Monday, December 31, 2012

Anthony D Allen

The history of the Black presence in Hawaiʻi goes back to the early sailors; Blacks were crewmembers of Cook’s second and third Pacific voyages.

There is a “high likelihood” for the presence of Blacks on many of the ships that crossed the Pacific.  Free and unfree Blacks had been serving onboard these ships in a variety of capacities.

Between about 1820 and 1880, hundreds of whaling ships annually pulled into (primarily) Honolulu and Lāhainā, and a significant number of Blacks stayed behind in the islands and became permanent residents where they worked as cooks, barbers, tailors, sailors on interisland vessels and members of musical groups.

Discussion of early African-American presence in Hawaiʻi usually starts with Anthony D. Allen.  He was born a slave on the German Flats, in New York, in 1774.   At about the age of 24, fearing his old master’s widow (Dougal) might sell him and he would have to leave his mother, he arranged for a new slave master and he was bought for $300.

Shortly thereafter, in 1800, he made a flight for freedom from Schenectady, NY, and made his way to Boston.  He went to work at sea, sailing with the same sea captain for eight years, seven as steward and one as cook.

Many other African Americans worked in the maritime industry during this period as crew members, pilots, cooks, stewards, stevedores, builders and captains. In the coming decades, Americans with African lineage would account for up to 50 percent of the maritime forces. (Scruggs, HJH)

In 1806, he ran into his former slave master and was almost forced back into slavery.  Mr. Coolege, the ship owner on which he worked, agreed to pay the former owner $300; the former owner agreed.

In return, Allen gave Coolege a promissory note to pay him back.  In April 1807, Allen paid the note back.  He spent the next few years sailing across the globe – Boston, France, Haiti, Havana China, Northwest US and eventually, in 1811, Hawaiʻi.

Called Alani by the Native Hawaiians, Allen served as steward to Kamehameha the Great and he acquired a parcel of about six acres.  He married a Hawaiian woman and had three children who survived into adulthood.  (HHS)

He "resided at Waikiki, lived as comfortably, and treated us as courteously, as any who had adopted that country before our arrival."  (Hiram Bingham)

John Papa ʻĪʻī, a neighbor of Allen, in his testimony confirming rights to the land, told how Allen acquired his land: “The Allens got this land from an old high Priest - Hewa hewa. … this land was given him in the time of ‘'Kamehameha I’.”  (HJH)

By 1820, Allen owned a dozen houses, “within the enclosure were his dwelling, eating and cooking houses, with many more for a numerous train of dependents. There was also a well, a garden containing principally squashes, and in one part, a sheepfold in which was one cow, several sheep, and three hundred goats.”  (Sybil Bingham Journal)

Allen’s land held a variety of business enterprises, including animal husbandry, farming, a boarding house, a hospital, a bowling alley and a grog shop. Besides keeping his own animals, Allen boarded cattle for others.  Allen may have operated the first commercial dairy in Hawaiʻi.

“Waikīkī” was once a vast marshland whose boundaries encompassed more than 2,000-acres (as compared to its present 500-acres below the Ala Wai Canal we call Waikīkī, today).

Allen’s six-acres and home were about two miles from downtown at Pawaʻa, between what we now call Waikīkī and Mānoa at what is now the corner of Punahou and King Streets.  This is where Washington Intermediate School is now situated.  (Washington was the first intermediate school built on Oʻahu; it opened in 1926.)

In addition to his farming, Allen provided overnight accommodations – one of the earliest known hotel uses in Waikīkī.  Several references note his property as a “resort.”  (Hawaiʻi’s first “hotel” may be attributed to Don Francisco de Paula Marin, sometime after 1810 on Marin’s property at Honolulu Harbor.)

Reverend Charles Stewart notes of Allen’s place in his journal, “… it is a favourite resort of the more respectable of the seamen who visit Honoruru. …” With it, he had a popular bowling alley.

He entertained often and made his property available for special occasions.  "King (Kauikeaouli – Kamehameha III) had a Grand Dinner at A. D. Allen's. The company came up at sunset. Music played very late.”  (Reynolds – Scruggs, HJH)

He even operated a hospital where ill or injured seamen and sea captains were taken ashore to recuperate; however, it is not clear if he had medical training or who else there did.

It appears that Allen helped oversee the construction and maintenance of one of the first improved roads in Honolulu, probably what today is known as Punahou Street, which becomes Mānoa Road.

In the “… valley of Manoa … this afternoon Mr. Bingham drove me in a wagon to it. There is now a good carriage road … as far as the country house of Kaahumanu … five miles from Honolulu.” (Reynolds, Scruggs, HJH)

Allen, the former slave, died of a stroke on December 31, 1835, leaving behind a considerable fortune to his children.

In tribute to Allen, Reverend John Diell noted, “The last sun of the departed year went down upon the dying bed of another man who has long resided upon the island. He was a colored man, but shared, to a large extent, in the respect of this whole community. … He has been a pattern of industry and perseverance, and of care for the education of his children. … In justice to his memory, and to my own feelings, I must take this opportunity to acknowledge the many expressions of kindness which we received from him from the moment of our arrival.”

The image shows an 1874 map (Waikiki DAGS Reg-797-(portion)) that notes the property owned by Anthony D Allen.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Sunday, December 30, 2012


The only daughter of Kamehameha the Great and Keōpūolani, Nāhiʻenaʻena was born in 1815; her brothers were Liholiho (Kamehameha II - born circa 1797) and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III - born 1813.)

Her mother refused to follow the custom of the period and hānai her baby daughter to the rearing of another chief. Keōpūolani wanted to keep the last of her children at her side.

This decision tells us much about the mother's force of character and meant that Nāhiʻenaʻena was in the very center of the stage during the crucial period in 1819: the illness and death of Kamehameha I, the assumption of the throne by Liholiho as Kamehameha II and the abolition of the kapu (initiated by her mother and Kaʻahumanu.)  The princess was four years old when these great changes occurred. (Sinclair)

Toward the end of 1820, the decision was made to move the king's official residence from Kailua-Kona to Honolulu.  In early-1821, Liholiho, with his family, including Keōpūolani, Kauikeaouli and Nāhiʻenaʻena, and the important chiefs, established the seat of government on Oʻahu.

In the spring of 1823, Keōpūolani established a residence away from Honolulu in a grove at the foot of Diamond Head; there she hoped to find a quiet place to restore her health and to hear the new gospel without interruption.

“She, at this time, expressed her earnest desire that her two children, the prince and princess, then able to read and write, might be well educated, and particularly that Nahienaena might be trained up in the habits of Christian and civilized females, like the wives of the missionaries. She wished, too, that the missionaries would pray for Liholiho.”  (Bingham)

“The missionaries and their wives earnestly desired to withdraw her (Nāhiʻenaʻena) from the scenes of heathen corruption, and throw around her daily the protecting shield of Christian families. But this could be accomplished only in part, as in that state of the nation she could not well be detached from the native community. She is said to be very amiable and kind, and is universally beloved and respected by her people.”  (Bingham)

At the end of May in 1823, Keōpūolani, Nāhiʻenaʻena and Hoapili (Keōpūolani’s husband) moved to Maui and took up residence in Lāhainā. Missionaries Charles Stewart and William Richards were assigned to establish a church and teach “letters and religion”.

The princess and her mother spent warm peaceful days in the study of letters and religion, interrupted occasionally when people came to celebrate their affection for the chiefesses by dancing and singing. Usually a great crowd assembled to watch.

Later that year, Keōpūolani became very ill and died.  After Keōpūolani’s death, Nāhiʻenaʻena was placed in the care of Hoapili, her mother's husband and governor of Maui, and of the two missionary teachers, Stewart and Richards, to whom she was already devoted.

In accordance with Hawaiian custom, Hoapili soon remarried. Nāhiʻenaʻena’s mother had been the first chief to be baptized a Protestant; her stepfather became the first chief to be married in a Christian ceremony.  Richards conducted the service which united Hoapili to Kalākua, one of Kamehameha's former queens.

In 1825, Nāhiʻenaʻena’s brother - King Kamehameha II - traveled to England.  To celebrate his return, a yellow feather pāʻū was made for Nāhiʻenaʻena.

A pāʻū was a women’s garment that was typically a rectangular piece of kapa (tapa) wrapped several times around the waist and extended from beneath the bust (for royalty) or the waistline (for commoners) to the knee.

This special pāʻū was about 9-yards long, made of feathers, instead of kapa (it is the largest Hawaiian feather piece ever recorded.)   Due to the unfortunate death of Liholiho and his wife Kamāmalu, the pāʻū was worn in grief, rather than celebration.

