Prior to 1778 – Kailua planted primarily in kalo long before Western contact.
1831-1832 – 760 residents in Kailua. (353 males, 275 females, 61 boys, 71 girls)
1835 – 762 living in Kailua.
1846 – 749 living in Kailua.
December 1846 – Tax assessment (Kingdom of Hawaiʻi) lists 71 ʻili ʻāina in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua.
1848 – The Mahele. The ʻili ʻāina of Kawailoa in Kailua was claimed for the Crown (Kamehameha III). The remaining land was available for chiefs, land managers, and commoners.
“The Land Board received a total of 203 kuleana claims for lands in Kailua. Of these, 114 were awarded; 89 were not awarded, for a variety of reasons…The land records describe, for the 114 claims awarded, 176 actived cultivated parcels (presumably, dryland), 441 active taro pondfields (wetland), and 87 houselots. Among the 89 unawarded claims, there were 140 parcels in active cultivation, 238 taro pondfields being tended, and 61 houselots. At the time initial claims were submitted for both awarded and unawarded lands, Kailua is described as having 316 parcels in active cultivation, 679 pondfields beign tended, and 148 houselots occupied by one or more individuals”.(Silva, 2009, p. 12)
1849 – William Jarrett purchases 670 acres in the ʻili of Maunawili, becoming the 1st private land owner in upper Maunawili Valley.
1852 – Large numbers of Chinese migrate to Hawai‘i to work on sugar plantations. Rice cultivation begins.
1855 – Henry H. Sawyer purchases 1,242 acres (all kuleana in the ʻili of Maunawili, including Jarrett’s land, as well as land in the ʻili of ʻŌmaʻo). This land becomes known as “Maunawili Ranch”.
1859 – Approx. ¼ of 255 taxpayers in Kailua were actively farming wet or dry-land kalo.
Mid-1860s – Lands leased for rice cultivation. **Likely the same lands used previously for kalo. (Tax rolls)
1865 – Cotton growing in Manulele.
1869 – Maria Hio Adams Boyd purchases Henry Sawyer’s land, 400 cattle & 14 horses.
1870 – Hakaleleponi Kapākūhaili Kalama (Kamehameha III’s royal consort) passes & her uncle, Charles Kanaʻina, inherits her land holdings in Kailua.
May 1, 1871 – Kanaʻina sells Kailua assets to Charles Coffin Harris. (Approx. $22,450)
1875 – Maria Adams Boyd and husband Edwin Harbottle Boyd own 700 cattle.
1875 – Taxes assessed for a rice mill belonging to Aho, a Chinese planter.
1875 – “…there were already ʻlarge herds of cattle and horses’”. (Brennan & Drogot, 2009, p. 182)
1876 – Reciprocity Treaty signed with U.S. Beneficial to the export of rice and sugar.
1876 – Rice mill established by Aho in Kailua. (He had 32.45 acres in possession)
1880 – At least 7 rice growers identified in Kailua.
The early 1880s – At least 10 Chinese rice growers listed in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua. (Tax assessor’s records)
July 11, 1892 – Nannie Roberta Harris Brewer Rice (daughter of Charles Harris) receives a Royal Patent for nearly 12,000 acres of land in Kailua after filing a certificate of boundary. (May 26, 1892)
1893 – Illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
1893 – The Boyd family sells Maunawili Ranch (approx. 1,200 acres) to William G. And Fannie Irwin. Cattle is a well-established industry. Irwin becomes the major landowner in upper Maunawili.
Irwin partnered with Claus Spreckels to control the processing of over ½ of Hawaiʻi’s sugar, including Waimanalo Sugar Company. (Which Irwin controlled after 1885).
“Maunawili Ranch was located just over the Aniani Nui Ridge from Waimānalo adn the Waimanalo Sugar Company mill. The sugar cane in Waimānalo needed water, and Irwin was largely responsible for diverting water via a ditch system from Maunawili to Waimānalo”.(Brennan, 2009, p. 60)
“Soil- and cement-lined ditches, flumes, and tunnels were developed in 1893 by W. G. Irwin to deliver water to Waimanalo Sugar Company. Today, the State maintains the ditch system for the benefit of Waimānalo farmers. (Piliāmoʻo)”.(Brennan & Allen, 2009, p. 69)
1893-1896 – Irwin purchases additional lands in Kailua, including land in teh ʻili of Kīhuluhulu, Kaʻimi ʻAinoni, Puakea, Kaʻelepulu, Puanea, and Kalaekoa.
1895 – 10 acres of Irwin’s estate in Maunawili cleared and planted w/almost 7,000 coffee trees.
Late 1800s – Ranching enterprises, 1,000s of acres in Kailua appear on Tax Assessors records.
1908 – Over 100 acres of Irwin’s estate planted with coffee w/the mill on his Maunawili estate.
1910 – Maunawili Ranch sold to C. Brewer & Company.
1910 – Arthur Rice & Harold Castle start the earliest dairy lands in coastal Kailua.
1916 – Housing development begins in Kailua.
April 2, 1917 – Nannie Rice sells lands in Kailua to Harold K. Castle.
1924 – Castle begins his 1st housing tract along N. Kalāhea Avenue. (Named after Queen Kalama)
1924 – Campos family comes to Kailua and goes on to run larges & longest operating dairy in Kailua.
Late 1920s – Most land formerly used for rice paddies becomes pastureland.
1936 – Kalama subdivision parceled 186 lots. ($1,500 – $2,000 each)
1940 – Population of Kailua – 1,500 people.
1941 – Maunawili ranch sold by Brewer to Kaneohe Ranch. During WWII, it was used for military training.
1950 – Population of Kailua – 7,740 people.
1950s – Territory of Hawaiʻi declares Ulupō heiau as a Protected Site.
End of 1950s – Population of Kailua – over 25,000 people.
1960s – Hālaualolo heiau (near Palapū and ʻŌmaʻo streams) destroyed during development of Maunawili Estates subdivision. Water rechanneled to accommodatenew homes and roads.
1962 – Ulupō heiau designated as a State Monument.
(Silva, 2009, p. 7-17; Brennan, 2009, p. 55-71; Brennan & Allen, 2009, p. 85; Drigot, 2009, p. 102; Drigot, 2009, p. 151; Brennan & Drigot, 2009, p. 182-196)
Nakuina, M. K. (1990). The Wind Gourd of Laʻamaomao. Kalamakū Press: Honolulu.
**Translated by: Esther T. Mookini and Sarah Nākoa
Compiled by Danielle Espiritu, Education Specialist