History of Hale‘iwa and Gifted Lands

Hale‘iwa town is located in the district of Waialua, which was one of the first and largest Hawaiian settlements on O‘ahu. Waialua, meaning “two waters,” had an abundance of resources which made the district a place of residence for ali‘i (chiefs) who designated lands for agricultural production, aquaculture and habitation.

The origin of Hale‘iwa as a town name is traced back to about 1865. The missionary Rev. Orramel H. Gulick established the Waialua Female Seminary when he moved to Waialua to help his fellow missionary, John Emerson.

Upon her passing in 1884, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the beloved Hawaiian princess and great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I, gifted 375,000 acres of ancestral land for the purpose of educating her people. Among the land is 26,200 acres located on the North Shore of O‘ahu, home to Hale‘iwa Town. 

Today, Kamehameha Schools, the private charitable educational trust endowed by the princess’ will, serves thousands of Hawaiian learners. A small fraction of the gifted lands is in commercial real estate and properties, including Hale‘iwa Store Lots. Income generated by this unique retail center helps to support the organization’s ongoing educational mission.