Hiram Bingham described the occasion, “The young princess had partly wrapped round her waist, above her black silk dress, a splendid yellow feather pau, or robe, nine yards in length and one in breadth, manufactured with skill and taste, at great expense, and designed for her anticipated reception of her brother Liholiho. In its fabrication, the small bright feathers were ingeniously fastened upon a  fine netting, spun without wheels or spindles, and wrought by native hands, from the flaxen bark of their olona, and the whole being lined with crimson satin made a beautiful article of "costly array," for a princess of eight years.”

The problem of a suitable marriage for Nāhiʻenaʻena had been in the minds of the chiefs from the time of her childhood. Before she was ten years old, a possible union between her and her brother was discussed. The purpose of such brother-sister marriages was to concentrate the royal blood so that the issue would have the highest possible rank. (Sinclair)

Queen Keōpūolani had been the issue of a brother-sister marriage, a naha mating of niʻaupiʻo chiefs; her parents had had the same mother but different fathers, both descended from the chiefly lines of Maui and Hawaiʻi.  Liholiho had half-sisters among his five wives. They consulted the missionaries, who pointed out that such a marriage was forbidden in the eyes of God. (Sinclair)

There were repeated claims of incestuous behavior between Nāhiʻenaʻena and her brother, Kauikeaouli.  On November 25, 1835, Nāhiʻenaʻena and Leleiōhoku (son of Kalanimōku) were married in Waine'e Church; the ceremony was performed by Richards.

She became pregnant the next year and on September 17 she had a son, who lived only a few hours.  Nāhiʻenaʻena had been ill and continued to be gravely ill after the childbirth.  She died shortly thereafter, December 30, 1836.

On February 14, 1837, Kauikeaouli, King Kamehameha III, was married to Kalama Kapakuhaili.  Leleiōhoku married a second time to Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani; he had a son William Pitt Kīnaʻu from his second wife.

The image shows Nāhiʻenaʻena drawn in 1825.  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Transformation of Ala Moana Coastline

The coastal road from Honolulu Harbor to Waikīkī, formerly called the “Beach Road” and renamed “Ala Moana” in 1899, hugged the shoreline with extensive reefs out into the ocean; mauka of the road were wetlands and aquaculture with fishponds, kalo (taro) and, later, rice.

This stretch of coastline was described by missionary Hiram Bingham, as he stood atop “Punchbowl Hill” looking toward Waikīkī to the south, as the “plain of Honolulu” with its “fishponds and salt making pools along the seashore”. (Bingham)

Another visitor to Honolulu in the 1820s, Capt. Jacobus Boelen, gives similar insight to the possible pre-contact character of the area:  “It would be difficult to say much about Honoruru (Honolulu.) On its southern side is the harbor or the basin of that name.  The landlocked side in the northwest consists mostly of tarro (kalo, taro) fields. …  From the north toward the east, where the beach forms the bight of Whytetee (Waikīkī,) the soil around the village is less fertile, or at least not greatly cultivated.” (Cultural Surveys)

At the beginning of the twentieth-century, this stretch of coast makai of Ala Moana Boulevard was the site of the Honolulu garbage dump, which burned almost continually.  The residue from burned rubbish was used to reclaim neighboring wetlands (which later were more commonly referred to as “swamp lands.”)

After the turn of the century and over the next several decades, channels and basins were dredged in the fringing reefs to obtain fill material, for navigation, for small craft harbors and for swimming and sea bathing.

“Nature, situation and human circumstance fix world-wide prominence and importance on certain strategic points in commerce, navigation and defense. Human events have moved slowly, but are becoming intensely accelerated, and it would seem Honolulu is now beginning to fulfil her destiny.” So said Mr. LE Pinkham, President of the Board of Health in 1906.

With his report, he recommended filling in the wetlands from downtown Honolulu to Waikīkī and noted, “To install an adequate sewer system and proper surface drainage … (the area) under consideration, requires to be raised to a grade ranging from five to seven feet above sea level. Neither the hills mauka nor the beach can physically or economically furnish the material.”

Shortly thereafter (1912,) the Sanitary Commission in its report to Governor Frear noted, “The low lands along the sea front of six miles are largely swamps. Wherever profitable they are used for wet agriculture, and the area of wet land has been enlarged until it is difficult now to distinguish between them, nor can the source of water in the swamps be determined except by survey; much of it is water from irrigation. The total area of wet land is 36 per cent, of the land below the foothills.”

Like Pinkham, the Sanitary Commission stated, “It is obvious that all swamps and low lands which may become swamps should be filled or otherwise reclaimed, in order that their ever-present menace to health shall be entirely and finally removed.”  This led to a variety of projects that changed the look, nature and use of the region.

The first efforts were concentrated at Kakaʻako – it was then more generally referred to as “Kewalo.”  The Kewalo Reclamation District included the area bounded by South Street, King Street, Ward Avenue and Ala Moana Boulevard.

In 1899, the first traditional Japanese sailing vessel, called a sampan, came to Hawai‘i.  The Japanese technique of catching tuna with pole-and-line and live bait resembled the aku fishing method traditionally used by Hawaiians.  The pole-and-line vessels mainly targeted skipjack tuna (aku.)

Initially, most sampans docked in Honolulu Harbor. In the 1920s, Kewalo Basin was constructed and by the 1930s was the main berthing area for the sampan fleet and also the site of the tuna cannery, fish auction, shipyard, ice plant, fuel dock and other shore-side facilities.

Later in the 1920s, a channel parallel to the coast was dredged through the coral reef to connect Kewalo Basin and Ala Wai Boat Harbor, so boats could travel between the two.  Part of the dredge material helped to reclaim swampland on the ʻEwa end of Waikīki that was filled in with dredged coral.

The City and County of Honolulu started cleaning up the Ala Moana area in 1931. Using funds from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal Project a city park was created – filling in the swamp and garbage dump with coral rubble, topping it with sand. President Roosevelt participated in the dedication of the new 76-acre "Moana Park" in 1934 (it was later renamed Ala Moana Park in 1947.)

In 1944 the Territorial Department of Public Works proposed that an airport for private flying be created by a combined coral dredging and fill project on the reef between downtown Honolulu and the Waikīkī section of the city.  A Master Plan for Ala Moana Airport was approved by the federal agencies as part of the 1947 National Airport Plan. The runway was to be located makai of Ala Moana Park on the fringing reef and consist of a single runway 3,000 feet by 75 feet.

In the mid-1950s, reef rubble was dredged to fill in the old navigation channel (between Kewalo and the Ala Wai); it was topped with sand brought from Keawaʻula Beach (Yokohama Beach (locally known as ‘Pray for Sex’)) in Waianae.  At the same time, a new swimming channel was dredged parallel to the new beach, extending about 400-feet offshore.

In 1958, a 20-page booklet was sent to Congress to encourage them to turn back Ala Moana Reef to the Territory of Hawaiʻi for the construction of a "Magic Island."  Local businessmen and firms paid half the cost and the Territory paid half, through the Economic Planning & Coordination Authority.   (Honolulu Record, February 13, 1958)

The booklet put forth the argument that "Tourist development is our most important immediate potential for economic expansion," and displays pictures of the crowded Waikīkī area to show the lack of room for expansion.  Then it directs the reader's attention to land that can be reclaimed from the sea by utilizing reefs, especially the 300-acre area of Ala Moana reef.  (Honolulu Record, February 13, 1958)

With statehood (1959,) some considered the makai-most portion of filled-in area of Kakaʻako peninsula for the location for a new State capitol.  They settled on the present location, mauka of ʻIolani Palace.

In the early 1960s, substantial changes were made from the more extensive original plan for the Ala Moana reef; rather than multiple islands for several resort hotels built on the reef flat off of Ala Moana Park, a 30-acre peninsula, with “inner” and “outer” beaches for protected swimming, was constructed adjoining the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor and Ala Wai Canal outlet.

The Magic Island peninsula was converted into a public park. In 1972 the State officially renamed Magic Island to ‘Āina Moana, or “land [from the] sea,” to recognize that the park is made from dredged coral fill. The peninsula was turned over the city in a land exchange and is formally known as the ‘Āina Moana Section of Ala Moana Beach Park, but local residents still call it Magic Island.

The image shows the Honolulu Harbor to Waikīkī map from 1887 overlaid a modern Google Earth image, illustrating the extent of the changes of the Ala Moana coastline.  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Grove Farm Homestead – Kaua‘i

The decline of the whaling industry following the discovery of petroleum oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859 created a temporary economic vacuum in Hawai‘i.

Although sugar had a relatively slow start after the initial first successful sugar plantation at Kōloa, Kaua‘i (1835,) it soon started to prosper.

However, it wasn’t until the American Civil War, which virtually shut down Louisiana sugar production during the 1860s, that Hawai‘i was able to compete in a California market that paid elevated prices for sugar.

It was about this time (1864) that George Norton Wilcox (known as GN,) the second son of eight boys, born in Hilo August 15, 1839 to missionary parents, Abner and Lucy Wilcox, took over the lease for Grove Farm sugar operation on Kaua‘i and quickly became its sole owner.

