Saturday, December 13, 2008

Waikele Stream & Waipio Peninsula

I drove over the bridge in Waipahu yesterday and had a chance to glance ma uka out my passengerʻs side window and look down into Waikele stream.

Waikele means "muddy waters" and the water in the stream was very dark and muddy indeed after all the recent heavy rains. Sides of the steep stream beds were also eroding away and I saw an intact section of concrete steps, a section of chain link fence and some other things that had fallen down to the lower banks of the stream with the erosion. I wish I was able to stop and get a picture.

Waikele stream cuts through the center of Waipahu Cultural Park and enters into Pearl Harborʻs West Lock on the west side of Waipio Peninsula. Directly opposite on the east side of Waipio Peninsula was once a large fish pond called "Loko Eo". This fish pond is now coved by Ted Makalena golf course. Just south of this area on Waipio Peninsula is the large Waipio Soccer Complex that has been put here in more recent years. The soccer complex (288 acres) covers what was once another large fish pond called "Loko Hanaloa" which was 195 acres in size before it was filled in.

Waikele is the former name of Waipahu (Waipahu is in the ahupuaʻa of Waikele). The area between West Lock and Loko Eo was terraced throughout, continuing for more than a mile up into Waikele Stream. The lower terraces were fed with water from a famous spring at "Waipahu" which means"exploding water" (Native Planters of Old Hawaii, pp. 470 - 472). Waipahu was the name of the spring that was located near where the former Oʻahu Sugar Mill stands in Waipahu town.

Take a moment and pause to remember what was once in this area beneath your feet next time you travel through the old sugar plantation town of Waipahu or play golf or soccer on Waipio Peninsula.

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