Wahiawa by pjallittle

Wahiawa Travel Guide: 43 reviews and 78 photos

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<font color="blue">Follow the map at the top of the page. Where <b>H-2</b> crosses <b>92</b> at the center of the Island, the town is to the right, and <b>SCHOFIELD ARMY BASE</b> is to the left.

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Many of you will not recognize this out of the way town known as <font color="darkgreen"size=+2><b>WAHIAWA</b></font> and we referred as it as simply, <b>DA COUNTRY</b> as it was very far away from the immediate vicinity of Honolulu dwellers.
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<b>Wahiawa</b>was that part of <b>OAHU</b> where the Pineapples were grown. At one time, there were probably more Pineapples grown there than nearly anywhere in the world. Someone from <b>MAUI</b> might disagree and I would be happy to straighten it out for them if they have any doubts.
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This area of <b>Oahu</b> was blessed with just the right conditions for growing pineapples. In the very early years of developing these fields, planted in rich <font color="red">RED DIRT</font> mechanization was not the order of the day.
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As with other pages which have been prepared in behalf of Hawai'i, there will be a bit of historical context which may be more important to me than to many of you. It is out of a sense of responsibility that we should all attempt to give the visitor something more, as virtual tour guides, about the background which will give you a better understanding of the here and now.
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It is not particularly unique that what we see today as we travel the world have long standing and important history, countless stories which stretch back over hundreds and thousands of years. That history may not seem important to you, but it certainly is to the residents of the areas which you visit. Your travel experience is always about learning, this is one of the important reasons for doing what we do. In that sense, the known history of Hawai'i and Wahiawa are comparatively young. As Hawai'i and their role in the scheme of things changes, so has Wahiawa.
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Once not much more than a small town populated by laborers, many from Japan, the town grew in direct proportion to what was happening around it. From a map, you can see that there are very large Military bases nearby. Schofield Barracks, depicted in one of my favorite movies, <b>FROM HERE TO ETERNITY</b> is adjacent to Wahiawa, as is Wheeler Air Base. The predominant reason for people now visitng this area though, are the remaining pineapple fields and the <font color="blue"><b>DOLE PINEAPPLE</b> Visitors Center now occupying the lands on which pineapples used to grow.
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Let me take you back to a time when things were different. When there were large barracks filled with men, with no female companionship. As these men, mostly Japanese, fulfilled their contracts, they moved to towns like Wahiawa, to be replaced by others, mainly from the Philippine Islands.
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Imagine December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor and Schofield were attacked. Imagine that you are a Japanese person who toiled in these fields, your children being citizens of the United States of America, but the Law says you cannot be a citizen, never. No sooner had the dust settled, Hawaii was under Martial Law, the Military had taken over. Jeeps with machine guns mounted, rolled out of Schofield Barracks by the dozens, into the streets of Wahiawa, going from door to door in search of spies. That's just a little slice of our history. For those of you who are presently citizens of the USA, it is a page from your history as well.
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Preparatory to preparing this page, I spent a good deal of time studying the Archives of the University of Hawaii Library. These were made available to them as a grant and donation by the <b>DOLE PINEAPPLE CO OF HAWAII</b> which is now a division of an international conglomerate with facilities in several parts of the world.
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One of the original founders of <b>DOLE</b> was instrumental in the earliest origins of bringing schools and industry to the islands. As a young teenager, I lived across the street from the <b>COOKE</b> Mansion which is located on <b>MANOA ROAD</b> in the beautiful valley which I've spoken of in my HONOLULU pages.
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Whenever I have occasion to go out to the country , perhaps taking friends who have never been there before, it never fails to have an effect on me. It all seems so small now, just a little building with a pretty planted garden, souvenirs, the typical small showcase of what was once a huge, major presence in the Islands. The business of growing and processing pineapples has all but become extinct in the Islands. Sure, you will see them on different islands, but it ain't what it used to be.
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Pineapple and Sugar, formerly the staple products of Hawai'i are dependent upon cheap labour. In that sense, the exploitation of less fortunate workers imported to Hawaii from other countries has all but ended in Hawai'i. On the other hand, the factories, including Dole, have moved their bases of operation to where the labour force came from, and I wonder, was this a good thing? Of course, <b>DOLE</b> is now very heavily involved in Bananas and other tropical products.

  • Last visit to Wahiawa: Jun 2000
  • Intro Written Jun 6, 2001
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