The plantation had initially been chopped out of a large grove of kukui trees and was thereafter called the Grove Farm.

Initially schooled at Punahou, he then studied engineering on the mainland at the Sheffield Scientific School, now a part of Yale University; GN was an enterprising innovator of plantation sugar culture.

GN realized that his plantation lacked enough water, which is the key to successfully growing sugar.  His first major innovation was the engineering and digging of an extensive irrigation ditch, in which water was brought from the mountains to his thirsty sugar fields.

Many modernizing changes occurred throughout the plantation, from the construction of the innovative water irrigation system to the creation of new cultivating machinery and planting methods to the use of the first sugar cane seed planter in the islands.

His Grove Farm Homestead was the center of operations for the developing sugar plantation and involved the relationship of family life, plantation activity, household work, gardening and farming which continue as a part of the experience of visiting Grove Farm today.

Today, the 100-acre Grove Farm Homestead preserves the earliest surviving set of domestic, agricultural and sugar plantation buildings, furnishings and collections, surrounding orchards and pasturelands in Hawaiʻi.

Grove Farm Homestead is the finest example in Hawaii of a complete plantation operation still in its original form.  The estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawaii on June 25, 1974.

The original house (pre-dated 1854; exact date unknown) started as a single story, wood frame structure with a very high pitched hip roof with very wide eave overhand which is supported by square wood posts at the eave and covers a veranda which encircles the house on three sides.

To the rear of this building is a kitchen-food preparation building with access off the veranda.

During a 1915 renovation of the structure (under the direction of CW Dickey,) walls were removed and large openings placed adjoining each of the three rooms creating a feeling of openness and flow from one space to another.

The main estate house has two bedrooms, writing room, two bathrooms and a library on the first floor.  A grand staircase leads up to the second floor which has more bedrooms.  Behind the main house is a hexagonal gazebo styled after a Japanese teahouse, built in 1898.

To the south is a guest cottage divided into two living areas, built around 1890.  Another single story cottage was built in 1877 for GN Wilcox, and an office building was built in 1884.  A number of support buildings include a tool shed (dated 1870,) a garage and a number of small, single-story, wood-frame plantation workers’ houses.

The plantation buildings reflect a style adaptive to climatic conditions in the area (wide veranda, high pitched roofs), while the main house is a unique reminder of the 1850s renovated into the 20th Century.

Historically, Grove Farm Homestead is of great importance to Hawai‘i.  It was developed under the direction of George N. Wilcox, one of the most important men in Hawaiʻi from the 1860s to 1933, when he died at the age of 93.

GN Wilcox was not only a plantation owner; he was also an engineer, statesman, businessman and a world traveler. More importantly, he was also a philanthropist and humanist, who left an extensive legacy of endowments and public donations behind him.

The main house is now a private museum with tours by appointment.  Advance reservations are required for an unhurried two-hour guided tour of the buildings, gardens and grounds at Grove Farm.

Tours are given in small groups and are led by Kaua‘i residents familiar with life on the island, and are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, beginning promptly at 10 am and 1 pm.  There is a $20 requested donation for adults and $10 for children 5-12 years old.

A few decades ago, I had the opportunity to have a private tour of the Grove Farm Homestead with Barnes Risnik, then manager of the Grove Farm Homestead Museum.  That was an awesome and memorable experience.

The image shows the original home and veranda.  In addition, I have included other images of the Grove Farm Homestead in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ke-ahi-a-Kawelo (“the-fire-of-Kawelo”)

Ka‘ā (literally translated means, "the rocky area") is the largest ahupuaʻa on Lānaʻi, and covers almost 19,500-acres of land, the entire north end of the island.

At one time Ka‘ā supported many near-shore settlements, upland agricultural fields, resource collection/workshop areas and ceremonial sites. The residents of Ka‘ā regularly traveled between the coast and uplands, and several named localities in both climatic regions are found in native traditions and historical literature.

Traditional features, including ceremonial sites, burials, trails, residences (both long term and temporary,) salt making sites, agricultural features, lithic workshops, petroglyphs, modified caves, contest fields and sites of undetermined uses are found throughout Ka‘ā.

Native Hawaiian chants and traditions passed down over time speak loudly of the cultural and historical significance of this area.

The honu (turtle) population at Polihua is integral to the account of Pele's migration to Hawaiʻi, and in the time when ancient Hawaiians lived at Ka‘ā the honu provided important resources for traditional subsistence.

The tradition of the Lānaʻi priest, Kawelo, and a priest of Moloka‘i identified in various accounts as either Lani-kāula or Waha - is of regional importance to the people of Lānaʻi and Moloka‘i.

Kawelo was a famous priest of Lānaʻi, who is remembered in several written accounts, dating back to at least 1868. Information collected by Kenneth Emory from Lānaʻi in 1921-1922, and accounts by other native residents, place prominent sites associated with this legend in the ahupua‘a of Ka‘ā.

In the latter tradition, we see that at Ka‘ā, Lānaʻi, Kawelo kept an altar on which a fire was burned to protect the well-being of the people of his island.

There are several narratives, with varying circumstances and different characters, but each focusses on the central theme of the priest Kawelo burning a fire on an altar in order to protect the well-being of the residents of Lānaʻi.

Kewalo on Lānaʻi and Waha on Molokaʻi challenged each other to keep a fire burning on their respective island longer than the other, and the winner's island would be rewarded with great abundance.

The Lānaʻi kahuna, Kawelo, used every piece of vegetation in Keahiakawelo to keep his fire burning, which is why this area is so barren today.

In 1873, Walter Murray Gibson published “A Legend of Lanai” in the newspaper “Nu Hou.” Titled “Keahiakawelo” (The fire of Kawelo), in the account there are details on events of the legend and reference to the upland region of Ka‘ā:

“In the district of Kaa, on the western side of Lanai, there are several tumuli of large stones, and some rude contrivance of sacrificial altar, surrounded by a low round enclosure. Here three generations anterior to the reign of Kahekili, who was King of Maui and Lanai, lived the prophet Kawelo, who kept up a constant fire burning day and night upon this altar; and a similar fire responsive to it, was maintained by another prophet Waha, on the opposite side of Molokai.”

“Now Kawelo had a daughter to assist in keeping watch and to feed the sacred fire, and Waha had a son; and it was declared to the people by these prophets, that so long as the fire burned, hogs and dogs would never cease from the land; but should it become extinguished these animals would pass away, and the kanakas would only have fish and sea-weed to eat with their poi. . . “

Gibson described how the boy Nui, of Moloka‘i, and the girl Pepe, of Lānaʻi, came to fall in love, and how on one fateful night, they failed to keep the fires on their respective islands lit - the fire on the “altar of Keahiakawelo” had died. Upon discovering their error, Nui and Pepe fled to Maui, and Kawelo:

“... threw himself headlong from a precipice of the barranca [bluff] of Maunalei. And many natives of Lanai believe to this day, that their native hogs and dogs have passed away, in consequence of the prophecy of Kawelo.”

Keahiakawelo is an otherworldly rock garden at the end of rocky Polihua Road. Located roughly 45-minutes from Lānaʻi City on the northwest side of the island, its landscape is populated with boulders and rock towers.

The region around Keahiakawelo is one of the most significant storied landscapes on Lānaʻi; there are numerous traditions describing how native Hawaiians were able to survive on Lānaʻi, and why, at one time, Lānaʻi was noted for purple colored lehua blossoms.

As the tradition of the area known as Keahiakawelo reveals, the Ka‘ā region of Lānaʻi, with the view plain to the eastern end of Moloka'i and the famed kukui tree grove of Lanikāula and Mokuhoʻoniki, is one of great significance to the history of Lānaʻi and connected by history to the larger Maui group of islands.

The rock towers, spires and formations formed by centuries of erosion are at their most enchanting at dusk. The setting sun casts a warm orange glow on the rocks illuminating them in brilliant reds and purples.

One Island legend says that the rocks and boulders were dropped from the sky by the gods tending their gardens. Another ancient tale explains that the rocks house the spirits of ancient Hawaiian warriors.

And still another legend says that the gods enjoyed creating art, and this spot on the island is where they made their favorite sculptures. They created powerful winds to literally sculpt each rock formation (perhaps explaining why there is no vegetation.)

Science suggests that these formations are the result of thousands of years of erosion that created pinnacles and buttes in one remote canyon area. Just one look, however, and you’ll wonder whether each rock has been placed for some divine purpose.

Today, many refer to this area as “Garden of the Gods.”

