Ko olina

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Ko Olina by Chris Dacus

Ko Olina


Ko Olina, or “Place of Joy” in Hawaiian, is part of an original royal land division that extended from the waters off Pearl Harbor to the summit of the Waianae Mountains. The area was a sacred place used for rest and relaxation by Hawaiian chiefs, like Kakuhihewa. Kamehameha the Great and his wife Ka’ahumanu were frequent visitors, bathing in the protected water of its reef-sheltered coves, fishing, and participating in religious ceremonies. Hawaii's last monarch, Lili’uokalani, also came to Ko Olina. 

James Campbell, a business pioneer with deep roots here in Hawai‘i, first purchased lands on the Ewa Plain in 1877 and later developed the great plantations on O‘ahu. One of Mr. Campbell’s four daughters, Alice Kamokila Campbell, leased a portion of the land in 1939 to use as her private residence. The beachfront property originally included a thatched Hawaiian house within the lush, tropical surroundings. She named her slice of paradise, “Lanikuhonua,” as she felt it was the place “Where Heaven Meets the Earth.”

Around the turn of the last century, the Oahu Railway passed just inland of Ko Olina, and because of a lack of convenient public transportation, many teenagers from the neighboring camps of the Ewa Plantation caught the train to the pools. 

Lanikuhonua’s place in history continued beyond serving as a playground for Hawaiian royalty. During World War II, Campbell invited the United States Organization (USO) to use Lanikuhonua as an army and navy recreation area. The area was nicknamed “Camp Bell” by the soldiers.


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