Originally an extensive ancient Hawaiian settlement, Haleiwa's initial foreign residents were the Emersons, missionaries who arrived in 1832, to establish the third American mission station on the island. The area remained primarily a fishing village until the arrival of the railway in 1899, which built the Oliver G. Traphagan–designed Haleiwa Hotel (demolished) as an attraction to lure passengers. The railroad allowed the Waialua Agricultural Company to expand sugar cultivation in the area, resulting in increased population and the growth of Haleiwa as an independent town during the 1920s. Sugar has since departed, but the town remains the hub of economic activity on Oahu's north shore, supported in large part by surfing. The Anahulu Stream Bridge, which is often called the “Rainbow Bridge,” dates from 1920.
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