The image shows Ke-ahi-a-Kawelo (“the-fire-of-Kawelo” - Garden of the Gods, Lānaʻi - (NationalGeographic.)) Much of the information here came from writings by Kepā Maly, Kumu Pono Associates.  In addition, I have included a few other images in a folder of like kind in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Educating the Head, Heart and Hand

In the early years, after the arrival of the first missionaries, the Hawaiian language came to be the universal mode of education.

With the vigorous support of the Queen-Regent Kaʻahumanu, attendance in mission schools increased from about 200 in 1821 to 2,000 in 1824, 37,000 in 1828 and 41,238 in 1830, of which nearly half were pupils on the island of Hawaiʻi.  (Canevali)

Common schools (where the 3 Rs were taught) sprang up in villages all over the islands.  In these common schools, classes and attendance were quite irregular, but nevertheless basic reading and writing skills (in Hawaiian) and fundamental Christian doctrine were taught to large numbers of people.  (Canevali)

Reverend David Belden Lyman (1803-1884) and his wife, Sarah Joiner Lyman (1806-1885,) arrived in Hawaii in 1832, members of the fifth company of missionaries sent to the Islands by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and were assigned the mission in Hilo.

“When we arrived in Hilo there were no foreign residents, save the Missionaries who proceeded us. There was but one frame building in this region ... which the Coans have occupied. There were no roads (only footpaths,) no fences, and the Wailuku River was crossed on a plank ... the only bell was hung in a breadfruit tree.” (Sarah Lyman)

It soon was apparent to the missionaries that the future of the Congregational Mission in Hawaii would be largely dependent upon the success of its schools.  The Mission then established "feeder schools" that would transmit to their students’ fundamental reading, writing, and arithmetic skills, and religious training, before admission to the Lahainaluna.

In 1835, they constructed the Hilo Boarding School as part of an overall system of schools (with a girls boarding school in Wailuku and boarding at Lahainaluna.)

On January 6, 1835 “our children's school commenced, eighty children present, sixty knew their letters. A number of the more forward children are employed as monitors to assist the less forward. (ie. advanced)” (Sarah Lyman)

In October 1836, two thatch houses were constructed near Lyman's house and on October 3 the school opened with eight boarders, but the number soon increased to twelve.

The school was operated to an extent on a manual labor program and the boys cultivated the land to produce their own food. (The boys’ ages ranged from seven to fourteen.)

"Mr. Lyman who was brought up on a farm had an abiding faith in the value of manual labor; and his work in Hilo had convinced him that such activity in both primitive and introduced vocation was as necessary as book learning during the period of transition from one culture to another."  (Lorthian)

Hilo Boarding School, under the leadership of the Lymans, was an immediate success. In 1837, six graduates were sent to Lahainaluna Seminary.

In 1839, the old thatch buildings were torn down and Lyman purchased the entire first shipment of lumber to arrive in Hilo to build a new school building, as well as a cookhouse and infirmary which would accommodate sixty to seventy boys.

The new school building lodged fifty-five pupils in its first year, most of them coming from outside Hilo.  In 1840, sugar cultivation commenced on adjacent mission land, and was worked entirely by the boys of the school along with a "monthly concert" of labor by all members of the parish. The cane was probably ground in a Chinese-owned mill in Hilo.

The school occupied forty-acres of land (used mostly in farming activities,) and, in 1846, King Kamehameha III gave the mission the water rights of the Wailuku River in Hilo.  In 1848, the school received a government charter and was incorporated.

More than one-third of the boys who had attended the school eventually became teachers in the common schools of the kingdom. In 1850 the Minister of Public Instruction, Richard Armstrong, reported that HBS "is one of our most important schools. It is the very life and soul of our common school on that large island."

The school building burned down in 1853; in rebuilding, a new site for the school was selected about one-half mile above Haili Church. This was to be the third and final location of HBS. In 1856 the T-shaped, two-story wooden building was completed.  It included a stone basement and an attic with a corrugated zinc roof.

1878 witnessed the first major building at HBS since repairs to the basement necessitated by an earthquake ten years earlier. A principal's house was raised, as the former principal's house continued to be the Lyman residence. At the same time, a roadway was begun connecting HBS to School Street (now Kapiʻolani Street), and completed in 1880.  The row of palms leading from the school to what is now Haili Street was also planted in that year.

Between 1886-1890 carpentry classes were organized when a supply of tools were donated. In addition, the gift of three sewing machines did much for the tailoring department. An industrial building was added in 1887.

In 1888, Mr. Alexander Young, manager of the Hilo Iron Works, donated a turbine wheel, complete with the necessary iron work, shafting, pully and the pully flanges.

In 1890 Mrs. Cassie B. Terry was appointed school principal; she took charge of the academic department and her husband devoted his time to the farm and shop classes.  They expanded the blacksmithing class, and Mr. Terry invented a wooden poi-pounding machine.

In 1892 a fifteen-light dynamo was installed at the school; hydroelectric power, guaranteed by the school's exclusive control over water rights, made it the first establishment in Hilo to be lighted by electricity.

In 1894 a one-half ton ice plant was situated on the campus, ice being produced for both school and community use. Later, in exchange for control of the water rights, the electric company (HELCO) provided free power to the school.

Vocational training really took off in the period from 1897-1923, under the guidance of Levi Lyman, grandson of the founder. New buildings replaced the old and vocational programs were housed in a blacksmiths shop, a four room utility building accommodating a steam plant, dairy, poi factory and wood room for craft supplies (as well as gym and mechanical arts building.)

At first, greater emphasis was placed upon producing teachers and preachers than upon molding farmers or craftsmen.  However, with the loss of Lahainaluna to the government, the Hilo school became reoriented to stress vocational training.

Hilo Boarding School was never a purely vocational institution, however, its founder’s focus of educating the head, heart and hand carried throughout its history.

The Hilo Boarding School closed in 1925, although its facilities were used for several years thereafter.  It first became a community center.

Then, in 1947, it was the first home of the Hilo Branch of the University of Hawaiʻi a center of the University Extension Division.  UH programs expanded there with a permanent summer school in 1948 – then, in 1949, the institution changed its name to University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo center (which later moved to its present site on Lanikāula Street, in 1955.)

All of the Hilo Boarding School buildings are gone; in 1980 the Hilo Center affiliated with the Boy's Clubs of America now occupies the site.

The image shows Hilo Boarding School and its surrounding gardens in 1856 (Lothian.)  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Claus Spreckels

Claus Spreckels (1828–1908) was perhaps the most successful German-American immigrant entrepreneur of the late-nineteenth century; he was one of the ten richest Americans of his time.

The career of the “sugar king” of California, Hawaiʻi and the American West consisted of building and breaking monopolies in sugar, transport, gas, electricity, real estate, newspapers, banks and breweries.

The first industry in which Spreckels succeeded was quite typical for German immigrants: beer brewing. In the spring of 1857, together with his brother Peter Spreckels and Claus Mangels, among others, he founded the Albany Brewery, the first large-scale producer of beer in San Francisco.

Though profitable, he sold his beer operation in 1863 and switched to a new field that would make him rich: sugar.  That year, he started the Bay Sugar Refining Company, but sold it three years later.

He then constructed the California Sugar Refinery in 1867 to process sugar.  While grocers, then, sold “sugar loaves,” Spreckels introduced the European process of packaging granulated sugar and sugar cubes (so customers could more easily divide the portions.)

In 1878, through his friendship with King Kalākaua, Claus Spreckels secured a lease of 40,000-acres of land on Maui and by 1882 he acquired the fee simple title to the Wailuku ahupuaʻa.

That same year, Spreckels founded the Hawaiian Commercial Company, which quickly became the largest and best-equipped sugar plantation in the islands.

The Spreckelsville Mill was actually four mills in one complex (it was located just to the northeast of the present Kahului Airport, near the intersection of Old Stable Road and Hana Highway.)  The town of Spreckelsville built up around it.

Part of the production innovation was the use of electric lights; the first recorded onshore use of electric lighting in Hawaiʻi was at Mill Number One of the Spreckelsville Plantation on Maui on Aug. 21, 1881.

To satisfy the curiosity of people anxious to see the "concentrated daylight," Capt. Coit Hobron ran a special train from Kahului, and King Kalākaua, Widow Queen Emma and Princess Ruth were among those who came to view the lights.

Spreckels modernized and mechanized the sugar production process, from hauling cane to the mill, to extracting the juice, reducing the juice to syrup and producing sugar grains.  The raw sugar was then packed and shipped to his refinery in San Francisco.  (Miller)

Sugar is a thirsty crop and Spreckels built the Haiku Ditch that spanned thirty miles and delivered fifty million gallons of water daily, irrigating twenty times as much land as had previously been irrigated.

Looking to upgrade from the mule and oxen means of moving sugar to the mill (as well as reduce costs,) Spreckels built a narrow-gauge railroad to haul the sugar from the plantation to the mill.

