The non-profit Waimea Preservation Association office is centrally located in Waimea, providing a meeting place for community organizations. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
The Waimea Preservation Association possesses many historical photos of the community, documenting Waimea’s diverse and interesting history. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
Planters made from deck planks of the Makalii voyaging canoe sit outside the Waimea Preservation Association office. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
Involved members of the Waimea Preservation Association, Lauren Avery and Pete Hendricks, stand outside of the office located centrally in Waimea. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
Dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of Waimea, the Waimea Preservation Association possesses a few historical items, including a lunch pail from the plantation days. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
Pete Hendricks, vice president of the Waimea Preservation Association, shows some historical photos of Waimea town that the organization has on display. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
Pete Hendricks, vice president of the Waimea Preservation Association, shows different landmarks on a map of Waimea in 1914. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
The Waimea Preservation Association’s T-shirt features a sketch of the cottage. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
In a report by the superintendent of public works to the governor of the Territory of Hawaii in June of 1921, there is a note about a new building in Waimea: “Plans and specifications were prepared and tenders called for a small one-story frame Tax Office and a contract awarded to S. Furukawa for the sum of $960. The work has been satisfactorily completed.”
The unassuming little building still stands after 82 years, now called the Waimea Preservation Cottage, home of the Waimea Preservation Association. Gearing up for its first-ever “Honoring Father’s Day” Walk/Run on Sunday, June 16, WPA hopes to raise awareness as much as funds for the collaborative nonprofit.
“The event is for everybody,” said organizer and WPA member Laura Dierenfield, who helped put together numerous runs and walks for Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii. “For the most part it’s about getting together, doing something active, and honoring dads.”
The community is invited to bring stories and photos of their fathers, grandfathers, uncles, husbands, sons, brothers and others—to be displayed on a story board at the cottage. (Copies only please, as materials will not be returned.)
“Come and celebrate the fathers in your life,” said Dierenfield. “Come and see the story board, see other people’s stories … and hopefully get involved with Waimea Preservation. It’s a great group.”
The group includes volunteer board members and officers Pete Hendricks, Bill Sanborn, Dierenfield, Lauren Avery, Kathy Damon and others. WPA Vice President Hendricks said organizer duties would keep him from running the course himself.
“I would if I didn’t have to be an errand boy,” said Hendricks light heartedly. “My daughter and a couple of granddaughters said, ‘We’ll come, Dad.’”
Hendricks and others have been hard at work restoring the cottage and preparing for the “Honoring Father’s Day” event.
The walk/run begins and ends at the cottage, just off Mamalahoa Highway and Lindsey Road near the Firehouse Gallery. A “stroller-friendly” event for all ages, the three-mile, out-and-back route takes walkers and runners past historic landmarks like the old slaughterhouse, Pukalani stables, Pu‘u Hihale cattle enclosure, Paniolo Park, and the new Ala Ohia Pathway built by Parker Ranch.
Rain or shine, starting time is 8 a.m., with continental breakfast, awards and door prizes to follow. Entry fees are $20 adults, $18 youth 13-18, free for keiki 12 and under. Payment includes a custom-designed athlete gift.
“We are going to try, instead of a T-shirt, to have bandanas with a beautiful sketch by Pat Hall of the front of the cottage,” said Hendricks. The whimsical pen and ink drawing shows a lady in a flowered hat going up the stairs of the old tax office, her horse tied up outside.
The design seems very much in keeping with WPA’s mission statement, recently solidified in a strategic planning session with former Hawaii State representative, and recently elected Democratic Party chairman, David Tarnas. It is: “To preserve the character and special history of the Waimea Community and to celebrate its rich multi-cultural heritage.”
That heritage includes a rich farming history.
“During the California Gold Rush, Waimea was half potatoes,” said Hendricks. “Farmers grew big crops of potatoes to send to San Francisco … Waimea had connections to the East Coast, helping supply ships coming and going from Kawaihae. “With more than 500 whaling ships per year—it was a big part of the growth of the cattle industry,” said Hendricks.
WPA is an outgrowth of Waimea Main Street, founded in the 1990’s as part of a national initiative to boost the economy. Well-remembered projects include a revival of “Old Hawaii on Horseback,” originally hosted by Anna Lindsey Perry-Fiske at her home.
“Waimea Preservation has been around a long, long time,” said Hendricks. “We want to turn it back into more of a community resource.” The WPA Cottage’s front room provides meeting space for 10-12 people, and already houses Waimea Trails and Greenways’ weekly Monday meetings.
“Rotary interviewed kids for college scholarships in the front room,” said Hendricks. “And the back room will be available for some nonprofits that need office space.”
Meeting room and office space reservations (donation basis) can be made online at www.waimeapreservation.org.
WPA is also in process of collaborating with Waimea Community Association and others on projects such as renovation of Anuenue Playground (originally a Waimea Main Street project), in addition to an oral and pictorial history project. At the Cottage, they are working on display panels, showing photos of Waimea sites, then and now.
“I think we’re ready to pick up where Main Street left off,” said WPA President Bill Sanborn, who estimated about $15,000 worth of materials and volunteer labor had gone into building restoration. “The wall on the wetter side needed attention,” said Sanborn. “We brought in specially milled lumber and Tom Zambeck (Zambeck Construction) did the installation.”
Other supporters include Hawaii Community Foundation, Freeman Family Fund, Hapa Fund, Richard Smart Fund, Quality Builders, and De Luz Trucking. “We repainted, removed carpet, worked on the floors, rebuilt some windows in back,” said Sanborn. “We are concentrating on trying to make the facility sustainable.”
“We’re trying to reintroduce akulikuli,” said Hendricks. “Remember when it used to grow everywhere?”
Hendricks has built two, six-foot planter boxes using deck planking donated from the original Makali‘i voyaging canoe, built in 1995 and launched from Kawaihae. In this project, Hendricks has tied together his seafaring passion and love for growing things, perhaps inspired by wife Carol Hendricks of Waimea Outdoor Circle. The Hendricks share an every-other-Saturday commitment to Ulu La‘au Nature Center work days.
“I work for my wife,” said Hendricks, who was also involved in Saturday’s concrete pour for the Nature Center’s new table complex, which will accommodate WOC’s wreath-making and other classes, meetings and group gatherings. “We have free wi fi in the park now,” said Hendricks.
A military veteran, former teacher at Honokaa High school, lifetime student of maritime history, writer, gardener, canoe paddler, building restorer and occasional potter, Hendricks says of his many activities, “If you rust, you rust.”
To prevent rust, support Waimea Preservation Association, and salute the dads in your life, register for the first annual “Honoring Father’s Day” Walk/Run online at www.waimeapreservation.org, or in person 3-5 p.m., Friday, June 14, at the Cottage, or 7-7:45 a.m., on Sunday, June 16.
Parking is available at Parker Ranch Center and participants should prepare for rainy or sunny weather. The walk/run begins at 8 a.m. from the cottage and proceeds south on Lindsey Rd., east behind Parker Ranch Shopping Center, south on Pukalani Road, west on Ala Ohia Road to Mamalahoa Highway, and finishes back at the cottage.
“We are asking for the community’s kokua and awareness,” said Dierenfield. “We will have runners on Lindsey Road from Bank of Hawaii to Kahilu Theatre. Please drive with care.” For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 885-4453.