Hawaii January 28, 2017
An All Boys School Was Built In Hawaii And Then Abruptly Abandoned. What’s Left Is Fascinating
Located on Oahu’s north shore just steps away from the island’s most famous beaches – between Sunset Beach and Turtle Bay – is what remains of the now abandoned Waialee Home for Wayward Boys. The home was operational during the first half of the 20th century, though the structures that remain have since been reclaimed by nature.
Built in the early 1900s and operational from 1906 to 1947, the Waialee Home for Wayward Boys was an extensive complex that housed, on average, 180 boys.
Its residents were sent there for everything from truancy, disobedience and vagrancy to trespassing, burglary, larceny and assault.
The residents ranged in age from 7 to 25 and cultivated their own taro, bananas, sweet potato and sugarcane, raised cattle and pigs for milk and meat, and managed the school’s generators, carpenter shop, repair shop, engine room, tailor shop and ice house.
Waialee wasn’t a place of happiness, though, and corporal punishment was common: shackles, leg irons, straps soaked in vinegar and salt, lashings and beatings were all used. There are even reports of boys being forced into solitary confinement in dark cells underground.
In the 1920s, under new management, the use of these “dark cells” was discontinued, but the reform school still didn’t live up to its purpose, as a 1953 editorial in the Honolulu Record notes that “70 percent of the Oahu Prison inmates come from Waiale'e Training School for Boys, which is supposedly a correction and rehabilitation home."
Later, various structures on the property were used as part of the Crawford Convalescence Home, and a 2002 fire burned the former dormitory, leaving only the concrete walls left standing today.
Only the shells of buildings remain, and the area has been totally reclaimed by nature. The government currently owns part of the property, which is covered in graffiti.
Some say the abandoned school is haunted, but who can really say for certain? I guess you’ll just have to visit and see for yourself. If you liked this, we think you’ll love this road trip to some of Oahu’s most abandoned places.