By 1881, twenty miles of iron track were completed. The rail line also transported the processed sugar to Maui's major port, Kahului. By 1885, Spreckelsville had forty-three miles of railroad, four engines and 498 cars for hauling cane.

Needing transportation to move his Hawaiʻi sugar for refining on the continent, he formed JD Spreckels & Bros. shipping line in 1879, which was incorporated as the Oceanic Steamship Company in 1881.

It was the first line to offer regular service between Honolulu and San Francisco, and his sons managed to reduce travel time immensely. While the sailing ship Claus Spreckels made a record run of less than ten days in 1879, by 1883 the new steam vessel Mariposa needed less than six days.

Spreckels incorporated the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company in 1884; it included four sugar mills, thirty-five miles of railroad with equipment, a water reservoir and the most advanced ditch system in the Pacific region.  (Spiekermann)

Spreckelsville was the largest sugar estate in the world by 1892.

The late-1890s saw internal family conflicts.  Spreckels lost control of HC&S and in 1898; it became a part of Alexander & Baldwin Co.  Following the 1948 merger of HC&S and Maui Agriculture Co., HC&S became a division of Alexander & Baldwin.

Claus Spreckels was a controversial figure.  For friends, he was a man “with a fine presence, an open, pleasant countenance and a cheerful word for everybody.”  Others, however, characterized him as impatient, implacable, and ruthless, driven by “Dutch obstinacy.”  (Spiekermann)

Hawaiʻi served as only one of the venues for the Spreckels holdings.  During the 1880s and early 1890s, he bought and built up several blocks of office buildings in San Francisco.

Claus Spreckels was a financial and an industrial capitalist. Obtaining, investing and multiplying money was his main business, and his role as a pioneer of Hawaiian sugar planting and Californian beet sugar production was merely an outgrowth of his desire to increase his fortune.  (Spiekermann)

Although none of his firms survived, his name today is still mentioned in San Francisco and Hawaiian travel guides as an example of an exceptional self-made man: “The life of Claus Spreckels is one of the interesting and absorbing personal histories of which America is so proud.”  (Spiekermann)

I have added other images related to Claus Spreckels in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Saturday, December 22, 2012

ʻIolani Palace Trees

ʻIolani Palace Grounds make up eleven acres of land in the core of downtown Honolulu.

After the arrival of American Protestant missionaries in 1820, high-ranking chiefs began to occupy the area.  In 1825, a small mausoleum was built on the grounds to house the remains of King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamāmalu.

In 1845, King Kamehameha III moved his court from Lāhainā and a large home on the site with as many as twenty smaller structures served as Hawai'i's royal palace.

During the reign of King Kalākaua the grounds were expanded to their present size.

In 1882, the new ʻIolani Palace was built and this served as the state residence of Hawaiʻi’s last ruling monarchs. Wide carriage ways were added to create an oval drive entirely around the Palace.

Previously, an 8-foot tall coral block wall with wooden gates divided the palace grounds from the outside world.  The lowering of the perimeter walls to 42-inches in 1889 and the installation of iron fencing and gates in 1891, represented the final alterations to the grounds during the Monarchy era.

There are several notable trees on the grounds.  The Indian Banyan tree is the most prominent and evident tree on the mauka side of the Palace grounds.  The tree was a gift from Indian Royalty to King Kalākaua.  Reportedly, Queen Kapiʻolani planted the tree there.

Cuttings from the tree were planted at each end of Kailua Bay in Kona.  Queen Kapiʻolani was said to have planted the tree at Huliheʻe Palace in the late 1800s.

The King Kamehameha Hotel tree was transplanted a few years later after not thriving at the Maguire home on Huʻehuʻe Ranch.

Noticeable throughout the property are Royal Palms.  In 1850, the first Royal Palm seeds were brought to Hawaiʻi from the West Indies by Dr. GP Judd.

On the ʻEwa-makai portion of the grounds, there is a Rainbow Shower tree; since 1959 the Rainbow Shower has been the official tree of the City of Honolulu.

On July 24, 1934, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first sitting president to visit Hawaiʻi.  On his visit to ʻIolani Palace, initial plans were for the president to plant a memorial Kamani tree.

A Kamani sapling was ordered from the nursery; however, mistakenly, the sapling delivered just before the ceremony began turned out to be a Kukui.  (The Kukui tree is the Hawaiʻi state tree.)

Roosevelt’s tree is identified by a plaque, placed in 1959, which reads: "President Franklin D. Roosevelt planted this kukui tree July 28, 1934."  It was later considered the "lucky kukui tree" and was credited by some with Roosevelt's good fortunes in the 1936, 1940 and 1944 elections.

A handful of Monkeypod trees are found on the Palace grounds.  In 1847, businessman Peter Brinsmade brought two Monkeypod seeds with him from his passage through Panama on the way here.

One seedling was planted in downtown Honolulu (presumably not on the Palace grounds,) and the other in Kōloa on Kauaʻi. These two trees are thought to be the progenitors of all the Monkeypod trees in the state.

The Huliheʻe Palace has a wardrobe furniture piece commissioned by King Kalākaua on display in one of its bedrooms.  It is constructed of koa and trimmed with darker kou.

It is suggested that it may have served as the Kingdom's entry in the Paris International Exhibition of 1889. The Exhibition catalog described the entry as “1 Koa Wardrobe, made for His Majesty the King from Koa trees grown in ʻIolani Palace Grounds.”  (However, some argue that koa is not acclimated to grow in the conditions at the Palace grounds.)

The image shows the mauka banyan tree on the ʻIolani Place grounds, planted by Queen Kapiʻolani.  I have added more images and layout of trees at ʻIolani Palace in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Friday, December 21, 2012

Historic Curbs and Sidewalks

As early as 1838, sidewalks along Honolulu streets were constructed, usually of wood.  Paved streets were unknown until 1881; in that year, the first, Fort Street, was paved.

The first sidewalk made of brick was laid down in 1857 fronting a shop on Merchant Street; Hawaii’s first concrete sidewalk was poured in front of a store on Queen Street in 1886.

Here are a couple stories about some ‘historic’ curbs and sidewalks in Honolulu. (Remember, State law, §6E-2 says "Historic property" means any building, structure, object, district, area, or site, including heiau and underwater site, which is over fifty years old.)

As a UH graduate, I am very familiar with the area known as “the Quarry” on the UH campus.  We still go down to that area of the campus to watch UH athletics.

From 1889 to 1949, Mōʻiliʻili Quarry provided the stone that was used to build Honolulu’s streets, sidewalks and curbstones, as well as some of its prominent buildings.

Holes were cut into the rock wall, using pneumatic drills. Dynamite was fitted into the holes, and its detonation would bring the entire face of the wall down, then they took the rock to the crushing plant within the Quarry site.

The University wanted the Quarry site for campus expansion and the Hawaiʻi legislature authorized the purchase in 1945

The first major and permanent construction of facilities in the Quarry began in 1956; and in 1957 Klum Gym, Team Lockers-Varsity Building, Locker Building, classrooms and an indoor enclosed boxing room were completed.

As you walk along Honolulu streets, look at the old lava rock curbs; it’s very likely these came from the Mōʻiliʻili Quarry.  These curbs are historic and serve as examples of the distinctive method of street construction in Honolulu during the late-1800s and the early-1900s.

These curb stones are rough-hewn below grade, but squared at their exposed surfaces. The width and height of the exposed surfaces are typically about 6 inches, but the buried depth is several feet. They are of varying lengths, from 2' to over 5'. Some curbs at intersections exhibit a slight curvature to follow the contour of the street corner.

In the mid- to late-19th century, sailing vessels from China or the continent bound for Honolulu to pick up sandalwood or sugar cane would fill their holds with granite as ballast (it added stability to the sailing vessels and weren't needed when loaded with heavy cargo.)

As more and more ships dumped their granite ballast on the docks, someone came up with the idea to use them for sidewalks.  These blocks are scattered throughout Chinatown, and many were used in the construction of a few buildings.

The original stones were several inches thick and were placed side by side with no gap between them - many of these are still around.  However, today, there are reproductions of these sidewalks on Maunakea Street

In the early 1900s, the city of Honolulu was engaged in modernizing its streets and replacing dusty footpaths with broad sidewalks.  The following appeared in the Hawaiian Annual of 1900:
"Official notice had been published requiring property owners to construct concrete sidewalks throughout the city, as far out as Thomas Square, according to specifications.  This public improvement is in progress, to be followed by the re-macadamizing (paving) of many streets."

John Walker (later, the firm Walker-Moody) pursued this business and soon his sidewalks proliferated throughout the city.  Unlike modern sidewalks, his were a very dark gray due to the addition of charcoal, and were given a smooth, almost polished finish, many of them labeled with the name John Walker etched in the curbstones (few remain.)

