In 1839, E. O. Hall and a group from the mission in Honolulu traveled around the island of O‘ahu visiting various localities. His notes from the journey were published in Volume II, No. I of the Hawaiian Spectator under the title of “Notes of a Tour around Oahu” (1839). Hall’s narratives include descriptions of places visited and changes in agricultural endeavors and living conditions, with notes from Honouliuli Ahupua‘a and neighboring lands.
The objects of the tour were, principally, to become better acquainted with the people, by seeing them at their own houses; and, by being cut off from the English language for a time, to acquire of the people among whom I expect to spend the remainder of my days…
As the journey from Honolulu to Ewa, or Pearl River, is so frequently made, it will be unnecessary to dwell on that part of the route; unless it be merely to say, that after the first mile is passed, most of which is through the sea where one has to ride in a most uncomfortable position or get at least his feet wet, the road is quite pleasant … the next object of interest to attract attention is the Salt Lake. This is a natural curiosity well worth visiting, especially in the dry season, when the whole margin, and sometime the bed itself, is covered with beautiful salt in immense quantities. It is about one fourth of a mile distant from, and a few feet higher than the sea, and is connected with it by a hole in the centre.
The rest of the way to Ewa presents little of interest to the traveler. There are however several beautiful spots, where the eye will rest with delight, when the blessing of civilization and Christianity shall have through around them the comforts of other lands; and systematic agricultural pursuits have covered the field with golden harvests, and filled the lap of the cultivator with the prolific bounties of a beneficent Providence. Ewa is a place of little interest to the tourist except in a moral point of view. In this respect, however; its inhabitants, about 3,500 in number, may be regarded with peculiar pleasure by the philanthropist and Christian; for their improvement in morals, and consequently civilization, during the past four years is very striking. And the attention they are beginning to bestow upon their persons, children, houses, yards, etc., in the immediate vicinity of the missionary establishment is far better evidence on the subject of missionary influence, than any other that can be obtained.
Rising before the dawn, we left the low ground of the river, just as the natives were assembling in great numbers to spend their accustomed hour in the worship of Jehovah; and as we wound slowly up the hill which we have to ascend on leaving the quiet and secluded residence of the missionary, and cast our eyes around on the many interesting objects immediately about us; and looked still farther back on the distant city of Honolulu on which the sun was just shining as he rose in all his majesty above the high range of Konahuanui, the beauty of the scene and the quiet and peace of the hour, called up in the mind meditations of the most pleasing character. Lifeless, indeed, must be the heart that does not vibrate in unison with nature at such hours, and whose better sympathies are not called out in moments like these.
Passing all the villages, at one or two of which we stopped, we crossed the barren, desolate plain, at the termination of what is Barber’s point; and after passing round the south-east termination of the mountain range of Kaala, and traversing a barren tract of ten or twelve miles, we arrived at the most considerable settlement in Waianae, called Pukahea [Puukahea].