History of Kawaiahao Church and Diamond Head

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825


Old Waikiki

We have this space above our counter on the outside of our kitchen and needed desparately to put pictures up there to give clarity and substance to the space. For three years I look at my three pictures but this one is my favorite.

In my mind this picture depicts the growth of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki since the year 1890.

Kawaiahao  (Ka Wa ee ah ha o) Congregational Church was constructed between the years of 1836 and 1842 and was the site of royal coronations, christenings and funerals during the reigns of King Kamehameha II and King Kamehameha III. 

The part of history that is embedded in my mind is when King Kamehameha III, while at Kawaiahao Church uttered the phrase, Ua Mau ke Ea O Ka Aina i Ka Pono which translates in Enlish to  "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness".  

This became our official Hawaii State Motto.

Waikiki has long since been a place for taking a break, relaxation and where visitors flock every year to enjoy our warm tropical climate with fun and sun on the beach. 

  • waikikiIn the late 1700's Waikiki was just flat land and loaded with fish ponds and water filled taro fields that were cultivated by Hawaiians.
  • 1804:  Foreign disease killed many of Kamehameha I troops in Waikiki
  • 1853: Smallpox brought to Waikiki by a sailor killed 3,000 Hawaiians.
  • 1877:  Businessmen started to build homes in Waikiki
  • 1888: Park Beach Hotel Opened in Waikiki and in 1893 Sans Souci Hotel Opened in Waikiki
  • 1899: Princess Kaiulani (named heir to the throne by Queen Liliuokalani) died at her home in Ainahau in Waikiki
  • 1901: Moana Hotel Opened in Waikiki (and still there :) and in 1906 the Seaside Hotel Opened.
  • 1917: The Halekulani Hotel Opened in Waikiki (still operating)
  • 1921: Ala Wai Canal finished
  • 1927: Royal Hawaiian Hotel completed...and just opened this year after renovations.
  • 1959: Airline turned away business because we had too few hotels.
  • 1970: Ala Moana, Hyatt Regency and Sheraton Hotels open with over 1,000 rooms each.

Like they say.... "The rest is history".

If it's one thing I can suggest for any Hawaii Visitor, Hawaii Resident, Hawaii Relocation and Military Moving to Hawaii is to go to all the historic sites and learn about our rich history. After living in Hawaii most of my life, I can honestly say that I did not pay attention in school (we took Hawaiiana) and the past two years I have gotten educated, researched and enjoyed learning a lot of the history these islands have to offer. Dive in and learn all about the History of Hawaii....you'll be glad you did!

Want the whole scoop, nothing but the scoop about Hawaii Relocations and Real Estate?



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents. Website: www.hawaiihomesmarket.com





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Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Sally, a great recap of your area and the request for folks to get in contact with the local expert, YOU!! Have a Happy Sunday!

Apr 18, 2009 05:25 PM #1
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Woo Hoo Now seriously, you weren't around to take that picture in 1890, LMAO. No kidding, LOLOLOLOLOL   A great historical accounting though and as I have told you so many times, you should the State Secretary of Tourism. Boy will people flock there. Imagine , how many homes you could sell. But you would have to start charging to drive people around, just in case they didn't buy.

Apr 18, 2009 05:32 PM #2
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

BTW, I left you a long message on the previous post announcing the winners of the contest.  I sure hope you liked it and that the link was OK, since I was rededicating the music to you.

Apr 18, 2009 05:34 PM #3
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Aloha Sally,

That's a wonderful photo! You know there are so many small (much smaller) churches like this one all over the islands.

And I had no idea of the motto, thanks.

Apr 18, 2009 05:58 PM #4
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Thanks Gary...the ever supporting friend :) Have a wonderful Sunday too!

William: I look darn good for my age don't ya think LOL! Seriously ....I really love to do Localism posts (and in the process learn a few tidbits more too) I just may go work for them too lol''

Okay William....I have a lot on my plate....actually, my wrists are starting to hurt....I better get off here.

Lynda: Interesting huh? I know...there's one on the north shore...i have a pic of the entrance too...really historic.

Apr 18, 2009 06:43 PM #5
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Sally- That is one treasure of a picture. I watched our church channel and they had a 4 hour program about the history of our church in Hawaii and the history of Hawaii. Of course when I lived there I did not appreciate all of this because it was all about 'me' at that age. But now, I am so interested and just love to hang on every word I hear and read. It was an amazing program. I learned so much too.

Apr 18, 2009 06:54 PM #6
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

That's an interesting history, Sally.  I didn't realize so many people died of disease.  And the growth of the area is incredible.....with all those hotels to accomodate the tourists.  I can't imagine the climate...warm and sunny!  Paradise.

Apr 18, 2009 11:18 PM #7
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Sally, how wonderful! It must be such a beautiful place, I hope to get there someday. Very interesting and rich history. That really was a great post. I like the fact that Hawaiian is taught in school. Kids being kids, probably wouldn't pay attention though, but it is a great foundation. Have a great day Sally, thank you.

Apr 19, 2009 12:39 AM #8
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

Thanks for the History and the old picture.  I want to go back and visit Hawaii.  It is SO beautiful!

Apr 19, 2009 01:03 AM #9
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

When I make it to your beautiful state I will be expecting a personal tour!  LOL  You showcase your area so very well - Thanks!

Apr 19, 2009 02:17 AM #10
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Sally, What rich history you've recounted. my husband and I honeymooned in Hawaii 25 years ago this September and it is our dream to return for our anniversary. I'll have to have a few more sales but if we can make it happen, I'll be calling you for some tourist advice!

Apr 19, 2009 04:10 AM #11
Ron Bridges
ERA Wilder Realty, Inc. - Sumter, SC

Sally, When I was 2-4 (1960-1962) my Dad was stationed at Hickam and we lived on Diamond Head.  I had the opportunity to visit the area in 1998 and things were not as my Mom and Dad discribed.  It has really changed.

Apr 19, 2009 01:45 PM #12
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Sally, thank you for sharing that history with us (and everyone else).  Being able to touch base with the history of a place makes it that much more special!

Apr 19, 2009 02:37 PM #13
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Katerina: History is abundant everywhere we look...to research and see the building of a city...like honolulu and waikiki ae amazing.

Carole: There was no disease like small pox and stuff until it was brought here.

Andrea: Yeah....I wonder about me sometimes....my kids loved to learn...and still going to school. :)

James: Great...call me...we;ll do coffee :)

Apr 20, 2009 04:51 PM #14
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Carol: For sure...waiting...you got those reservations yet?

Barb: What a wonderful bunch of memories you must have. It sure has changed since 25 years ago but just as wonderful. This time around do the history tours :)

Ron: Oh, yeah...we arrived here in 1967 when I was 10 and it was soooo different back then. I have watched our island grow for sure!


Apr 20, 2009 05:23 PM #15
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Sally - very interesting post about the history of Hawaii, and it I too am researching history of certain areas here as well.

One of my favorite hotels in Honolulu is the New Otani - although I have not stayed there for a while, I used to love sitting at the restaurant under the Banyan tree.

Apr 26, 2009 03:29 AM #16
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