Back then, the name John Walker was virtually synonymous with sidewalks.  So well known was the name the unemployed men, when asked, "Who are you working for”, often answered, "John Walker”.  In other words, they were pounding the sidewalks looking for work.

Again, historic property is generally defined as something that is over 50-years old.  In addition to criminal penalties, State law may impose Civil Penalties on any person who violates the law with fines up to $10,000 for each separate violation (each day of each violation constitutes a separate violation.)

Rather than remove the stones, when contractors are making repairs to City streets, they are required to reinstall the curbing after the completion of the work.  If reinstallation isn't possible, contractors are required to salvage the stones and hand them over to the city for storage and later reuse on other city road projects.

When I was at DLNR, we were involved with a case where historic curb stones were being used as part of a decorative walkway in a private garden.  (They were ultimately returned.)

The image shows a John Walker sidewalk paving block (Walker-Moody, taken in 1971.)  In addition, I have added other images related to historic curbs and sidewalks in a folder of like name in the photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Puʻukoholā Heiau, Kawaihae, South Kohala, Hawaiʻi

One of the most famous heiau in Hawaiʻi is Puʻukoholā Heiau ("whale hill",) a significant structure (224-feet by 100-feet) with walled ends, and open and terraced on the makai side – sitting above the Kohala shoreline.

In the 1780s, there were warring factions were fighting for control. The island of Hawaiʻi was in internal struggle when one of the aliʻi nui, Kalaniʻōpuʻu, died.

He passed his title to his son Kīwalaʻo and named his nephew, Kamehameha, keeper of the family war god, Kūkaʻilimoku.

Kīwalaʻo, the new ali‘I, then bestowed gifts of land to his uncle Keawemauhili, but left his own half-brother, Keōua Kuʻahuʻula, with nothing.

Kīwalaʻo was later killed in battle, setting off a power struggle between Keōua, Keawemauhili and Kamehameha.  The 1782 Battle of Mokuʻōhai gave Kamehameha control of the West and North sides of the island of Hawaiʻi.

By 1790, the island of Hawaiʻi was under multiple rule; Kamehameha (ruler of Kohala, Kona and Hāmākua regions) successfully invaded Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi.

While on Molokaʻi, he sent an emissary to the famous kahuna (priest, soothsayer,) Kapoukahi, to determine how he could conquer all of the island of Hawaiʻi.  Kapoukahi prophesized that war would end if Kamehameha constructed a heiau dedicated to the war god Kū at Puʻukohola.

Called back to Hawaiʻi by an invasion of Kohala by his cousin, Keōua (ruler of Kaʻū and part of Puna,) Kamehameha fought more battles without gaining a decisive victory.

One part of the legend stated that Kamehameha first intended to refurbish and rededicate Mailekini heiau, on the lower slope. But Kapoukahi, who had joined Kamehameha's staff as royal architect, suggested that a new heiau on the summit would be more appropriate and provide greater benefits.

According to Thrum, Kapoukahi instructed Kamehameha "to build a large heiau for his god at Puʻukoholā, adjoining the old heiau of Mailekini."

Thrum continues: "Of Mailekini heiau little of its history is learned, or what connection, if any, it had in its working with Puʻukoholā within two hundred feet above it. In early days it was said that traces of an underground passage existed, though it was difficult to tell whether or not the two temples were connected by it. ... A tradition is current that this was the one that Kamehameha set out to rebuild that he might be successful in war, but on the advice of Kapoukahi he transferred his labors to the upper one of Puʻukoholā."

According to Samuel Kamakau, Kamehameha "...summoned his counselors and younger brothers, chiefs of the family and chiefs of the guard, all the chiefs, lesser chiefs, and commoners of the whole district. Not one was allowed to be absent except the women. . . .The building of the heiau of Puʻu-koholā was, as in ancient times, directed by an expert ... by a member of the class called hulihonua who knew the configuration of the earth (called kuhikuhi puʻuone) ..."

"When it came to the building of Puʻu-koholā no one, not even a tabu chief, was excused from the work of carrying stone. Kamehameha himself labored with the rest. The only exception was the high tabu chief Ke-aliʻi-maikaʻi [Kamehameha's younger brother]. ...”

“Thus Kamehameha and the chiefs labored until the heiau was completed, with its fence of images (paehumu) and oracle tower (anuʻunuʻu), with all its walls outside and the hole for the bones of sacrifice. He brought down the ʻōhiʻa tree for the haku ʻōhiʻa and erected the shelter house (hale malu) of ʻōhiʻa wood for Kū-kaʻili-moku according to the rule laid down for the kahuna class of Pā‘ao."

According to Historian Kuykendall, basing his information on Kamakau and Fornander, in 1790: "The building of this heiau was a great and arduous undertaking. Priests were everywhere about; they selected the site, determined the orientation, the dimensions, and the arrangement of the structure, and at every stage performed the ritualistic ceremonies without which the work could not be acceptable to the gods."

Recalling the words of Kapoukahi, Puʻukoholā Heiau was being used by Kamehameha to secure unification of the Hawaiian Islands (at the same time that George Washington was serving as the US’s first president (1790.)

Many of the stones on Puʻukoholā Heiau are believed to have come from Pololu Valley. It is storied that Kamehameha and his men formed a human chain nearly 20 miles long and passed the stones one person to another all the way to the heiau site.

After completing the heiau in 1791, Kamehameha invited Keōua to come to Kawaihae to make peace.  However, as Keōua was about to step ashore, he was attacked and killed by one of Kamehameha's chiefs.

With Keōua dead, and his supporters captured or slain, Kamehameha became King of Hawaiʻi island, an event that according to prophesy eventually led to the conquest and consolidation of the islands under the rule of Kamehameha I.

In early 1795, Kamehameha took Maui, Lānaʻi, and Molokaʻi. With the conquest of Oʻahu that year, Kamehameha succeeded in bringing all the islands, but Kauaʻi, under his control. In 1810, Kaumualiʻi, that island's paramount chief, acknowledged Kamehameha's supremacy, completing the consolidation of the islands into the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

Puʻukoholā Heiau was designated as a Historical Landmark by the Hawaiian Territorial Government in 1928.

The Queen Emma Foundation donated 34 acres of land in 1972, encompassing Puʻukoholā Heiau and the John Young Homestead, making it possible for the establishment of Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site.

Through an act of Congress on August 17, 1972, this site became one of the chosen few to be recognized as one of our nation’s crown jewels and national treasures, to be preserved and protected for future generations.

The image shows Puʻukoholā Heiau in 1890; in addition, I have added some other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

USS Saginaw

Hawaiʻi's islands, atolls and reefs have gotten in the way of many transiting ships.  To date, seventeen ship wrecks have been discovered and documented in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (the northwestern islands in the Hawaiʻi archipelago.)

One such ship was the USS Saginaw, the first naval vessel built at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California in 1859.  She was a 155-foot wooden side-wheeler that was powered by sails and steam engines.

The new side-wheel ship sailed from San Francisco Bay on March 8, 1860, headed for the western Pacific, and reached Shanghai, China in mid-May. She then served in the East India Squadron, for the most part cruising along the Chinese coast to protect American citizens and to suppress pirates.

Over the next few years, the Saginaw worked in other parts of the Pacific, from Alaska to Mexico.

In 1870, she was assigned to Midway Atoll, where a coal depot in support of transpacific commerce was to be built. For six months, she served as a support vessel for divers as they labored to clear a channel into the lagoon.

Then, in October 1870, she sailed for San Francisco, but, as was the practice, she first sailed to Kure Atoll en route home to rescue any shipwrecked sailors who might be stranded there.

As she neared this rarely visited island, Captain Sicard navigated his ship cautiously through heavy swells under reduced sail. The moon had set, but they did not expect to be within range until daybreak. At 3:15 am, waves were observed breaking ahead of the ship.

The captain ordered the sails taken in and engines reversed but within minutes the Saginaw struck an outlying reef and grounded. Before the surf battered the ship to pieces, her crew managed to transfer much of her gear and provisions to the island.

At daylight, the ship's boats were lowered, and the crew of 93 men made their way across the reef to Green Island as the Saginaw broke apart and sank beneath the waves. One last match was used to start a fire. Short rations were a concern, but even more critical was the limited amount of fresh water.

In such a remote location, the captain and crew could not count on a passing ship to save them.  They fashioned the captain's 22' gig into a sailboat and five volunteers, headed by Lieutenant John G. Talbot, the executive officer, set off for Kauaʻi, nearly 1,200-miles away.  The others were Coxswain William Halford, Quartermaster Peter Francis, Seaman John Andrews and Seaman James Muir.

December 19, 1870, thirty-one days later, they reached Kauaʻi.  There, after 1,200-miles in a tiny boat, the 5-member crew suffered unfortunate losses.

