Mountain View, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its hula dancers, aloha hospitality, picture-perfect seascapes, tropical climate, and its volcanoes. Mountain View is not different from most of Hawaii, except for a non-Hawaiian sounding name. This town is the ideal place for getting in touch with Mother Nature's breathtaking beauty. The town's perfect positioning gives visitors and residents alike an astounding view of Mauna Kea (thus, the name Mountain View), Hawaii's tallest and second largest volcano. Mountain View provides a placid place for people who just want to kick back and relax.

A census-designated place in Hawaii County, Mountain View is situated at Hawaii Island's east coast, near the historical town of Hilo. Mountain View has a land area of 146.7 square kilometers or 56.6 square miles and elevated at 1440 feet above sea level. The town has a population of 2,799 with 9.61% population growth as of the year 2000 census. The population of Mountain View is comprised of people from different races and ethnicities. Asians (Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos) and Latinos make up a huge percentage of the population.

Out of the 2,799 population, 32.2% are aged below 18, while the remaining percentage are people aged 18 and above. Mountain View's median age is 35 years. People living under the poverty line are about 30.3% of the town's population; 45.7% are people below 18 years old while 5.0% are those aged 65 and over. Mountain View has a cost of living 33% higher than that of the US average.

Mountain View's History

Mountain View is also among those towns in the Big Island that played a part in the Hawaii's sugar industry. The east coast of the Big Island has fertile soil and ideal climate conditions that are perfect for raising sugar canes. Even before the arrival of colonizers, native Hawaiians already grew sugar cane in their yards. It was only during 1834 that people caught on and established the first successful sugar plantation.

When the sugar industry continued to prosper during that era, the need for a transportation system also increased; thus a railway was built. The Hawaii Consolidated Railroad (also known as the Hilo Railroad) connected the city of Hilo to Mountain View. This then most expensive railway is used to transport sugar to different towns; from Hilo to Mountain View, to Laupahoehoe, Pahoa, and Paauilo. Like the other places in the Big Island, Mountain View's history is rooted to the state's sugar trade. When the sugar industry was at its peak, agricultural workers in sugar companies are the highest paid in the island. Many native Hawaiians and immigrants came to Mountain View and nearby towns to work in sugar companies. In turn, these sugar companies provide the towns with important edifice and recreational parks. Many towns blossomed under the sugar industry, and Mountain View was among them.

Coffee is also involved with Mountain View history. When the sugar industry slowly declined during the late 20th century, people have looked for other agricultural alternatives. Coffee was seen as a practical substitute for sugar cane. Nowadays, Mountain View is known for its coffee mills, the most famous of which is the Hilo Coffee Mill.

Mountain View's Attractions

Although Mountain View's almost landlocked location does not immediately allow visitors to get a glimpse of Hawaii's lava shoreline and the beautiful ultramarine Pacific Ocean, it does not lack on splendid spots and destinations to charm tourists. In fact, those who are tired of surfing, salty waters, and bustling beaches may find Mountain View's reclusive surroundings ideal for that much needed tranquil reprieve. The town's lush greenery, scenic countrysides, and all around magnificent natural environment will surely loosen stressed bodies and tired minds. There are many bed and breakfast inns in Mountain View where visitors can wake up to the sound of chirping birds, the feel of light breeze, and the smell of exotic flowers.

The more adventurous people who are constantly in search for adrenaline rush may find many biking and hiking trails in Mountain View. Nearby places also provide water activities like snorkeling, surfing, and swimming. There are golf courses in the vicinity, too, for those who are fond of the sport. Mountain View is also famous for its orchids. Orchid aficionados may visit the Hilo Orchid Farm, a modern greenhouse that grows the finest orchids in the island. Aside from orchids, Mountain View is also known for its rare variations of anthuriums, Rose Apple trees, wild ginger, and Ohia trees. Mountain View is also near downtown Hilo, where one can find historic museums and galleries, restaurants, and shops. There are lots of state parks that are only a few minutes away from Mountain View. The Lava Tree State Park, for instance, is just 15 minutes away. This state park showcases the effects of lava on the trees that once stood in the park.

Mountain View's Economy

Sugar used to be the pillar of Mountain View's economy, as well as those of nearby towns and cities in Hawaii Island's east coast. However, people realized that they must find other sources of income when sugar plantations started closing one by one. Farmers started growing coffee, other crops, and some fruit-bearing tropical plants. At the moment, Mountain View has on of the largest coffee mills in Hawaii's east coast, the Hilo Coffee Mill.

Tourism, of course, remains a major income-generating trade. Every year, many tourists flock over Mountain View to experience a slice of Hawaiian paradise. New bed and breakfast inns, restaurants, and shops open every now and then to accommodate visitors of the town. Many residents have found jobs in these establishments. Employment in personal services occupation has the highest percentage with 29.6, and is closely followed by management occupations with 27.6%. 18.1% of the working population in Mountain View have found jobs in sales, while some 10.6% are involved in the construction business, and 10.2% have jobs in productions. In fact, the lowest percentage of employment belongs to the farming trade with only 3.9%, according to the 2000 census.

Even though Mountain View provides plenty of jobs for its residents (with 4.47% recent job growth and 18.02% future job growth), the town's unemployment rate is 3.80%. Mountain View also has a household income of $28,873, wherein the US average is $44,684. Income per capita in the vicinity is $14,221, which is about $10,000 less than the US average.

Mountain View Statistics:

Population: 2,799
Households: 959
Median resident age: 34.6 years
Median household income: $26,860
Median house value: $104,700
Land area: 56.6 square miles
Elevation: 1440 feet
Latitude: 19°32'N
Longitude: 155°8'W
Zip code: 96771
County: Hawaii
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