Historic Hawai‘i Foundation
680 Iwilei Road, Suite #690, Honolulu, HI 96817
Phone: 808-523-2900 Fax: 808-523-0800
Copyright 2003-2009 Historic Hawaii Foundation unless otherwise noted
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What is it?
This 10-acre estate has been touched by every historical movement from the Great Mahele to the Japanese investment bubble of the 1980s. Some highlights: Maj. Edward Boyd and his wife bought the land in 1869 creating an estate where King David Kalakaua and his sister, Liliuokalani attended parties or simply came for rest-- in fact, Liliuokalani penned "aloha "oe" after an 1878 visit to the estate.
HISTORIC HAWAI‘I FOUNDATION
What threatens it?
Uninhabited since about 1985, the structures and grounds of the estate are rapidly being absorbed by the rain forest of Maunawili. Vandals have heavily damaged the wooden main houses on the property, which date back to the 1860s and 1890s. The roofs leak, plants run riot. The estate, owned since 2000 by HRT Ltd, the for-profit arm of the Jeanette and Harry Weinberg Foundation, has no security and has had little to no maintenance.
What can be done?
HRT Ltd. generally allows the Kailua Historical Society to lead tours of the estate, and allowed our photographer on the property, but did not return our calls for an interview. "KHS has always said we'd be happy to clean the place up," says Brennan. "We've also asked HRT if they would lease the site to us and we'd maintain it. HFT has not responded to these offers, except to say that they are "under study," says Brennan.
Michael Keany, Honolulu Magazine
The Queen's Retreat
Sugar baron William G. Irwin next purchased the estate in 1893, starting up a coffee mill there that still exists. C. Brewer owned the estate in the 1920s and 1930s, using it as a retreat. Kaneohe Ranch bought it in 1941, when the military used it as a headquarters and rest area. Even the Girl Scouts used it as a camp in the late '40s. The Hedemann family - related to the Castle family-- were the last to live there, until 1985, when the estate was purchased by Japanese investor Yasuo Yasuda, who developed much of the surrounding area as the golf course Luana Hills. As Dr. Paul Brennan, with Kailua Historic Society says, "On the Windward Side, there is nothing that compares to the history of this area."
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