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Kailua and Kaneohe

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Located on the windward side of Oahu, the development of much of these two towns was undertaken by Kaneohe Ranch, whose president was Harold Castle. At the time of Castle's death in 1966, the ranch controlled twelve thousand acres located between Waimanalo and Kaneohe. This land was part of a once twenty-thousand-acre ahupua‘a (traditional land division) that belonged to King Kamehameha III's wife, Queen Kalama. She operated a sugar plantation on a part of the land with Judge C. C. Harris, who eventually gained control of the land. The judge's daughter, Nannie H. Rice, leased fifteen thousand acres in 1893 to J. P. Mendonca and C. Bolte for cattle ranching, which was the start of Kaneohe Ranch. In 1917, Harold Castle acquired the title to ninety-five hundred acres in Kaneohe and Kailua from Nannie Rice, and the first parcels for residential development were made available on Kaneohe Ranch land. During the 1920s, several areas of ranchland, including Lanikai and Coconut Grove, were subdivided for residential use, but it was not until the 1950s that development accelerated with the platting of Aikahi, Kaimalino, Kalaheo, Mokapu, Olomana, Pikoiloa, Pohakupu, and Yacht Club Hills. By July 1956, the ranch held eighteen hundred residential lot leases in eighteen subdivisions, fifteen of which had been developed since the end of World War II. The company also held forty-two leases on business property in downtown Kailua and Kaneohe, and fifteen dairy and pasture leases. In 1957, the Pali Highway and tunnels were opened, which led to easier access to the windward side and accelerated growth. Kaneohe Ranch contracted with Pereira and Luckman to develop a master plan for their land, and entered into an agreement with Texas-based Centex Construction Company, the largest home building company in the United States, for the construction of ten thousand new houses over the next ten years. In the course of building the Kailua and Kaneohe suburban areas, Castle donated land for schools, churches, and parks, and the land on which the YWCA, Castle Memorial Hospital, Pali Golf Course, and Hawaii Loa College (now Hawaii Pacific University) were built. The last two projects assured Castle's vision that the entrance into the windward area at the base of the Pali Highway would remain a green open space.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard

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