Great Hawaiian Homes
Kailua is located in Windward Oahu in the judicial district and the ahupua'a named Ko'olaupoko. [ Ahupua'a are the land divisions of old Hawai'i from the mountain top to the sea. Just think of a Spoked Bicycle Wheel and you will have the right picture in mind.] It is located 12 miles northeast of Honolulu - over the Nu'uanu Pali, tallest mountain peak in the Ko'olau mountain range. The town is a typical suburb spawned by post-war development and improved highways bringing thousands home from their workplaces in Honolulu. Many small businesses and community organizations support this unique town with its beautiful, protected beaches, Kaiwanui Marsh, and Enchanted Lake. With the addition of the H-3 to the Pali Highwayand the Like Like, access to downtown Honolulu and the airport area is much improved.Kailua was a sleepy town of barely 3,000 in the 1940s. However, the events of World War II changed the appearance of Kailua. Kaneohe Ranch sold portions of land to the government for expansion of the Navy base (now Marine Corps Base Hawaii) and the Army's Fort Hase. Finally in 1942, Kaneohe Ranch closed down its cattle raising operations entirely, freeing thousands of acres for post-war development. A new four-lane highway, tunneling through the Ko'olau Mountains, was completed in the late 1950s. In 1946, a small Liberty House (now Macy's) shop opened with three employees and upgraded to a full-line department store in 1953 with nearly 50 employees. The first bowling alley, a branch office of the telephone company, and the very first supermarket in Hawaii opened in Kailua in 1947.
Historians and researchers believe that it is possible that Kailua was home to Hawaiian families at least 1,500 years ago. The earliest settlers are thought to have lived fished and played on the slopes surrounding Kawainui Marsh. In the 16th century, Kailua attracted the ali'i giving birth to many rich Hawaiian legends. Many legends were born here including the menehune who were known for working at night in Kaiwainui Marsh and mo'o who took the shape of a large lizard that attracted fish. Kailua was densely populated before the arrival of Captain Cook and was the ancient capital of O'ahu's kings. The biggest event in Kailua and the entire Windward side was in 1795 when King Kamehameha I conquered O'ahu in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands. The King granted Kaiwainui Marsh and old Kailua, which included large freshwater fish ponds and saltwater ponds at Mokapu, to the warriors and chiefs that had helped him. The land was used in various forms for agriculture from sugarcane to rice to taro and eventually was used primarily for cattle raising.
By the end of the 1950s, Hawaii had become a state and Kailua became the official postal designation (previously known as Lanikai). Castle Hospital (now) opened in 1963. By 1960 the population was up to 24,400. The town has grown more than 100 percent since 1960 when its population was 24,402. It has a compact, easy-to-shop business district surrounded by mostly single-family homes. By 1992 50,000 residents encompassed a central urban core with surrounding residential areas. Kailua consists mainly of various neighborhoods of single family homes, although there are several condominiums in Kailua town and one upscale townhome complex in nearby Enchanted Lakes.
Natural Features Kailua is a place of much natural beauty. The most significant features of Kailua are the bay, the mountains, and the wetlands. Kailua Bay is a magnificent place symbolizing the regional quality of the community. Kailua Beach and nearby Lanikai have been on the " Worlds Best Beach" lists by several publishers for many years. Ka Wai Nui (the big water) Marsh, a natural wetland, provides habitat for many species of wildlife. The marsh was a center of life for early Kailuans. A huge saltwater wetland, it's peacefulness can be enjoyed on the hiking/biking pathway that wraps around its edge. Mount Olomana towers over every neighborhood in Kailua. It's three peaks are it's significant feature and a challenge for the hardiest hikers.