Here's an account by Coxswain William Halford, "Sunday morning the wind allowed us to head southeast with the island of Kauai in sight, and Sunday night we were off the Bay of Halalea on the north coast. ... Just as I got to the cockpit a sea broke aboard abaft. Mr. Talbot ordered to bring the boat by the wind. ... Just then another breaker broke on board and capsized the boat. Andrews and Francis were washed away and were never afterwards seen."

"Muir was still below, and did not get clear until the boat was righted, when he gave symptoms of insanity. Before the boat was righted by the sea Mr. Talbot was clinging to the bilge of the boat and I called him to go to the stern and there get up on the bottom. While he was attempting to do so he was washed off and sank. He was heavily clothed and much exhausted. He made no cry."

"Just then the sea came and righted the boat. It was then that Muir put his head up the cockpit, when I assisted him on deck. Soon afterward another breaker came and again upset the boat; she going over twice, the last time coming upright and headed on to the breakers. We then found her to be inside of the large breakers, and we drifted toward the shore at a place called Kalihi Kai, about five miles from Hanalei."

Coxswain William Halford managed to pull James Muir ashore, but Muir died on the beach. All but Coxswain William Halford had died.  Within hours of Halford's arrival, the schooner Kona was dispatched for Kure.

He was brought to Oʻahu and the US Consul there. King Kamehameha V subsequently sent his steamer the "Kilauea" to rescue the shipwrecked sailors, which arrived sixty-eight days after the shipwreck. All of them survived on monk seals, albatrosses and rainwater.

Halford received the Medal of Honor for his bravery; he retired in 1910.  The 22-foot boat that carried the five heroic crew members now lies in the Castle Museum in Saginaw, Michigan.

In 2003, a team of maritime archaeologists discovered features of the wreck site inside the lagoon at Kure Atoll. A few days later, divers came across a portion of the wreck site that included two cannon, two anchors, a gudgeon and several small artifacts such as sheathing tacks and fasteners.

Later, a team of maritime archaeologists returned to the site and discovered dozens of new artifacts including bow and stern Parrott rifled pivot guns, 24-pdr broadside howitzers, steam oscillating engine, port and starboard paddlewheel shafts, rim of paddlewheel, anchors, brass steam machinery, boiler tubes, rigging components, fasteners, rudder hardware, davits and a ship's bell.

In 2008, a team returned to the site to continue survey. And, with plans to develop a maritime heritage themed exhibit at the Monument's Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo, NOAA maritime archaeologists obtained the appropriate permits to recover the USS Saginaw's ship's bell for conservation and display.

The 2008 team documented additional artifacts, and collected additional still photographs and the first high definition video footage of the site. The ship's bell and deep sea sounding lead now reside at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo.

Lots of information and images here are from a summary on the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument website.  The image here is a sketch of USS Saginaw on the reef at Kure Atoll (George H. Read, 1912 (NOAA.))

In addition, I have posted other related images and maps on the Saginaw in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Seaside Hotel (Before the Royal Hawaiian)

What we think of today as the “Royal Hawaiian Hotel” actually is the second hotel of like name (the first one was in downtown Honolulu – the location of the State Art Museum and office) and, the site of the present Royal Hawaiian used to be the home of the Seaside Hotel.

But there was a link between the site and the hotel’s name.  In the 1890s, the Seaside Hotel was a beach annex to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel located at Richards and Hotel streets.

There is now another “Seaside Hotel” in Waikīkī, but that’s different from the hotel we are discussing here.  That other “Seaside” was built in 1970 and has been used by United Airlines as a perk for employees and company retirees.

This Seaside was really on the water and until the Royal Hawaiian took its place, it was one of the earliest hotels in Waikīkī.

It was situated on 10 coconut-covered oceanfront acres on one of the best parts of Waikīkī Beach (Kamehameha V (and others) had a residence here, on land known as Helumoa.)

It was the only Honolulu hotel where guests were accommodated in separate and distinct cottages (bungalows and tent houses.)  Each was named for prominent people who stayed there (one was the Alice Roosevelt Longworth cottage - named for Teddy Roosevelt's cigar-smoking daughter.)

It was marveled as “folksy, family-style living”) and it was a favorite of author, Jack London, who noted, “The older I grow, the oftener I come back, and the longer I stay.”  (SagaOfSandwichIslands)

In 1907, the Seaside Hotel opened on the property, and was later acquired by Alexander Young's Territorial Hotel Company, which operated the Alexander Young hotel in downtown Honolulu.

In 1924, the Seaside Hotel's lease of the land at Helumoa was soon to expire and the land’s owners (Bishop Estate) put out a request for proposals to build a hotel.

Matson Navigation Co. had big plans to build luxury ocean liners to bring wealthy tourists to Hawaiʻi.  But, they needed a hotel equally lavish at Waikīkī.

Soon Matson's luxury ocean liner and its 650 wealthy passengers would be arriving in Honolulu every two weeks and the two largest hotels, the Alexander Hotel and the Moana, could not accommodate all of them.  The availability of the Bishop Estate land began putting wheels into motion.

In March 1925, William Roth, Manager of Matson Navigation Company, his wife Lurline (whose maiden name was Matson) and Mrs. William Matson, the widow of the founder of Matson Navigation Company, arrived in Honolulu for a three-week stay so that Roth could attend the annual Matson conference.

Famous New York-based architect Charles V. Wetmore also arrived in Honolulu at the invitation of Matson Navigation Company leadership.

Wetmore advised Matson Navigation that "Honolulu is one of the wonder spots of the world, and it should have a hotel that is as much of an attraction as the city itself."

Castle & Cooke, Matson Navigation and the Territorial Hotel Company successfully proposed a plan to build a luxury hotel, with 400 rooms, at a cost of $2 million on the parcel of Waikīkī beach to be leased from the Bishop Estate.

The ground-breaking ceremony took place on July 26, 1925, before a building permit was issued or a contract was signed with the building contractor, Ralph Wooley.  By the time the contract was executed on September 5, 1925, some three hundred men were already at work.

The building permit still was not signed by August, and the City withheld granting it unless the building codes were first revised (high rises were not, then, permitted.)  The planning commission did not want to revise the building code to allow high rises on Waikīkī beach.

The City and County Board of Supervisors disregarded their concerns and allowed the increase in heights.  This would forever change the landscape of Waikīkī, as the decision also allowed much taller highrises to be built in the area.

The opening of the Waikīkī Royal Hawaiian on February 1, 1927, ushered in a new era of luxurious resort travel to Hawai‘i.  The six-story, 400-room structure was fashioned in a Spanish-Moorish style, popular during the period and influenced by screen star Rudolph Valentino.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin described the newly opened Royal Hawaiian as “the first resort hostelry in America.”

The 1920 image shows the location of the original Seaside Hotel (and subsequent Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikīkī.)  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kapiʻolani Park Bandstand

In the late-1800s and early-1900s the central area, and the dominant feature, of Kapiʻolani Park was an oval race track.  The western end of Kapiʻolani Park was a swamp fed by runoff and sediment carried by streams from the Koʻolau Mountains.

A duck pond and kalo loʻi were in what is now the site of the Honolulu Zoo.

At that time, there was the desire to create a watery landscape and areas of dry parkland; this resulted in the "construction of a system of canals and ditches from which water was drained to create a collection of small islands and ponds."

The largest of these ponds was located at the site of the current Honolulu Zoo. An island stood in the middle of the pond and was named Makee Island, after James Makee (a Scottish whaling ship captain, one of the founders of the Kapiʻolani Park Association that established Kapiʻolani Park and friend to King Kalākaua.)

The ponds created a watery landscape in an otherwise dry and flat park; the ponds were used for boating and the tree lined islands, which were accessible by footbridges, were popular spots for picnicking.

A small, covered bandstand (the first of several subsequent Kapiʻolani Park Bandstands) was located on Makee Island.

To get to there you either rowed across the waterway or crossed over on one of several narrow wooden plank bridges.

The Bandstand, originally built in the late-1890s, served as Kapiʻolani Park's stage for community entertainment and concerts, including regular performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Founded in 1836 by order of King Kamehameha III, the Royal Hawaiian Band is one of the last living links to Hawaiʻi’s monarchy.   The “King’s Band,” as it was once known, became a staple of daily life with performances at state occasions, funerals and marching in parades.

The band accompanied reigning monarchs of the time on frequent trips to the neighbor islands and brought their music to remote destinations of the kingdom. Today, the Royal Hawaiian Band continues the legacy and performs and marches in over 300 concerts and parades each year.

By late-1920s the Ala Wai Canal project drained and filled Waikīkī’s waterways to create Kapiʻolani Park as we generally know it today.  In 1926 a replacement bandstand in the drained Park was built.

A double row of ironwood trees flanked a path comprised of crushed coral was planted to the east of this second bandstand. The trees were planted as an “allee,” a term borrowed from French landscape architecture of the seventeenth century to describe a long, avenue lined by a double row of trees.

