili of Mōkapu into parcels ranging from a quarter acre to just over a full acre. Prices ranged from $1,200 to $3,000 for beach lots and $500 to $900 for inland parcels.


A Pan American radio facility is built on the top of the sand dunes east of Pyramid Rock.


Naval Air Station (NAS) Kaneohe was established on Mōkapu, following a recommendation by a government review committee (called the Hepburn Board) to develop a base for squadrons of seaplanes to support the Pearl Harbor fleet.

1939 and 1945

Dredging of the Bay was done to accommodate small boat landings, piers, and wharfs. The dredged material was used for landfill at the Kāne‘ohe Naval Air Station (now Kāne‘ohe Marine Corps Air Station). Between 1946 and 1948, nine fishponds on the south side of Kāne‘ohe Bay (total area of almost 80 acres) were filled with dredged materials for urban development.


Fort Kuwaaohe on Mōkapu renamed Fort Hase, in honor of Major General William F. Hase, who served as Chief of Staff of the Army’s Hawaiian Department from April 1934 to January 1935. It serves as headquarters of the Harbor Defenses of Kāne‘ohe Bay.

Navy begins acquiring more land on the peninsula, ultimately condemning the privately
held lots in the Mōkapu Tract Subdivision. The residents of the western peninsula were given notice that they had three months to surrender their homes.


Japanese planes attack the Kāne‘ohe Naval Air Station on Mōkapu.

Navy acquires Harold Castle’s Kāne‘ohe Ranch lands and the Territorial Game Farm on Mōkapu, thus taking control of the entire peninsula except for Fort Hase.


United States Military establishes the He‘eia Combat Training Area.


Many Kāne‘ohe properties belonging to Queen Kalama are sold to H.K.L. Castle.


Saint Stephen Seminary founded when the Diocese of Honolulu obtained the 22 acre estate of Harold K.L. Castle, which was built in 1927. It is located above Maunawili valley in the Koolaupoko district and was staffed by the Sulpician Fathers. The seminary closed in 1970.


A plan was presented to the City and County of Honolulu to change the zoning area of He‘eia from agriculture to urban for marina and residential use.


“Temporary” St. Anns church built. It lasts 45 years.


Statehood: Hawai‘i's status changes from Territory to Fiftieth State.


Bishop Trustee signs an agreement in principle to developer Thomas F. McCormack. Plans were underway to develop a marina type development on the makai side of He‘eia, current location of the He‘eia State Park.


Route selection for highway H-3 begins.

Ulumau Village, a Hawaiian cultural center, moves from Ala Moana Park to Ke‘alohi Point in He‘eia.


Bishop Estate makes its first proposal to develop He‘eia.


H-3 route through Moanalua Valley into He‘eia is selected, design gets underway.


100 year flood occurs on the windward coast, the wetland of Hoi goes fallow at this time.


Environmental Impact Assessment for H-3 is required; opposition to the highway grows.


Bishop Estate makes its second proposal to develop He‘eia, locals start to organize and protest.

The Stop H-3 Association and other groups convince U.S. District Judge Samuel King to issue an injunction halting most design and construction on H-3.

Windward Community College established.


He‘eia fish pond placed on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places


The state of Hawai‘i acquires the 14 acre land at Ke‘alohi Point to be used as a state park after an outcry from the community to stop development.


Bishop Estate considers selling the He‘eia meadowlands (Hoi) for $25 million dollars to a Japanese investor whose intent was to build a golf course. Effort is stopped by community outrage.

Friends of He‘eia, acquires the two main buildings at Ke‘alohi Point.


Friends of He‘eia, a non-profit educational organization, is granted a 25 year lease, and an additional 3 year extension, to manage He‘eia State Park.


Kamehameha Schools swaps 405 acres of its He‘eia land for land in Kaka‘ako, and the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority oversees its management


Hui Kū Maoli Ola established.


Current St. Anns church completed and dedicated.

Paepae o He‘eia established.


Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi established.


Papahana Kuaola established


Kama‘aina Kids, a non-profit educational organization, is granted a 25 year lease to manage He‘eia State Park.


Pacific Worlds launches Heeia website!

Sources for this chronology include

Camvel, Donna (2015) "Land Tenure in He`e`ia Uli, the He`e`ia Wetland."

Timeline for highway H-3 comes from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

He‘eia Timeline, pamphlet produced by He‘eia State Part:


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