town, Kauai county, southwestern Kauai island, Hawaii, U.S. Waimea, whose name means “Reddish Water,” is situated on Waimea Bay at the mouth of the Waimea River. The valleys of the Waimea River and its tributary, the Makaweli River, were once heavily populated, and the town was an early centre of native Hawaiian government. It was at Waimea on January 20, 1778, that the English navigator-explorer Captain James Cook (Cook, James) made his first landing in the Hawaiian Islands (a monument now marks the landing). Waimea developed as a provisioning port for whalers and sandalwood traders. A ruined Russian fort (Fort Elizabeth), built in 1815 in a futile attempt to seize Kauai island, occupies a coastal bluff above the Waimea River. Sugar was once the economic mainstay, but production has declined. The history of the sugar industry is preserved at the Waimea Sugar Mill Camp Museum (1996); a resort has been built on the lands of one former sugar plantation. Nearby is Waimea Canyon, which is the focus of a nearly 1,900-acre (750-hectare) state park and was allegedly dubbed by Mark Twain (Twain, Mark), who had a lifelong affection for the “Sandwich Islands,” the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, operated by the U.S. Navy and located on the coast near Mana, conducts subsurface, surface, air, and space missile tests. A famous landmark is Menehune Ditch, a large irrigation system built of smoothed lava stone; according to legend, the structure, constructed before Polynesian settlement, was built in one night by menehunes (“little people”). Pop. (1990) 1,840; (2000) 1,787.also called Kamuelavillage, Hawaii county, north-central Hawaii island, Hawaii, U.S. It is situated on the Mauna Kea–Kohala Saddle (2,669 feet [814 metres]), northeast of Kailua-Kona. In the 1790s the English navigator George Vancouver (Vancouver, George) presented a gift of five cattle to King Kamehameha I. The king placed a kapu (royal taboo) on the killing of the cattle, and within two decades thousands of wild cattle roamed vast swaths of the area, destroying much of the local agriculture. In 1812 John Parker, a sailor, was granted a license by Kamehameha to hunt the cattle, and he subsequently domesticated them and helped establish ranching as a major industry on the island. Waimea is the headquarters for the Parker Ranch (established about 1815), one of the largest Hereford cattle ranches in the United States and famous for its Hawaiian paniolos, who trace their roots to Mexican cowboys taken to the island in the 1830s. The ranch covers about 175,000 acres (70,000 hectares) and contains some 30,000 to 35,000 head of cattle and 250 horses. Products of the area's many small ranches and truck farms are exported from the deepwater port of Kawaihae, 5 miles (8 km) west. During World War II some 50,000 U.S. Marines were stationed in the village in preparation for battles in the Pacific theatre.The village is a popular location for rodeos and horseback riding and is a base for area hunting and for skiers bound for the slopes of Mauna Kea. Local museums include the Parker Ranch Museum, with displays of photographs and antique tools, clothing, and furniture, and the Kamuela Museum, the largest private museum in Hawaii, which features traditional Hawaiian artifacts. Pop. (1990) 5,972; (2000) 7,028.
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