“We have long recognized the possibilities and the opportunity that is offered to plan and build for the future in this Ko‘olau area. Nature has placed in our hands every element necessary to construct a masterpiece – an inspiration and source of happiness that can enrich the lives of many generations to come. It can be realized only by the honest, unselfish and intelligent cooperation of every individual and organization who sincerely hopes to achieve this ultimate success. We certainly expect to do our part.” — Harold K.L. Castle
What Harold K.L. Castle envisioned and began to build in the Islands more than half a century ago has helped make Hawaii, and especially the Windward community of Kailua, the wonderful and vibrant community it is today.
Born in 1886, Harold Kainalu Long Castle’s father was successful Hawaii businessman, James Bicknell Castle, who was a partner of Castle & Cooke and the grandson of one of the firm’s founders, Samuel Northrup Castle.
In the early 1900s Kaneohe Ranch lands were used for growing pineapple and rice, processing sugar and for cattle operations. Harold Castle purchased the title to 9,500 acres in the Kailua ahupua‘a in early 1917.
Realizing that the Windward side of the island was a beautiful place to live and could become a vibrant community, Mr. Castle set about to do his part in community building in multiple ways. At the end of World War II, there was a great need for housing on Oahu. People started looking for housing on the windward side but they couldn’t afford to buy land. The leasehold method of residential development became a popular way of providing housing at affordable prices throughout Oahu.
As you enter Kailua from the Pali Highway, on the left side of the road are churches of all different denominations and faiths. Mr. Castle donated land for many of these churches as he knew that churches would bring congregations, congregations would bring stability and social capital and that would benefit the community that was growing around them.
Mr. Castle also donated land and money to Hawaii Loa College (now Hawaii Pacific University), Castle Hospital, Iolani School, Castle High School, Kainalu Elementary School and the Mokapu peninsula land which would become the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Harold K.L. Castle set the pattern for both residential and commercial development in Windward Oahu. His legacy and vision of community, charity and malama lives on in how Kailua exists today.
For more information please visit the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation website.