Haleiwa Walking Designed To Help Residents Understand Past

It’s surprising how little we know about our hometowns.

Historic Hawaii Foundation (HHF) and North Shore Chamber of Commerce (NSCOC) host a walking tour of Haleiwa March 14 to educate area residents about the buildings, sites and people who helped shape the former fishing village, which dates back to pre-contact inhabitation by Native Hawaiians.

The tours are geared toward kamaaina and visitors with an interest in history, architecture and preservation. Refreshments, including North Shore delicacies, will be available.

The 90-minute docentled tour will stop at many of the 25 places of interest, including the historic Mutual Telephone Company Building, built circa 1930, which is now the home of North Shore Chamber of Commerce.

“Although I grew up in Haleiwa and Waialua, I never learned the history of the town or district,” admitted Antya Miller, the chamber’s executive director. “While doing the research for Haleiwa Walking Tour, it was so much fun to hear the stories from people I’d known for years. The tour not only will provide an overview of the historical context, but also share what’s historical about Haleiwa Town and who built it.”

Efforts to maintain Haleiwa were among several key preservation issues when the statewide nonprofit Historic Hawaii Foundation was founded in 1974.

At the time, a planned bypass road could have destroyed wetlands, historic buildings, part of Haleiwa Beach Park and possibly the well-known Anahulu (Rainbow) Bridge. The community rallied, and the bridge and other historic sites were saved.

Haleiwa’s designation as a Special District in 1984, the creation of the Haleiwa Main Street Program in 1989 and the amendment of the articles of incorporation in 1990 to widen the purpose of the program to include “… promotion, preservation and restoration of the culture and architecture of Haleiwa …” all have served to protect this unique town.

Tour tickets cost $25 for HHF and NSCOC members and $50 general admission. They can be purchased online at historichaleiwatour2015.evenbrite.com. Tours start approximately every half hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. with the final tour at noon. For information, call HHF at 523-2900 or go to outreach@historichawaii.org.