The allee is about 500 feet long and is a remnant of a former carriage road or system or paths and roads that were constructed to provide access to scenic areas within the park.

Bandstand number three replaced this facility in 1968.  The pretty much concrete, utilitarian bandstand was designed by Wilson, Okamoto and Associates and was sited at the ʻEwa end of the Park (near the prior.)

Then, in 2000, the 4th and existing Kapiʻolani Park Bandstand was constructed in this location.  Designed in the “Contemporary Hawaiian Victoriana" style.

Kapiʻolani Park has hosted four different bandstands over the years, and it appears each served a useful life of about forty-years before being replaced with another in differing design and functionality.

While the design and scale of each bandstand has changed each time, a constant has been its role as a focal point for island entertainment and festivals.

The image shows the changing nature of each of the four Kapiʻolani Park Bandstands (several images from “Kapiʻolani Park a history.”)  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)

Prior and into the 1800s, Mōʻiliʻili was an agricultural community. It was transformed in the early 20th century into a self-contained town center with expanded businesses along King Street by Japanese immigrants who made Mōʻiliʻili their home.

This area is part of the Waikīkī ahupuaʻa.  Waikīkī was once a vast marshland whose boundaries encompassed more than 2,000-acres.  Here, the Mānoa and Pālolo streams (and springs in Mānoa (Punahou and Kānewai)) watered the marshland below.

With the arrival and settlement of the Hawaiians, this area gradually transformed from marsh into hundreds of taro fields, fish ponds and gardens.  The broad expanse of the Waikīkī ahupuaʻa was once one of the most productive agricultural areas in old Hawai‘i.

In the 1860s and 1870s, former Asian sugar plantation workers (Japanese and Chinese) replaced the taro and farmed more than 500-acres of wetlands in rice fields, also raising fish and ducks in the ponds.  By 1892, Waikīkī had 542 acres planted in rice, representing almost 12% of the total 4,659-acres planted in rice on O‘ahu.

During the 1920s, the Waikīkī landscape would be transformed when the construction of the Ala Wai Drainage Canal, begun in 1921 and completed in 1928, resulted in the draining and filling in of the remaining ponds and irrigated fields of Waikīkī.

Many residents of the Mōʻiliʻili area (and beyond) may not be aware that just a few feet below their feet, cars, houses and businesses are remnant caverns and caves (and water) in the Mōʻiliʻili underground.

During the island’s formative stage, the sea level was more than 25 feet higher than its present level. This period of sea level elevation is responsible for the deposit of fossil reef limestone in southern coastal Oʻahu, including up to the region we now know as Mōʻiliʻili.

The weathering and erosion of Oahu’s dormant volcanoes, the Waianae and Koʻolau, paired with the rise and retrieval of the sea level resulted in the formation of “interbedded marine and terrestrial deposits”.

The underground cave system is thought to be part of the original channel of Mānoa stream – people call it the Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Karst being a geological formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, such as limestone.)

The wide upslope section of the cave is centered near the intersection of University Avenue and South King Street (down slope from the University Avenue – H-1 interchange.)  The lower edge is located at the intersection of University Avenue and Kapiʻolani Boulevard.

The environment above the karst is highly urbanized, containing busy streets, buildings and businesses. The consequences of such urbanization are evident. Before damages due to urbanization and cave-ins, the Mōʻiliʻili Karst contained a half-mile cave that seemed to be a single connected structure.

There were several ponds that were fed by the karsic springs. One was located west of University Avenue, upslope of Beretania Street (near the UH makai campus.) The Kānewai underground pond was important to Hawaiian culture, because its water was said to have healing properties.

According to Hawaiian folklore, fish swam underground from the sea to this pool to eavesdrop on the fishermen who frequented this area and listen to the fishers’ plans.

Another important spring-fed pond was the Hausten (formerly Kumulae) pond. Originally, the pond was a favorite of Queen Kamāmalu (sister of Kamehameha IV and V).  The Queen and her brothers loved swimming in the ponds, which were also said to have healing powers.  The pond became the site of the Willows restaurant, and served as an attraction to customers there.

In 1934, a construction project downslope struck a master conduit of the karst. This caused massive water drainage of the upslope area; “for more than four months, an average of 3.8 x 107 L was pumped daily before the hole could be sealed and construction resumed.” The total amount pumped before the leak could be sealed was greater than one billion gallons of water.

The spring-feed ponds vanished within 24 hours.  There have been several instances of collapses since the dewatering. One instance in 1952 involves the Standard Trading store falling through the ground into the karst below it.  Another instance involves the emergence of a large cavern downslope from the King-University intersection.

The leak was repaired, but had changed the karst forever. Several spots in the formation were deliberately filled.  Cave-ins greatly reduced the size of the cave network, and changed access to the underground.

The Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave) is the only place where bare limestone can be seen; the cave is approximated to be as high as ten feet, and have depth of up to five feet in places.

It is entered by only by a drainage grate, and despite the impacts of human intrusion, “construction fill, metal pilings, and trash swept into the system by floodwaters,” the cave has been able to retain its cool and clear water.

I have not been in the cave; reading people’s description of the experience, I am not sure I would spend much time down there.  The image is an 1897 photo (bishopmuseum) in the cave.   In addition, I have added some other images/maps in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Saturday, December 15, 2012

After December 7, 1941 - Submarines Continue Attack on Hawaiʻi

Most are very aware of the December 7, 1941 attacks by the Japanese on military installations on Oʻahu.

Their targets were Pearl Harbor; Hickam, Wheeler and Bellows airfields; Ewa Marine Corps Air Station; Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station and Schofield Barracks.

However, the attacks by the Japanese on Hawaiʻi did not end on December 7th.

A group of about nine Japanese submarines were kept in the vicinity of Hawaiʻi until mid-January - they were stationed there to find out just how much damage had been done to the American military.

In addition, they tried to do what damage they could, as well as stir up concern in the civilian population about the war.

Before December was over, the Japanese submarines brought war home to the neighbor islands.  Not by air attacks, but with periodic shelling from their submarines.

Over the next few weeks, on several occasions, they shelled more targets in Hawaiʻi - and, those attacks were not isolated to military targets; later in the month, civilian facilities were the intended targets.

Just before dusk on December 15th, a submarine lobbed about ten shells into the harbor area of Kahului on Maui, and three that hit a pineapple cannery caused limited damage.

Over a 2½-hour period during the night of December 30 - 31, submarines engaged in similar and nearly simultaneous shellings of Nawiliwili on Kauaʻi, again on Kahului, Maui and Hilo on the Big Island.

Damage at all three points was slight, and no one was hurt. The principal result of these shellings was to stir up the war consciousness of all the Hawaiian Islands.

A report of the Kauaʻi shelling states, "At around 1:30 a.m. on the moonlit night of December 30, 1941, an enemy Japanese submarine estimated to be about 4 miles offshore shelled Nawiliwili Harbor with least 15 three-inch shells in what was the only attack on Kauai during WWII."  (kalapakibeach-org)

"The shrapnel from one shell riddled every room in the home of CL Shannon, which was located over the Kauaʻi Marine & Machine Works, Shannon's business, then situated along the stretch of harbor between what are today the Matson and Young Brothers terminals."

On the bluff above the harbor, where the bulk sugar storage warehouse stands today, a shell started a small cane fire.  Most of the shells were duds. One punctured a gasoline storage tank, others created water plumes in the bay.

Merchant Marine William S. Chambers, on a cargo ship docked in Kahului, noted. "We were shelled by a Japanese submarine in Kahului Harbor on December 30th, 1941, shortly before we left for San Francisco."  No damage was reported at Kahului.

Ten rounds were fired at ships docked at Kahului piers.  Two shells fell harmlessly into the harbor. Four rounds hit the Maui Pineapple Company cannery, doing some damage to the roof and smokestack. One fell on the driveway of the Maui Vocational School, another in a waste lumber pile on Pier I, and one broke a few windows at the Pacific Guano and Fertilizer building. Army guns unsuccessfully returned fire.

The second attack on Kahului, on December 31, took place after General Order No. 14 established wartime censorship in Hawai'i and therefore received limited coverage.

The News did, however, mention in its first edition of 1942 that Maui police, navy and marine forces, as well as "HC & S Co. cowboys," were patrolling on horseback to prevent looting. The death toll from the attacks: one unfortunate chicken.

None of the damage was considered major. Some frightened Kahului residents started to flee, but police and Boy Scouts persuaded them to return home.

In Hilo, residents were roused when a submarine surfaced about three miles offshore and open fired on Hilo Bay.  Ten rounds, with high explosive shells hit a seaplane tender, the pier and started a small fire in the vicinity of Hilo Airport.

In addition, I have added a few other images and maps of the areas targeted by the Japanese submarines in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC