Honolulu in Honolulu County, Hawaii — Hawaiian Island Archipelago (Pacific Ocean)
Rainbow Tower & Hilton Lagoon
—Waikīkī Historic Trail —
In ancient times, the coastal plain where you now stand was known as Kālia. Water from the Ko‘olau Mountains flowed in streams into the ocean through what is now world-famous Waikiki Beach. The Kālia area was served by the Pi‘inaio Stream and several freshwater springs. Early Hawaiian farmers developed complex irrigation systems that converted the marshes into lo‘i kalo (taro patches) and loko i‘a (fishponds). Taro was the staple food and spiritual center for ancient Hawaiians. The productive fishponds and the abundant coral reefs meant fresh seafood was always available. Ho‘okipa, the Hawaiian concept of hospitality, maintained that passers-by, whether friends or strangers, were always welcome and fed. In the early 19th century, social and political change brought about by Western contact altered the intricate Hawaiian way of life. Foreign diseases and epidemics decimated the native population. By 1866, Mark Twain would note that Waikīkī was a “historic area,” with the remnants of an ancient village. Over the next century, Waikīkī evolved into a resort area.
When industrialist Henry J. Kaiser opened the Hawaiian
Location. 21° 16.917′ N, 157° 50.317′ W. Marker is in Honolulu, Hawaii, in Honolulu County. Marker can be reached from Holomoana Street south of Ala Moana Boulevard. Touch for map. It is on the beach walk at the base of the
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Duke Kahanamoku (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rainbow Mural (about 600 feet away); Kālia Bay (about 600 feet away); The Story of Kālia (approx. ¼ mile away); Kaha ha ʻlo me nā Makani (approx. ¼ mile away); Kuroda Field (approx. 0.3 miles away); Kãlia Fishponds (approx. 0.3 miles away); U.S. Prefabricated Pill Box (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Honolulu.
More about this marker. A 1959 photo of Duke Kahanamoku walking the sands of Waikiki Beach near this spot is reproduced at the top of the marker. Two additional photos of the area, the first before hotels arrived, have the following captions: “The pi‘inaio Stream, the lifeblood of the people, flowed into the area, which is now the famous Waikīkī beach.” “Breathtaking aerial view of the Hawaiian Village in 1960.”
Regarding Rainbow Tower & Hilton Lagoon. The lagoon was recently rebuilt, with a liner. Umbrellas can no longer be staked in the sand for fear of puncturing the liner.
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 28, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,699 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 28, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.