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HAWAII BEACH SAFETY

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Hale'iwa Beach Park is also known as: Ali'i Beach


Information and Beach Analysis

Adjacent to the Hotel Haleiwa, but hid away behind a grove of Pride of India trees, fragrant at the time of our visit from the delicate odor of its profuse lilac flowers, is the old Emerson mission homestead, now being demolished, showing quaint features in its structure of pioneer days. Near the old house is the never-failing spring, Kawaipuolo, of legendary fame, which furnishes water to the hotel. Not far from this point, but across the Anahulu stream, stand the ruins of Waialua’s Female Seminary, prominent in this line of missionary work under the Gulicks and the late Mary Green, and the original “Haleiwa” of this place, which name the hotel has appropriately adopted.

1904 Hawaiian Annual

Thomas Thrum

After the first American Protestant missionaries arrived in 1820, they began establishing stations in the rural areas of O’ahu. The first of these was the Waialua Station, opened in July 1832 by John S. Emerson and his wife. They lived on the bank of Anahulu Stream where Emerson continued his missionary work until 1864, when he retired because of ill health. He died at his home in 1867.

When Emerson retired, Orramel Hinckly Gulick was appointed to succeed him. Gulick moved to Waialua in 1865 and in additional to his pastoral duties, established a school for girls on Anahulu Stream that continued until 1881. Oliver Emerson, Emerson’s son, described the school in 1928 in his book Pioneer Days in Hawaii: “My mother was especially interested in the Waialua Boarding School for native girls, which was opened in 1865 in the Gulick home and carried on by our lifelong friends, Mr. and Mrs. Orramel H. Gulick, until 1870. The school was called by the natives Hale Iwa, and in the spring of 1871, Miss Mary Green took charge. Her knowledge of Hawaiian character and her devotion to the native people is well known, and she proved a rare companion, finding in turn in my mother a wise and sympathetic counselor and friend. In 1881 Miss Green returned to her home at Makawao, Maui.”

On August 5, 1899 the name Hale’iwa was re-introduced when the Hale’iwa Hotel opened near the mouth of Anahulu Stream. Built as a resort on the O.R. & L. train line, its first manager was Curtis P. Iaukea, who had served as royal chamberlain to King Kalakaua at ‘Iolani Palace. During the height of its popularity, the hotel made the name Hale’iwa famous, and when its doors closed in 1943, the name Hale’iwa remained as the name of the surrounding community.

Hale’iwa Beach Park was dedicated in October 1939 as Waialua Beach Park, but the community requested that the name be changed to Hale’iwa. Their request was approved in 1948. Hale’iwa literally means “house [of the] frigate bird,” but the name also has a poetic meaning, “beautiful home.” Frigate birds in flight are a symbol of beauty as they glide high above the ocean.

Hale’iwa Beach Park is fronted by a narrow sand beach. While its shallow, rocky ocean bottom does not attract many swimmers, the park is well-used by canoe paddlers as a training and regatta site, by kayakers as an access point to the bay, and by surfers who ride the waves at Pua’ena Point.

This description is taken from John R. K. Clark's book - Beaches of Oahu (Revised Edition) which is published by University of Hawai'i Press and available from University of Hawai'i Press. We thank John R. K. Clark for providing his description of Hawaii's beaches to improve beach safety.