Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Bridges of Oahu's Moanaluna Valley

If you need proof the jungle wins in the end, take a walk across the seven stone bridges that were once part of the entranceway to a grand estate that is being swallowed up by the incessant greenery. The lush grounds at the foot of the Ko'olau Range on the west side of Oahu in 1884 were willed to Samuel Damon by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop (Kamehameha's granddaughter), as a "thank you" for Damon's longtime work for the the Bishop family. Damon's children built an estate in the valley, but all that's left (except the picturesque bridges) are the chimney and other ruins of a smaller home.

The Hawaiians, of course, lived in the Moanaluna Valley, as evidenced by konane board (like checkers) carved into a rock and other remains. Petroglyphs—rock drawings—in the valley predate even the Hawaiians and are a mystery to anthropologists.

The H-3 Freeway was planned for this area, but locals were successful in getting it rerouted. The easy, stroll begins at a neighborhood park that is not far from Moanaluna Gardens. See Page 67 of Oahu Trailblazer.