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Wahiawa is a century old community found in the central portion of the island of Oahu. The central plain of Oahu is located between two volcanic mountain ranges, and is less elevated than most of the island. Wahiawa, like many of the smaller towns on the island of Oahu, is not an officially incorporated community and is instead classified as a census designated place. The origin of Wahiawa’s name is somewhat confusing, considering that the terms “wahi a wa” translates from Native Hawaiian into English to mean “place of noise.” Wahiawa is a fair distance from the Pacific Ocean, although there are some smaller bodies of water in the region. Most significantly, Wahiawa is situated next to Lake Wilson, which surrounds the community on three sides. Lake Wilson, which is also known as Kukonahua and the Waihawa Reservoir, is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the state. Wahiawa has a population of slightly over sixteen thousand residents although that figure may have fluctuated somewhat since the last census figures were reported. Many people who live in Wahiawa have some connection to the armed services, as Wahiawa is adjacent to Wheeler Army Airfield and Schofield Barracks. Earlier in the town’s history, there were a considerable number of farms and other agricultural facilities in the region, although the area is becoming increasingly urbanized.
There are a number of ways to access Wahiawa, including Kamehameha Highway, Interstate H-2, and Kunia Road. In addition to standard automobile transportation, the Bus also runs through Wahiawa from various parts of Honolulu. Wahiawa covers a total area of about two and a half square miles, including about a third of a square mile of standing surface water. The vast majority of that surface water is the three hundred and two acres of the Wahiawa Reservoir, which provides agricultural irrigation for a considerable portion of the island. Wahiawa is home to a wide variety of topographical features, most notably including Mount Ka’ala, which is the tallest mountain in the City and County of Honolulu, measuring in at just over four thousand feet. Wahiawa is a socioeconomically and culturally diverse community as a result of both military residents and long term immigration from various countries. Wahiawa’s modern history began in 1898, when a small group of settlers from California formed homesteads in Central Oahu. Wahiawa was formerly one of the leading centers of the worldwide pineapple industry, earning the nickname “City of Pines” in the early twentieth century. Earlier in history, Wahiawa was part of a much larger ahupua’a which also included Waianae Uka. These ancient distinctions were largely erased upon the modernization of Hawaiian society in the 20th century.
Wahiawa is zoned into Senate District 22, State House District 39, and City Council District 2. The town is home to the Honolulu Police Department’s Wahiawa Substation, as well as a number of other city facilities. In terms of educational facilities, Wahiawa is served by Leilehua High School, Wahiawa Middle School, Samuel K. Solomon Elementary School, and Wahiawa Elementary School. There are also a number of private schools in Wahiawa, including Trinity Lutheran School, Maranatha Christian Academy, and Ho’ala School. Wahiawa is also home to the largest maze, the Dole Plantation Garden Maze, which covers a total area of one hundred thirty seven thousand, one hundred and ninety four square feet. Wahiawa is home to acres upon acres of pineapple fields as well as the Wahiawa Botanical Garden, a notable local tourist attraction. Some notable residents of Wahiawa include three National Football League Players: Adrian Murrell, AI Harris, and Lauvale Sape, as well as General Antonia Taguba.