Monday, March 31, 2014

Frederick C Ohrt

Honolulu's public water system is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, under the American flag west of the Mississippi River. The first unit, installed, paid for and operated by the government, was in service on March 31, 1848.  (Nellist)

At that time, whale products were in high demand; whale oil was used for heating, lamps and in industrial machinery; whale bone was used in corsets, skirt hoops, umbrellas and buggy whips.  Rich whaling waters were discovered near Japan and soon hundreds of ships headed for the area.

The central location of the Hawaiian Islands between America and Japan brought many whaling ships to the Islands.  Whalers needed food and the islands supplied this need from its fertile lands.  Another thing the early whalers wanted was water.

The first ships to visit Honolulu obtained their fresh water by sending small boats with casks up Nuʻuanu stream above the salt water tidal area.

With the threat of competition from California and Mexico, it is quite clear that it was a desire to serve and hold the trade of the whaling ships that caused Honolulu to initiate its water system.  (Nellist)

Then, in 1848, in his annual report to King Kamehameha III and the Legislature of Hawaii, Keoni Ana (John Young), Minister of the Interior, made this notation:
“A water tank, for the convenience of the shipping (New England whaling ships,) is placed in the basement story of the new Master and Pilots’ Office, near the wharf (Nuʻuanu Street.) And it was supplied through a leaden pipe from a reservoir at ‘Pelekane’ …”  (Schmitt)

After the completion of the Bates Street reservoir in 1851, nearby businesses and homes were connected with the main. The system was further expanded in 1860-1861, eventually covering most of the city.  (Schmitt)

Over the years, the fledgling water system expanded.  Then, on April 29, 1925, Governor Wallace Rider Farrington formed and appointed members to the original Honolulu Sewer and Water Commission.

Their first meeting was held May 14, 1925 and the organization was completed on July 1 with the appointment of Frederick C Ohrt as Chief Engineer (Ohrt resigned from Libby, McNeill & Libby to take the position.)  (Nellist)

In his report to the Commission, Chief Engineer Ohrt added this observation: "... the first duty of whomever may be held responsible for correct solution of the water problem is to insist upon an aggressive policy of conservation and reasonable use of Honolulu's most valuable resource. Most valuable, because the measure of value is necessity; and the growth of every city is rigidly conditioned by its water supply."

Then, on July 1, 1929, Governor Farrington appointed members to the first Board of Water Supply (BWS;) they immediately appointed Ohrt Manager and Chief Engineer.

Ohrt established the principle that the construction necessary to support a utility need not spoil the landscape. Many examples of this can still be found around Oahu such as the pumping stations, which were designed by the respected architect CW Dickey.  (Engineers & Architects of Hawaiʻi)

The semi-autonomous Board of Water Supply (BWS,) under the administration of Frederick Ohrt, had been established in 1930 to replace the mismanaged and scandal-ridden City Waterworks Department, which had brought the city to the verge of a water shortage.

Flush with federal funds flowing from the Works Projects Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression, the Board assigned four projects to architect Hart Wood during the period 1933-1936.  (Historic Hawaiʻi)

Some of these lasting legacies under Ohrt’s leadership include the Pacific Heights Reservoir (1933,) the Makiki–Mānoa Pumping Station (1935,) the Kalihi Uka Pumping Station (1935) and the Nuʻuanu Aerator (1936, its purpose was to purify surface waters drawn from Nuʻuanu stream.)

Perhaps the crowning achievement of Board of Water Supply designs is the Administration Building fronting Beretania Street. Wood began the design of this project in 1947 and completed the design by about 1951, but the building was not completed until after 1952 (the year Frederick Ohrt retired from the Board of Water Supply.)  (Historic Hawaiʻi)

One of the early facilities of the fledgling Water Department (before Ohrt’s involvement there) was the Kalihi Pumping Station, on the corner of Waiakamilo and North King Street.

The initial building was constructed in 1899 (it has since been replaced.)  The pump in the plant was an EP Allis Vertical Triple Expansion Triplex Single Acting Pump.

There are three wells at Kalihi Pumping Station. Two of these wells were bored in 1899 and the third in 1900. The wells are cased with steel casing 3/8” thick. These wells are of 12” bore.  (Hawaiʻi Dept. of Public Works, 1913)

It is now home to the Water Department’s Fred Ohrt Water Museum, named in honor of BWS’s first Manager and Chief Engineer.  The museum is located at the Kalihi Pumping Station, 1381 North King Street.

Tours their include an introduction to our island's water cycle, discussion on water conservation, and walking tour of the museum showcasing "The Old Man of Kalihi", the original 1899 steam pump, and history of the BWS.

The Honolulu BWS is the largest municipal water utility in the state, serving one-million customers on O‘ahu with 55-billion gallons of water every year, which includes 95-active drinking water facilities, 166-storage tanks and more than 2,000-miles of pipeline servicing nearly every community on O‘ahu.

Another Wood design was Fred Ohrt’s residence on Pali Highway.  In 1987, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as representative of the Tudor–French Norman Cottages Thematic Group of homes in Honolulu (between Hānaiakamālama (Queen Emma Summer Palace) and Oʻahu Country Club; on the golf course side of the highway.)

The image shows “The Old Man of Kalihi,” the 1899 steam pump at the Fred Ohrt Water Museum.  In addition, I have added some other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kalauhaʻihaʻi Fishpond

In ancient Hawai‘i, fishponds were an integral part of the ahupua‘a.  Hawaiians built enclosures in near shore waters to raise fish for their communities and families.  It is believed these were first built around the fifteenth century.

A fish was kapu to the Hawaiians during its spawning season, to allow a variety of fish to reproduce. Although the chief or commoners were unable to catch fish in the sea at specific time spans, they were available in the fishponds because fishponds were considered a part of the land.

In 1848, when King Kamehameha III pronounced the Great Māhele, or land distribution, Hawaiian fishponds were considered private property.  This was confirmed in subsequent Court cases that noted “titles to fishponds are recognized to the same extent and in the same manner as rights recognized in fast land.”

Maunalua Bay, located at the southeast end of Oʻahu, was once home to many large Hawaiian fishponds; one of these was Kalauhaʻihaʻi fishpond (sometimes referenced as Kalauhaʻehaʻe (and Lucas Pond/Spring.))

Its original owners were King Kamehameha I and Queen Kaʻahumanu who maintained a summer residence on Paikō Beach.  Kalauhaʻihaʻi was once one of Oʻahu’s most thriving and productive fishponds, raising awa, aholehole, mullet and other favorites.

The name Kalauhaʻihaʻi refers to Queen Kaʻahumanu’s breaking of the old kapu (the ancient system of laws and regulations) when she became Christian, which is said to have taken place on the property.

King Kamehameha later gave the land, including the spring and pond, to Captain Alexander Adams (1780–1871.)  “Many were the self-sacrificing services rendered Kamehameha and Kaʻahumanu by Captain Adams, and they both loved him for his loyal devotion.”

“In appreciation they gave him the whole of the land of Niu, Oʻahu, and included also in this gift their favorite resort subsequently called Kalauhaihai, the place where Kaahumanu first proclaimed her renunciation of ancient rites and customs, to adopt modern civilization and customs. That was why the place was so named, meaning a scattering or dropping off of leaves; plucking withered leaves, a renunciation of the ancient customs to adopt the new.”  (Thrum)

Ownership of the 2,446-acres were claimed by Alexander Adams under Claim No. 802 filed February 14, 1848, with the Land Commission at the time of the Great Māhele.

The claim states: “From the testimony of Governor Kekūanāoʻa … it appears that the claimant was created lord of konohiki of this land, in the time of Kamehameha I, and that he has exercised the konohikiship of the same without dispute ever since the year of Our Lord 1822.”

The Niu Valley estate was passed down to Adams’ granddaughter, Mary Lucas; Kalauhaʻihaʻi fishpond was later used for a family dairy by Mary Lucas.  She started subdividing the property in the 1950s; Adam’s descendants remain in the area.

In the 1960s, Mr. Tad Hara had a two-story wooden house built over the still productive pond.  The home was designed with a glass floor to allow Mr. Hara to view the fish in the pond.

The 3-foot-deep pond was filled with aholehole (Hawaiian flagtail,) ʻopae lolo (aloha prawn,)ʻamaʻama (mullet,) awa (milkfish,) hapawai (brackish water snail) and koi.  In 1989, Mr. Hara registered his fishpond with the State Water Commission.

Widening Kalanianaʻole Highway (the fourth busiest highway in the State) in the early-1990s changed things.

During construction, they ruptured the lava tube connecting Kalauhaʻihaʻi Fishpond to the underground artesian source directly mauka of the pond that altered spring flow to the ocean, diverted the water to utility line trenches and the sewer.

A legal battle ensued to restore the spring’s flow; Mr. Hara eventually sold the property to the DOT.

A community effort to preserve the pond resulted in a NOAA-sponsored plan and legislation to keep the property in state hands and away from public auction (as well as providing statewide preference for the reconstruction, restoration, repair, or use of Hawaiian fishponds.)

Since 2007, Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center has been working to save Kalauhaʻihaʻi; they happily reported that on July 11, 2013, they were given the keys to the property and permission to restore the fishpond and care for the grounds.

The image shows the Hara house and Kalauhaʻihaʻi Fishpond.   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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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Waikīkī Ranch and Dairy

Jay P Graves, son of John James Graves (who made his fortune in mining, streetcar and railroad on the continent) purchased about 1,000-acres of land in 1904 and started Waikīkī Ranch.

Like others with means in the day, he built a mansion; it was designed by architect Kirtland Cutter.  The Olmstead Brothers of Boston designed the gardens and water system, and the interiors were done by Elsie de Wolfe, America’s first well-known decorator.

Graves wanted the mansion to have a joyous atmosphere, which significantly influenced the Cutter design. The house has beautiful oak and maple floors, and unique molded-plaster ceilings.

Newspaper accounts note that a construction camp had been established on the property for the 25-100 workmen who were engaged in construction of the mansion. The camp was complete with a bunkhouse, commissary and mess tent.

The 23-room mansion and a number of smaller buildings were constructed at a cost of approximately $175,000 for construction and furnishings in 1911-1913.

Waikīkī Ranch had its own water system, which included a storage system of 100,000-gallons, as well as its own hydro-electric system, which provided all of the electrical requirements.

The beautiful staircase featured rare tigerwood and benches to sit.  The one-piece carved alabaster light fixture was of exceptional size and typical of Cutters details; leaded glass was throughout the home.

For nearly twenty-five years Graves continued to make additions and alterations to the property, often with Cutter designs.

The Graves entertained many of the nation's financial leaders and even royalty. Prince Albert, later King Albert of Belgium, was a visitor.

Waikīkī Ranch was said to have had the largest herd of thoroughbred Jersey Cattle in the Pacific. The dairy was well known throughout the world with breeding stock shipped as far away as China.

The Jersey was bred on the British Channel Island of Jersey. It apparently descended from cattle stock brought over from the nearby Norman mainland, and was first recorded as a separate breed around 1700.

Adaptable to hot climates, these are smaller cows are a popular breed due to the ability to carry a larger number of effective milking cows per unit area due to lower body weight, hence lower maintenance requirements and superior grazing ability (also the high butterfat content of its milk.)

The Waikīkī Dairy, founded in 1914, had its own special bottling, with bottles bearing in brilliant red lettering and around the bottom: “For the exclusive use of Waikīkī Dairy”.

In 1936, the mansion and remaining ranch property was sold to Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Marr for $175,000. The Graves moved to Pasadena, California.

OK, before you exhaust yourself racking your brain trying to figure out where this 1,000-acre dairy/ranch was in Waikīkī … it wasn’t in Hawaiʻi, it was in Spokane, Washington.

But there are Hawaiʻi ties to the place.

Obviously the name, Waikīkī Ranch, is one.  Graves had visited Waikīkī and noted the meaning of its name, ‘spouting waters.’  Since the ranch had 24-natural springs, Graves thought it an appropriate name for his property.

There’s more.

Lots of Hawaiʻi students go to college on the former ranch property.

Gonzaga University purchased the Waikīkī Mansion and 9-acres of land in 1964 for $500,000 with the intention of using it for retreats and other events.

In 1983, the Waikīkī mansion was renamed the Bozarth Mansion and Retreat Center in honor of area wheat farmer, Horace and Christine Bozarth, who gave a substantial gift to renovate the mansion and pay off the remaining debt.

Gonzaga students formed the Hawaiʻi-Pacific Islanders Club and host an annual lūʻau for students and area residents.  The 45th annual lūʻau is held Saturday, March 29, 2014.

Another Spokane school has Waikīkī Ranch ties; the ranch originally included the land on which Whitworth University is presently located.

The Whitworth Hawaiian Club, Na Puʻuwai o Hawaiʻi (The Heart of Hawai’i), shares food and culture with the Whitworth and Spokane folks at its 44th annual lūʻau, Saturday, April 12, 2014.

The image shows the Waikīkī dairy milk bottle (ebay.)   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, March 28, 2014

Go For Broke

On January 28, 1943, the US War Department called for volunteers for a new combat team.  The mainland quota was 3,000 and the Hawaiʻi quota was 1,500.

But wait, we are getting a little ahead of the story.  Let's look back.

On December 7, 1941, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor forced the US into World War II.  On the day of the bombing and for six weeks after, the Nisei (Hawaiʻi born, 2nd generation Japanese in Hawaiʻi) and other cadets in the University of Hawaiʻi’s ROTC were made part of the Hawaiʻi Territorial Guard and assisted in guarding vital facilities on the island of Oahu.  They served as part of the armed forces defense of the islands for a 7-week period.

However, on January 19, 1942, the Army discharged all the Japanese Americans in the ROTC - and changed their draft status to 4C ... “enemy alien.”  Wanting to serve, one hundred and seventy students petitioned the military governor: “Hawaiʻi is our home; the United States our country. We know but one loyalty and that is to the Stars and Stripes. We wish to do our part as loyal Americans in every way possible, and we hereby offer ourselves for whatever service you may see fit to use us.”  (hawaii-edu)

A year later, the War Department announced that it was forming an all-Nisei combat team - the call for volunteers for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was made.  The Territory of Hawaiʻi raised a total of 10,000-volunteers and so its quota was increased to 2,900 while the mainland quota was lowered proportionately to 1,500.  

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was activated on February 1, 1943 at Camp Shelby Mississippi; the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce held a Farewell Ceremony for Hawaiʻi 442nd soldiers on March 28, 1943, at ʻIolani Palace.  By April 1943, the recruits arrived for training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

The Hawaiʻi-born Nisei, also known as “Buddhaheads,” made up about two-thirds of the regiment. The remaining third were Nisei from the mainland (they came from the Pacific coast, the Rocky Mountain states, the midwest and the eastern seaboard.)  Immediately, the two factions fought with each other (because of different perspectives based on where they grew up.)  (goforbroke-org)

At the time, Japanese in the US were placed in internment camps; more than 110,000-people of Japanese ancestry (including 60-percent who were American citizens) were forcibly “relocated” from their homes, businesses and farms in the western states (about 1,000 were interned in Hawaiʻi.)

Back at the training camp, the Buddhaheads thought the mainlander Nisei were sullen and snobby, and not confident and friendly. Soon misunderstandings turned into fistfights.  In fact, that was how mainlanders got the name “Katonk.” (They say it was the sound their heads made when they hit the floor.)

The Katonks were fairer skinned, and spoke perfect English. The Buddhaheads were darker skinned and spoke Pidgin - a mixture of Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese and broken English.  (goforbroke-org)

Money was another big divider between the groups. The Buddhaheads gambled heavily and spent freely using the cash sent by their generous parents who still worked in Hawaiʻi. They thought the Katonks were cheap. They didn’t realize that the Katonks sent most of their meager Army pay to their families imprisoned in the camps.  (goforbroke-org)

The friction between the two groups was so bad that the military high command considered disbanding the 442nd. They thought the men could never fight overseas as a unit. The Army decided to send a group of Buddhaheads to visit the internment camps in Arkansas (the men thought Camp Jerome and Camp Rowher were little towns with Japanese families.)

But when the trucks rolled past the barbed wire fence, past the guard towers armed with machine guns pointed at the camp residents, past the rough barracks where whole families crowded in small compartments with no privacy - suddenly the Buddhaheads understood. Word of the camps spread quickly, and the Buddhaheads gained a whole new respect for the Katonks. Immediately the men in the 442nd became united - "like a clenched fist."

From May 1943 through February 1944, the men trained for combat; they excelled at maneuvers and learned to operate as a team. In March, Chief of Staff General George Marshall inspected the regiment. Following their training, on April 22, 1944, the 442d packed up and were bound for Italy.

The motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was “Go For Broke.” (It’s a gambling term that means risking everything on one great effort to win big.)

The soldiers of the 442nd needed to win big … they did.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the entire history of the US Military.

In total, about 14,000-men served.  Members of this unit earned over 18,000-individual decorations including 9,486 Purple Hearts and 5,200 Bronze Stars. The Combat Team earned five Presidential Citations, the only military unit ever to claim that achievement.

General of the Army George C Marshall praised the team saying, "there were superb: the men of the 100/442d ... showed rare courage and tremendous fighting spirit ... everybody wanted them." General Mark W. Clark (Fifth Army) said, "these are some the best ... fighters in the US Army. If you have more, send them over."  (army-mil)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote, "a combat team ... of loyal American citizens of Japanese descent has my full approval, (and) will add to the ... 5,000 ... already serving in the ... (100th Infantry Battalion, and Military Intelligence Service) ... Americanism is not ... a matter of race or ancestry. A good American is one who is loyal to this country and to our creed of liberty and democracy."

The 442d may be best known for its rescue of the Lost Texas Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division, in the forests of the Vosges Mountains in northeastern France, near Biffontaine and Bruyeres on October 30, 1944.

The 442nd and the 141st Texas Regiment were both part of the 36th Division under the command of Major General John Dahlquist. They were fighting in Eastern France, near the German border.  The 141st Texas Regiment advanced four miles beyond friendly forces - the Germans surrounded them.  More than 200 Texans were stranded on a ridge, they were low on food, water and ammo.

Isolated for six days, the Texans had beaten back five enemy assaults. Deaths and casualties mounted.  During the six days, the 442nd fought to rescue the Lost Battalion.  After 34 days of almost non-stop combat - liberating Bruyeres and Biffontaine, rescuing the 211 Texans, and nine more days of driving the Germans through the forest - the 442nd’s total casualties were 216 men dead and more than 856 wounded.

As part of the Allies' Southern Group of Armies, the 100/442d fought in eight campaigns and made two beachhead assaults in Italy and France, captured a submarine and opened the gates of Dachau concentration camp.

It is ironic that this team liberated Dachau, because some of these Japanese Americans were detained in American camps before being drafted into service, and still had family in those US camps. Nisei were denied their property, freedom to move, live in their own homes, work, and learn in the western US.  (army-mil)

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team included the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 232nd Combat Engineer Company, 206th Army Ground Force Band, Antitank Company, Cannon Company, Service Company, medical detachment, headquarters companies, and two infantry battalions. The 1st Infantry Battalion remained on the mainland to train new recruits. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions would join the legendary 100th Battalion, which was already fighting in Italy.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was actually composed of two distinct units: the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion.  These two units were formed independently at different times and do not share a common lineage.  The 100th Battalion would eventually become the 442nd's 1st battalion in June 1944.  (the442-org)

Some quotes about the members of the 442:
“You not only fought the enemy … you fought prejudice and won.” President Harry S Truman

“Never in military history did an army know as much about the enemy prior to actual engagement” General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander, Pacific Theater

“My fellow Americans, we gather here today to right a grave wrong ... now let me sign HR 442.” President Ronald Reagan, Civil Liberties Act of 1988

“The Nisei saved countless lives and shortened the war by two years.”  Charles A Willoughby, General MacArthur's Intelligence Officer

Soldiers wear a wide assortment of insignia, ribbons, medals, badges, tabs and patches.  The distinctive unit insignia for the 442d Infantry Regiment, Organized Reserves Corps (Hawaiʻi) was originally approved on May 22, 1952. It was amended to withdraw "Organized Reserves Corps" from the designation on June 30, 1959.  (Pentagon-mil)

The 442d’s insignia is blue and white, the colors for the Infantry. The taro leaf, from the coat of arms of the 100th Infantry Battalion, is identified with Hawaiʻi, and the Mississippi River steam boat symbolizes the place of activation of the 442d Infantry Regiment (Camp Shelby, Mississippi.)  (Pentagon-mil). (Lots of information here from 442-org, goforbroke-org and army-mil.)

The image shows the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce Farewell Ceremony for Hawaiʻi 442d soldiers, March 28, 1943 at ʻIolani Palace.  In addition, I have added others similar images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

“East Wind, Rain”

Takeo Yoshikawa, a Japanese spy, arrived in Honolulu on March 27, 1941, aboard the Japanese liner Nitta Maru.  His papers identified him as Tadashi Morimura, the name he was always referred to while in the Islands (and subsequent investigative records.)  (He’ll be referred to here by his real name, Yoshikawa.)

Born on March 7, 1914, Yoshikawa had been approached in 1936 to work as a civilian for Japan’s naval intelligence service: “Since I had been studying English, I was assigned to the sections dealing with the British and American navies. I became the Japanese navy's expert on the American navy.”

“I read everything; diplomatic reports from our attachés, secret reports from our agents around the world. I read military commentators like Hanson Baldwin (New York Times military affairs editor.)” Yoshikawa also studied Jane's Fighting Ships and memorized the silhouettes of all the American ships, something that would later prove critical.  (Savela)

Posing as junior diplomat, Yoshikawa was to keep current on the status of the US fleet and its anchorages, reporting his observations to Tokyo by coded telegraph messages.  Thanks to Hawaiʻi's large Japanese-American population, Yoshikawa easily blended in.

When Kita briefed Yoshikawa, he reminded him, “Don't make yourself conspicuous; maintain a normal, business-as-usual attitude, keep calm under all circumstances; avoid taking unnecessary risks; stay away from guarded and restricted areas and be aware of the FBI.” (Prange; Savela)

In keeping with his cover, Yoshikawa avoided illegally entering military bases or stealing classified documents. He shunned cameras and notepads, relying instead on memory. He supplemented his observations with items of interest gleaned from daily newspapers.

Yoshikawa familiarized himself with the principal Hawaiian Islands and their military installations, which were concentrated on Oʻahu. He frequently relied on a hired cab driven by John Mikami, a Japanese-Hawaiian who often performed chores for the consulate.  (Deac)

Other times, Yoshikawa was chauffeured by Richard Kotoshirodo, a consular clerk. It did not take long for Yoshikawa to scout out the various US Army and Navy bases on central, southern and eastern Oʻahu. Predictably, the focus of his attention was Pearl Harbor, the nearly landlocked US Pacific Fleet anchorage on the south coast of the island.

The assignment fit into a plan outlined in January 1941 by Combined Fleet Commander Isoroku Yamamoto. The plan called for an aerial assault on Hawaiʻi as the opening move of a war between the United States and Japan. Yoshikawa was to become his country's only military spy in the islands and Yamamoto's most valuable source of current information on Oʻahu.  (Deac)

And with its relatively open landscape, sloping elevations, and limited restrictions on movement, he readily compiled useful intelligence. His encyclopedic knowledge of US ships and his methodical charting of their movements made his reports all the more valuable.  His contribution to the Japanese effort was ultimately "an important one."  (Savela)

Yoshikawa did not work alone.  Later joining him in espionage was a ‘sleeper agent’ Bernard Otto Julius Kuehn and his family, Nazi spies sent to the Islands by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.  (Washington Times)

The Kuehns arrived in Hawaiʻi in 1935, they blended in, and waited; no one seriously suspected that Caucasians would carry on espionage for the Empire of Japan, so Kuehn, his wife Friedel, their daughter and son, Hans Joachim, were virtually inconspicuous as a white family on the windward side.

However, every member of the family contributed towards collecting and documenting military activities at Pearl Harbor from 1935 right up to the day the bombs fell from Japanese aircraft.

On December 2, days before the attack, Kuehn provided specific - and highly accurate - details on the fleet in writing. That same day, he gave the consulate the set of signals that could be picked up by nearby Japanese submarines.  (FBI)

At midafternoon on December 6, Yoshikawa made his final reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor from the Pearl City pier.  Back at the consulate, he coordinated his report with Kita, and then saw that the encoded message was transmitted to Tokyo.

At 1:20 am on December 7, 1941, on the darkened bridge of the Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi, Vice Admiral Chui­chi Nagumo was handed the following message:
“Vessels moored in harbor: 9 battleships; 3 class B cruisers; 3 seaplane tenders, 17 destroyers. Entering harbor are 4 class B cruisers; 3 destroyers. All aircraft carriers and heavy cruisers have departed harbor…. No indication of any changes in US Fleet or anything unusual.”  (Savela)

In the early morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese pilots flew toward the island of Oʻahu from six aircraft carriers (the Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku and Zuikaku;) two waves of planes attacked various military installations on Oʻahu.

The prearranged coded signal “East wind, rain,” part of the weather forecast broadcast over Radio Tokyo, alerted Japanese Consul General Nagao Kita in Honolulu, and others, that the attack on Pearl Harbor had begun.

The first wave of 183-planes (43-fighters, 49-high-level bombers, 51-dive bombers and 40-torpedo planes) struck its targets at 7:55 am.  The second wave of 167-Japanese planes (35-fighters, 54-horizontal bombers and 78-dive bombers) struck Oʻahu beginning at 8:40 am.

The Japanese consulate staff locked the consulate doors and began burning all their codebooks and classified material. “Smoke was pouring out of the chimney.”   At about 9:30 am, December 7, the consulate staff was arrested and later shipped to Phoenix, Arizona.

By 9:45 am, the Japanese attack on Oʻahu was over.

The image shows Takeo Yoshikawa. 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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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mānoa Valley Inn

The first subdivision in Mānoa was the Seaview tract, in Lower Mānoa near Seaview Street, which was laid out in 1886 (this area in the valley became known as the "Chinese Beverly Hills" due to the high percentage of people of that ethnic group buying into the neighborhood (1950s.))  (DeLeon)

In 1888, the animal-powered tramcar service of Hawaiian Tramways ran track from downtown to Waikīkī. In 1900, the Tramway was taken over by the Honolulu Rapid Transit & Land Co (HRT.)

In addition to service to the core Honolulu communities, HRT expanded to serve other opportunities.  In the fall of 1901, a line was sent up into central Mānoa.  The new Mānoa trolley opened the valley to development and rushed it into the expansive new century.

Originally numerous large, well-designed houses lined Vancouver Drive; however with the passing of the years many of these dwellings have disappeared. One of approximately a half dozen remnants of the earlier time which are scattered in the area is the subject of this summary.

The lot and house had been previously owned by Benjamin Dillingham, founder of the Oahu Railway and Land Company; Richard Bickerton, Supreme Court Justice and Privy Council Member under Queen Liliʻuokalani; Grace Merrill, sister of Architect Charles Dickey, and wife of Arthur Merrill, principal of Mid Pacific Institute. (NPS)

The John Guild House, now known as Mānoa Valley Inn at 2001 Vancouver Drive, was purchased in 1919 by John Guild, a Honolulu businessman. It had been built four years earlier by Iowa lumber dealer Milton Moore and has been refurbished and restored several times over its lifespan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Predating Hawaiʻi zoning laws by some fifty years, the Seaview area was one of the first areas to impose restrictive covenants for design and view planes.  It is likely that this is the reason that John Guild remodeled an earlier house on this site, rather than rebuilding a new house.

Prior to the 1919 major remodeling, the Guild residence was a large two-story bungalow style house which featured brown shingles.  Guild added the large brackets, outset square projections, porte cochere and inset centered porch.

The house was purchased in the 1980s by Honolulu businessman Rick Ralston (the founder of Crazy Shirts), who restored it in 1982 for use as a bed and breakfast under the name John Guild Inn, later Mānoa Valley Inn.  Several other transactions followed.

It’s now a 4,424-square-foot, three-story gabled cottage near the campus of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, operating as a bed and breakfast with six bedrooms, a suite and a small cottage and a broad, sheltered lanai with a view over the city on the sea side of the house.  The rooms are furnished with fine antiques.

Let’s go back to the home’s original namesake, John Guild.

Guild was born May 11, 1869, in Edinburgh, Scotland; he was son of James (a merchant of Edinburgh) and Mary (Scott) Guild.   After leaving school he went to join relatives interested in the sugarcane industry in the West Indies.  He married Mary Knox there on August 20, 1891; they had four children, Dorothy, Marjorie, Douglas Scott and Winifred.

He came to Hawaii 1897 and for short time was employed on Makaweli plantation; he later joined Alexander & Baldwin, then a co-partnership (incorporated 1900) and worked his way to being a Director and Secretary of A&B and in all the companies they represented.  He had quite a share in the development of the concern.

Guild’s prominent presence came to an abrupt end.

A New York Times headline tells the story: “ADMITS $750,000 Shortage; John Guild Manipulated Surplus Cash of Honolulu Firm”

“John Guild, formerly secretary and director of Alexander & Baldwin and honored member of the business and social communities of Honolulu is now No. E-512 in the Oahu penitentiary.  He is employed in garden work…”  (Maui News, August 29, 1922)

“(T)he grand jury found two true bills of indictment against him, one for embezzling bonds from the Episcopal Church and the other for embezzling $37,000 from Alexander & Baldwin in 1917.”

“On Saturday morning Guild was taken before Judge Banks and pleaded guilty to both indictments.  He was sentenced to serve in the Oahu penitentiary at hard labor two terms of not less than five nor more than ten years, to run consecutively.”

“This would mean that with allowance for good behavior he may be released in between seven and eight years, if he lives to finish his sentence.”  (Maui News, August 29, 1922)

Only two indictments were issued, “though more than a hundred might have been more were claimed.”  It was reported that the A&B books showed that Guild’s embezzlement was in excess of a million dollars.

The house was sold to the company for $1 and Guild was sent to prison where he died in 1927.  In 1925, merchant Arthur J Spitzer and his wife Selma purchased the house. They lived here until 1970.

The house later fell on hard times and was used as a student rooming house. The building was scheduled for demolition in 1978, when it was bought and renovated by Ralston and continues to be a very active bed and breakfast.

The image shows the former John Guild house, now the Mānoa Valley Inn.  I have added other images to a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


“Shaka” is not a Hawaiian word (it’s not clear when or how it came into use) – but it is believed it started as a Hawaiian hand gesture and has grown to universal acceptance.

It has many meanings

Originally it means to "hang loose", or to chill and be laid back. It can be used as a positive reinforcement. If somebody did something good, cool, or righteous, you can give them a shaka as a sign of approval or praise. It can also be used as a welcome/goodbye sign. Most people would give the shaka as a sign of howzit, wassup or hello, use it as a way of saying goodbye, and even use it as a thank you.  (UrbanDictionary)

Most point to Hamana Kalili (June 18, 1882 - December 17, 1958) as its originator.

In 1985, 550 people signed a petition giving credit to Hamana Kalili, a big man on Lāʻie beach and in the Mormon Church during the 1920s and 1930s. Kalili was a folk hero — fisherman, tug of war champion and hukilau organizer of the community.  (Krauss)

Beatrice Ayer Patton (Mrs. George S Patton – Patton was stationed on Oʻahu during the mid-1920s) described Kalili as “a magnificent example of the pure Hawaiian. A man in his sixties, with white hair and a deeply carven face, he had the body and reactions of a teenager. He lived and fished on the windward side of the island. … We went to several luaus … they were the real thing”.  (Patton-Totten)

When fellow Mormons in Lāʻie planned a hukilau to raise funds to replace their chapel that had burned down, they turned to Kalili, a renowned fisherman, for help; Kalili supplied the nets for fishing.  He also portrayed King Kamehameha during the entertainment portion of the hukilau.

To make a simple Shaka: make a fist (not a tight fist;) extend both your pinky and your thumb and lightly shake your hand.  (The Shaka sign resembles the American Sign Language letter for Y.)  There are multiple variations on the finger extension, speed of shake, etc.

Kalili’s Shaka didn’t start this way.

Prior to 1937, Hamana Kalili had lost his second, third and fourth fingers of one hand in an accident.   Kalili's grandnephew Vonn Logan explained that Kalili's job was to feed sugar cane into the rollers at the sugar mill, which would squeeze out the juice. He lost his fingers when his hand got caught in the rollers.  (Star-Bulletin)

“..he had lost three fingers on his hand.  So, you know since we were making fun of him, but we would wave to him … (gestures waving with three middle fingers folded down) And we folded our fingers on our hand to show what his hand look like.”

“And we would wave to him, and he would wave back at us.  And we would laugh, because he would wave back to us without his fingers. … he was always like a father to us in the community.”  (Roland Maʻiola “Ahi” Logan; Kepa Maly)

"One of his jobs was to keep all the kids off the train.  All the kids would try to jump the train to ride from town to town. So they started signaling each other. Since (Kalili) lost his fingers, the perfect signal was what we have now as the 'shaka sign.' That's how you signaled the way was clear."  (Logan; Star-Bulletin)

In the late 60s. we put a lot of effort, and was able to convince Mayor Fasi and other people about the ‘shaka’ sign.  And Mayor Fasi took it upon himself to declare that Hamana Kalili was the originator.  And we were all in the Mayor Fasi’s office to take credit for my granduncle.”  (Logan; Maly)

A local car salesman, David “Lippy” Espinda, picked up on the Shaka sign and used it and his pidgin language in his TV commercials.   He emceed his own show, “Lippy's Lanai Theater.”

Much sought after as a benefit auctioneer and banquet speaker, he appeared in "Hawaii Five-O" and "Brady Bunch" segments and had minor parts in some movies. “Shaka, Brah,” was his trademark and he popularized the "Shaka" sign.  (Star-Bulletin)

Politicians used the “Shaka,” as well.  Frank Fasi used it while campaigning for Mayor of Honolulu in the mid-seventies.

In a 1999 Star-Bulletin interview, Fasi credited the late Bill Pacheco with using the sign and saying "shaka brother."  "I think he meant shake it up, buddy. How's it going? Aloha. Have a good day. All those good meanings. It just meant a world of goodness”.

The image shows Hamana Kalili.  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Monday, March 24, 2014


The area of North Kona between Kailua Bay and Keauhou Bay to the south is generally recognized as containing the population core and the most fertile agricultural area of North Kona (Kona Kai ʻOpua “Kona of the distant horizon clouds above the ocean”.)  (Maly)

To the north of Kailua Bay, beginning at Honokōhau, is the relatively dry Kekaha district of North Kona, with its barren lava inlands and coastal fishponds (Kekaha-wai-ʻole-nā-Kona (the waterless place of Kona, it’s described as "a dry, sun-baked land.")

Keahuolū is situated in the transition zone between these two contrasting environmental districts, and is immediately north of Kailua Bay, a center of both political and economic activities since before Western contact.

Keahuolū has been translated in a couple ways, “Ke-ahu-o-Lū” (the ahu (or alter) of Lū) and “Keʻohuʻolu” (the refreshing mists) – similar to the neighboring (to the south) Lanihau ahupuaʻa (cool heaven.)

A hill at Keahuolū and adjoining Kealakehe (to the north) is associated with mists.  “The settling of mists upon Puʻu O Kaloa was a sign of pending rains; thus the traditional farmers of this area would prepare their fields.”  (This notes the importance of rain in this relatively dry area.)  (Cultural Surveys)

Several general settlement pattern models have been generated by researchers that generally divide up the region into five basic environmental zones: the Shoreline, Kula, Kaluʻulu, ʻApaʻa and ʻAmaʻu.

Habitation was concentrated along the shoreline and lowland slopes, and informal fields were probably situated in the Kula and higher elevations, areas with higher rainfall.

The Shoreline zone extends, typically, from the high-tide line inland a few hundred feet. In Kailua this is the area from the shore to approximately Aliʻi Drive.  In this zone, permanent settlement began in Kona c. AD 1000-1200. Several large and densely populated royal centers were situated at several locations along the shoreline between Kailua and Honaunau.

Several heiau were noted along the coast. Stokes described three coastal heiau sites in Keahuolū: Halepuʻa, Kawaluna and Palihiolo. Halepuʻa was described by Stokes as a koʻa, or fishing shrine, near the shore in a coconut grove.  Kawaluna Heiau was described by Stokes as a rebuilt enclosure located on the beach at Pāwai Bay. Heiau of Palihiolo was at or near the Keahuolū/Lanihau boundary, King Kalākaua had it rebuilt prior to his departure from Hawaiʻi.  (Rosendahl)

The Kula zone (the plain or open country) consisted primarily of dry and open land with few trees and considerable grass cover.  With limited soil, and lots of rock, this land was planted primarily in scattered sweet potato patches.  (This area was around the 500-foot elevation mark, and may extend further, to approximately the 600-800-foot elevation.)

The Kaluʻulu is zone is referred to as the breadfruit zone. Early explorers described this zone as breadfruit with sweet potatoes and wauke (paper mulberry) underneath; it may have been perhaps one-half mile wide. Here walled fields occur at the 600-800-foot elevation, which may be start of this breadfruit zone in this area.

The ʻApaʻa zone is described as a dryland taro and sweet potato zone (1,000-foot elevation and extended to the 2,500-foot elevation.) In historic accounts it is described as an area divided by low stone and earth walls into cleared rectangular fields in which sweet potato and dryland taro were planted. On the edges of the walls, sugarcane and ti were planted.

The ʻAmaʻu zone is the banana zone, which may extend from the 2,000-foot elevation to 3,000-feet, and is characterized by bananas and plantains being grown in cleared forest areas.  (Rosendahl)

William Ellis (1822) noted, “The houses which are neat, are generally erected on the sea-shore, shaded with cocoanut and kou trees, which greatly enliven the scene. The environs were cultivated to a considerable extent; small gardens were seen among the barren rocks on which the houses are built, wherever soil could be found sufficient to nourish the sweet potato, the watermelon, or even a few plants of tobacco, and in many places these seemed to be growing literally in the fragments of lava, collected in small heaps around their roots.”

King Kalākaua later (1869) noted, “Keahuolu runs clear up to the mountains and includes a portion of nearly half of Hualalai mountains.  On the mountains the koa, kukui and ohia abounds in vast quantities.  The upper land or inland is arable, and suitable for growing coffee, oranges, taro, potatoes, bananas &c.  Breadfruit trees grow wild as well as Koli (castor-oil) oil seed.  The lower land is adopted for grazing cattle, sheep, goats &c.  The fishery is very extensive and a fine grove of cocoanut trees of about 200 to 300 grows on the beach.”

A sisal plantation was planted in Keahuolu in the late-1890s, a mill was constructed nearby; sisal was used to make rope and other fibers.  Operating until 1924, the McWayne sisal tract included about 1,000-acres of sisal fields in Keahuolu and adjoining Kealakehe.  (You can still see sisal plants, remnants of the sisal plantation, as you drive up Palani Road.)

A fishing village with a canoe landing was at Pāwai Bay.  Makaʻeo (later (July 10, 1949) developed into the Kailua Airport (commercial aviation ended there July 1, 1970)) had a large cocoanut grove, with a coastal trail running through it connecting Kailua Village to the Māmalahoa Trail.

The Kuakini Wall (1830-1844,) built to keep the free-ranging livestock out of the coastal settlements and gardens, extends from Kahaluʻu Bay to the southern portion of Keahuolu (with an average distance of about 1 ½ miles from the coastline.)  It goes to, but not through, Keahuolū at its northern terminus.

The ahupuaʻa of Keahuolū was awarded to Analeʻa Keohokālole ((c. 1816-1869) mother of King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani) during the Māhele of 1848. Two walled houselots in Keahuolū had been held by Keohokālole’s ancestors "from very ancient times".

Keohokālole was a great-granddaughter of both Kameʻeiamoku and Keaweaheulu two of the important chiefs who supported Kamehameha I in his rise to power.  Kameʻeleihiwa states, “Keohokālole was regarded by the Kamehameha clan as an Aliʻi Nui in honor of the great courage and loyalty proffered by her ancestors in their support of Kamehameha.”

As Aliʻi Nui, Keohokālole held the fifth largest number of ʻāina after the Māhele with 50 parcels.  She relinquished 48% of her original 96 ʻāina to the Mōʻī (King) retaining 23-parcels on Hawaiʻi, 25 on Maui and two on Oʻahu. Of her lands on the island of Hawaiʻi, two-thirds were located in the Kona District.  (Wong-Smith)

Keohokālole sold portions of her 15,000-20,000-acre grant to the government and other parties, with the balance being transferred to her heir, Liliʻuokalani.

In her Deed of Trust dated December 2, 1909, which was later amended in 1911, Queen Lili‘uokalani entrusted her estate to provide for orphan and destitute children in the Hawaiian Islands, with preference for Hawaiian children. Her legacy is perpetuated through the Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center.

The image shows the makai portion of Keahuolu over Google Earth with some sites and place names added.  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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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Harry and Billy

Flowing water turned wheels to grind wheat into flour more than 2,000-years ago.  Back then, wind was also turning windmills for grinding and pumping water.  Fast forward to the mid-1700s, a French hydraulic engineer wrote of the development of the science of hydraulics.

Beginning with Benjamin Franklin's experiment with a kite one stormy night in Philadelphia, the principles of electricity gradually became understood.

In 1880, a brush arc light dynamo driven by a water turbine was used to provide theater and storefront lighting in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and in 1881, a brush dynamo connected to a turbine in a flour mill provided street lighting at Niagara Falls, New York.

Before light bulbs, outdoor lighting was via arc lights (lamps that produce light by an electric arc (also called a voltaic arc – through two electrodes separated by a gas.))

The world's first public electrical supply was provided in late-1881, when the streets of the Surrey town of Godalming in the UK were lit with electric light.

That system was powered from a water wheel on the River Wey and supplied a number of arc lamps within the town. The supply scheme also provided electricity to a number of shops and premises to light 34-incandescent Swan light bulbs.

In 1882, water from the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin served the first operational hydroelectric generating station in the United States, producing 12.5 kilowatts of power; the total electrical capacity generated was equivalent to 250-lights.

Shortly thereafter, hydroelectricity that powered public electric lighting made its way to Hawaiʻi.

“This has been a work of great labor and anxiety, and was really only brought to a completion on Monday night. Some days previous to that the Waterworks staff … had laid the necessary piping, bringing the water into the Electric building … was to be turned into the new wheel for the first time in these islands”.  (Daily Bulletin, March 21, 1888)

“The conditions of electrical power transmission have been thoroughly studied by competent engineers, and are now so well understood that those conversant with the practical aspects of the subject are well assured that within a few years even the smallest towns and villages will supply themselves with electric light and power plants.”

“The management of an electric power plant requires no unusual scientific knowledge. Once the station has been established it can be carried on by the ordinarily intelligent class of mechanics and workmen who are to be found in every village.”  (Daily Bulletin, March 26, 1888)

“Punctually at 7 pm yesterday (March 23, 1888,) the Princess Liliʻuokalani and Princess Kaʻiulani, attended by His Excellency the Hon. LA Thurston, Minister of Interior, arrived at the Electric Light Station in the Valley and was there received by the Superintendent Mr. Faulkner and Mr. Eassie.”    (Daily Bulletin, March 24, 1888)

“The moon three quarters full rose brightly in the sky Friday night.  The usually dark streets were softly lighted by the lunar rays.  Speculation was rife as to whether the electric lights would be turned on or not as it had been announced previously that Friday evening would witness a new era in the civic history of Honolulu.”  (Hawaiian Gazette, March 27, 1888)

 “A few minutes after 7, HRH (Kaʻiulani) was accommodate with a chair for her feet and under the guidance of Mr. Superintendent Faulkner in full working costume connected the circuits and had the honor of illumining the streets of Honolulu for the first time with the new light.”

“Suddenly as the sun emerging from behind a cloud brightens and gladdens the face of nature, did the turning of that wheel brighten and gladden the anxious intellectual mirrors of the assembled cognoscenti. The work and anxiety of the last few weeks was at an end.”

“Mr. Faulkner immediately hurried away to the town to see the lamps some of which were not burning, but after the lapse of half an hour or so, he had the satisfaction of seeing that all with the exception of 3 or 4 were glowing brightly and steadily; and it is confidently expected that to-night all the lights will burn from the jump.”  (Daily Bulletin, March 24, 1888)

"At 7:30 pm the sound of excitement in the streets brought citizens, printers, policemen and all other nocturnal fry rushing outdoors to see what was up. And what they did see was Honolulu lighted by electricity. The long looked for and anxiously expected moment had arrived.”  (Hawaiian Gazette, March 27, 1888)

“The lamps are of 2,000-candle power each arranged to burn one side at a time each carbon lasting from six to seven hours. After a carbon is burned out the current is automatically transferred by a lever which immediately trips the other side of the carbon and then that one burns six to seven hours.”

“The Electrical Works are just two and a half miles from Merchant Street up the Nuʻuanu Valley. On a knoll by the roadside on the way to the Pali stands a neatly finished dwelling house thirty three feet front by twenty-seven feet wide the residence of the superintendent and engineer.”

“A few yards to the rear rises an unpretentious looking two story building dimensions forty feet long by thirty feet wide and thirty five feet high to the peak of the roof where the motors and machinery of the electric works are in operation.”

“The water pressure at the wheel is 130-pounds to the square inch. The water power in its impact on the wheel is regulated by a governor operating exactly like that of a steam engine. By the time the turbine is reached the water has come rushing through 6,000-feet of pipe from the head source which is 300-feet above the level of the main in the building.”

“It is estimated that the discharge of water into the turbine is at present 2,000,000-gallons every 24-hours but that the discharge may be 3,000,000-gallons if required.”

“The turbine makes 1,275-revolutions per minute and is equivalent to a 130-horse power engine.  The revolution of the turbine is communicated to the dynamo motors on the second floor by belting. The two dynamos are respectively 42 and 10-horse power.”  (Hawaiian Gazette, March 27, 1888)

“Before closing this brief account of the event at the station we feel bound to offer one or two remarks on what can be only regarded as a strange anomaly, that at this late period in the history of science and amongst persons of high intelligence and practical experience and scientific attainments there should have been one who could dive into the dim recesses of superstitious gloom and having found what he wanted remarked that the wheel would have no luck unless it were christened.”

“There was such a one and he no Scotchman, and he had brought his tools with him in the shape of a bottle of ‘potheen,’ (whiskey) but the strangeness of the anomaly was nothing to the strangeness of the alacrity with which the assembled few agreed with that person and the strange appreciation they showed for the ‘potheen.’”

“Suffice it to say that the wheel was christened and its health drunk with heartily expressed wishes for its success. This took place on the ground floor - the distinguished company was above.”  (Daily Bulletin, March 24, 1888)

A year later, the first of a handful of houses and businesses had electricity. By 1890, this luxury had been extended to 797 of Honolulu's homes.

It’s interesting to note that the first electric lighting was installed in the White House in 1891 – after ʻIolani Palace (1886.)  (Contrary to urban legend that it also pre-dated the British palace, Buckingham Palace had electricity prior to ʻIolani Palace.  It was first installed in the Ball Room in 1883, and between 1883 and 1887 electricity was extended throughout Buckingham Palace.)

Oh, “Harry and Billy” in the title?

“Mr F (Faulkner) has two dynamos here the larger known as Harry and the smaller as Billy. Harry supplies power to 50 arc lights - Billy only runs 12 but Billy is getting old, having been working in America 8 years ago.”  (Daily Bulletin, March 21, 1888)

A special thanks to John Wehrheim for images (past and present) of the Nuʻuanu Hydroelectric facility.

The image shows the initial Nuʻuanu Hydroelectric plant (1887.)  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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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Waikīkī's Construction Evolution

The present Waikīkī has a land area of approximately 500-acres; it once was a vast marshland whose boundaries encompassed more than 2,000-acres.  Consistent with the character of the watered wetland of ancient Waikīkī, where water from the upland valleys would gush forth from underground, the name Waikīkī, which means “water spurting from many sources.”

Three main valleys Makiki, Mānoa and Pālolo are mauka of Waikīkī and through them their respective streams (and springs in Mānoa (Punahou and Kānewai)) watered the marshland below.

Since Maʻilikūkahi founded Waikīkī as a Royal Center of Oʻahu in the 1400s, Waikīkī served as the site of the royal residence and center of governance until 1809 (when Kamehameha I moved the government to Honolulu Harbor.)

Subsequent Kings and Queens visited and stayed in royal beach cottages in Waikīkī.  Mid- and late-19th century Hawaiian royalty were prominent among the first of the new wave to permanently settle in Waikīkī.  It was a place to escape to, as well as a pleasant location to entertain.

In 1877, Kapiʻolani Park was dedicated; its initial intent, through a 30-year lease, was to make available a limited number of beachfront cottage sites and a race track as an attraction.  In 1896, the Honolulu Park Commission took over management of the park and began to operate the park land and "permanently set (it) aside as a free public park and recreation ground forever."  (In 1913, the City and County of Honolulu took over the management and operation of the park.)

In the 1890s, Waikīkī drew the elite who constructed Victorian mansions.  Starting with James Campbell, Frank Hustace and WC Peacock, larger mansions began to be constructed in Waikīkī.  The later homes of William Irwin (1899) and James Campbell ("Kainalu," in 1899) epitomized the extravagance of luxury living.  The wealthy discovered the ultimate destination of Waikīkī.

Starting on a small scale, Waikīkī had a number of small residential tracks.  In February 1895 a small subdivision (13-lots, each approximately 5,000-square feet in size) was developed makai of Waikīkī Road (Kalākaua Avenue) and mauka of the John ‘Ena Road intersection.

Then, in 1897, a subdivision map for the Kekio tract was recorded.  The Kekio Tract, shaped somewhat like a triangle, was bounded by Lili‘uokalani Avenue, Waikīkī Road (Kalākaua Avenue), Makee Road (Kapahulu Avenue) and the lands of Kāneloa (Thomas Jefferson Elementary School).

As time went on, the royal estates were sold and subdivided on the dry areas of Waikīkī.  In 1921 the former estates of James Campbell and George Beckley were offered to perspective buyers by developer Waterhouse Trust Company.  With this subdivision the last of the large, readily-developable landholdings in Waikīkī had been broken up.

Further residential development would have to wait for the drainage of the area by the Ala Wai Canal.  Then, they started “land reclamation” projects on the coastal wetlands.

Back then, nearly 85% of present Waikīkī was in wetland.  The Army began the transformation of Waikīkī from wetlands to solid ground at Fort DeRussy and it served as a model that others followed (1909.)

The Waikīkī wetlands were characterized as, “stretched useless, unsightly, offensive swamps, perpetually breeding mosquitoes and always a menace to public health and welfare”.  The Territory saw the opportunity to drain and fill the land that “was valueless” to be “available for the growth of the business district of the city” and attain “a valuation greatly in excess of the cost of the filling and draining.”

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.  (By 1924, all of the streams were diverted into the canal and stopped flowing through Waikīkī.)

Walter Dillingham's Hawaiian Dredging Company dredged the canal and sold the material he had dredged to create the canal to build up the newly created land.  (The canal is still routinely dredged, most recently in 2003.)

With construction of the Ala Wai Canal, 625-acres of wetland were drained and filled and runoff was diverted away from Waikīkī beach.  The completion of the Ala Wai Canal not only created the opportunity for the development of Waikīkī as Hawai‘i’s primary visitor destination, but also expanded the district’s potential for residential use.

Before reclamation, assessed values for property were at about $500-per acre and the same property was reclaimed at ten cents per square foot, making a total cost of $4,350-per acre.  The selling price after reclamation, $6,500 to $7,000-per acre, showed the financial benefit of the reclamation efforts.

In 1924, the first post-canal residential venture, the McCarthy Subdivision, owned by and named for the Territory’s Governor McCarthy, was makai of what would become Ala Wai Boulevard.  The property, roughly triangular in shape and widest on the Diamond Head side, was bisected by Lili‘uokalani, ‘Ōhua and Paoakalani Avenues.

The mid- and late-1920s saw more and more of Waikīkī being subdivided into residential lots until most of the area was gridded into residential plots.  Before and during this time of residential development, there were hotels.

Hawai‘i's first accommodations for transients were established sometime after 1810, when Don Francisco de Paula Marin “opened his home and table to visitors on a commercial basis ... Closely arranged around the Marin home were the grass houses of his workers and the ‘guest houses’ of the ship captains who boarded with him while their vessels were in port.”

By 1820, Anthony D Allen (a former slave from the continent) 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)

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. …”

While these were part of the first hotel uses in the islands, as time went on, downtown Honolulu had the core of the hotel supply, and Waikīkī, two-miles away by foot over dirt roads, was not considered in the accommodation business.

But that changed.

Sans Souci Hotel, a Waikīkī beachfront resort that opened in 1884 and offered private cottages and bathing facilities, turned it into an internationally-known resort after it hosted writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote about staying there for five weeks in 1893.

In the late-1890s, with additional steamships to Honolulu, the visitor arrivals to Oʻahu were increasing.  When Hawaiʻi became a US territory (June 14, 1900,) it was drawing cruise ship travelers to the islands; they needed a place to stay.  Hotels blossomed, including Waikīkī’s oldest surviving hotel, the Moana Hotel. Often called the "First Lady of Waikīkī," the Moana Hotel has been a Hawaiʻi icon since its opening opened on March 11, 1901.

By 1918, Hawai‘i had 8,000 visitors annually, and by the 1920s Matson Navigation Company ships were bringing an increasing number of wealthy visitors.  This prompted a massive addition to the Moana.  In 1918, two floors were added along with concrete wings on each side, doubling the size of the hotel.

On February 1, 1927, the Royal Hawaiian (nicknamed The Pink Palace) was officially opened with the gala event of the decade.  Over 1,200-guests were invited for the celebration that started at 6:30 pm and lasted until 2 am.  Over the subsequent decades, promotional efforts grew and so did the number of visitors.

1955 saw the first of a new wave of hotel construction.  Three high-rise hotels opened in Waikīkī that year: the Princess Kaʻiulani, the Reef Hotel and the Waikīkī Biltmore (which itself became a victim of progress and was imploded to make room for what is now the Hyatt Regency Waikīkī.)  Another hotel - Henry Kaiser's Hawaiian Village, which was not yet a high-rise, opened its first 70-rooms.

Between 1950 and 1974, domestic and international visitor numbers shot up to more than 2-million from less than 50,000.  Statehood and the arrival of jet-liner air travel brought unprecedented expansion and construction, in Waikīkī and across the Islands.

Construction’s dominant role in the state’s economy dates back to Statehood in 1959, which focused tremendous investment interest, as well as visitor interest, in Hawai‘i. Construction activity accelerated in the mid-1960s, and accounted for 8.2% of the State’s Gross State Product in 1970.  The driving force in this increase in construction was the post-statehood tourism boom and related investment activity.  The industry hit post-statehood peaks in 1960, 1970, 1975, 1980, and 1992. (DBEDT)

The image shows locations and dates of Waikīkī construction evolution (over Google Earth.)

© 2014 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Friday, March 21, 2014

Maunalei Sugar

In ancient times, the windward coast of the island of Lānaʻi was home to many native residents. Maunalei Valley had the only perennial stream on the island and a system of loʻi kalo (taro pond field terraces) supplied taro to the surrounding community.

Sheltered coves, fronted by a barrier reef, provided the residents with access to important fisheries, and allowed for the development of loko iʻa (fishponds), in which various species of fish were cultivated, and available to native tenants, even when the ocean was too rough for the canoes to venture out to sea. (Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center)

In 1861, Walter Murray Gibson came to Hawaiʻi after joining the Mormon Church the year before; he was to serve as a missionary and envoy of the Mormon Church to the peoples of the Pacific. He landed in Lānaʻi and eventually created the title "Chief President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Islands of the Sea." He more regularly went by the name Kipikona.

The experience with the Church was relatively short-lived; in 1864, he was excommunicated for selling priesthood offices, defrauding the Hawaiian members and misusing his ecclesiastical authority (in part, he was using church funds to buy land in his name.)

By the 1870s, Gibson focused his interests in ranching in the area called Koele, situated in a sheltered valley in the uplands of Kamoku Ahupuaʻa. As the ranch operation was developed, Koele was transformed from an area of traditional residency and sustainable agriculture to the ranch headquarters. (Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center) In 1872, Gibson moved from Lānaʻi to Lāhainā and then to Honolulu.

After Gibson’s death in 1888, the ranch was turned over to his daughter and son-in-law, Talula and Frederick Hayselden. As early as 1896, the Gibson-Hayselden interests on Lānaʻi, which held nearly all the land on the island in fee-simple or leasehold title, began developing a scheme to plant and grow sugar on Lānaʻi.

They chose the ancient fishing community of Keōmoku for the base of operations, and in early-1899, the Maunalei Sugar Company was formally incorporated. Gear, Lansing & Co was the largest stockholder (Gear was President, Lansing was Treasurer - W Stodart was the plantation manager)

“The plan is that a sugar company will be incorporated at once with a capital of $1,000,000 and that 1,000 acres will be put into cane without delay. There will be no “wildcat” business in the enterprise and all persons signing for shares will be obliged to put down 10 percent of the amount desired. It is the intention of the promoters to avoid gambling in Lanai stocks as much as possible.” (Gear & Lansing, The Independent, February 28, 1899)

They developed larger support communities along the coast, cleared the lands, developed a narrow gauge railroad between Keōmoku Village and Kahalepalaoa (where the boat landing was situated,) and planted sugar cane, irrigated by water from Maunalei Valley.

“At the landing a very substantial wharf has been built, and a railroad to the camp two miles distant is in operation with a rolling stock of a locomotive and nineteen cars. Including the laborers quarters we have at the plantation fifty buildings, and the new buildings in contemplation are the pumping plants and the mill, a very respectable town and a very busy one.” (Stodart in Evening Bulletin, October 13, 1899)

Work on the plantation was largely done by immigrant Japanese laborers. “We have 400 laborers … and will have 200 more in a few weeks. The first crop will be ready to grind in 1901 and I have no doubt the yield per acre will be entirely satisfactory. The land is proving all that was promised and I have no doubt of the substantial returns to the stockholders." (Stodart in Evening Bulletin, October 13, 1899)

Both men and women were brought from Japan, and a finder’s fee of $27- $36 per male employee, and $23 - $30 per female employee was paid to the immigration companies. Laborers were typically paid around $0.70 to $0.75 per day, with expenses for merchandise and board deducted from pay at the end of the month.

All did not go as planned.

Before completing the construction of the mill and associated facilities, and prior to the first harvest being collected for processing, the Maunalei Sugar Company went bankrupt. Sugar is a thirsty crop and the necessary water resources for the plantation were never realized.

Additional hardships arose following an outbreak of the bubonic plague in Honolulu, which led to a devastating fire and the closure of many Chinatown businesses (many of whom had invested in the Lānaʻi sugar operation.)

But those were not the major shareholders’ only financial concerns. A heading “Business Concern is in Difficulties” called attention to the financial problems of Gear, Lansing & Company; a sub-heading notes, “Failure of Maunalei Sugar Co. a Leading Factor in the Corporation's Trouble Kaimukī and Other Large Real Estate Transactions”. (Honolulu Republican, June 19, 1901)

The story noted, “The corporation has, since its organization a few years ago, dealt heavily in real estate, besides participating largely in the boom of general stocks that two years ago strained the entire financial situation.”

“Gear, Lansing & Co.’s largest real estate deal was the exploitation of the Kaimukī residence tract. They laid out streets and installed a modern water works plant. A large proportion of the lots sold readily, but the hope deferred of rapid transit communication prevented a full measure of, success to the enterprise.”

Plantation records during the three year period of the plantation’s operation, some 70 employees (most of Japanese origin) died and were buried on Lānaʻi. In 1932, members of the Lānaʻi Hongwanji Mission built a memorial for Japanese employees of the sugar plantation near the grave sites.

Some other unfortunate consequences resulted from the Lānaʻi sugar endeavor. A part of the plantation’s work resulted in the introduction of the algarroba (kiawe) tree - the hardwood was to have been used as fuel for the furnaces, and the seeds as feed for the livestock. Left untended, the trees became an invasive pest on the island.

Following the sugar failure, Keōmoku was used as ranchland until 1954. The nearly 3,000 acres of cleared land led to significant erosion and siltation that spread from the uplands to the shore, burying sites and the reef under as much as nine feet of silt. (Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center)

The image shows a map of Maunalei Sugar (Lanai Culture and Heritage Center.) Here is a link to more images.

© 2014 Hoʻokuleana LLC

Thursday, March 20, 2014


A person, a place, a hospital … it’s all about a family.

Emma Kauikeōlani Napoleon was the eldest of the fifteen children born to Pamahoa and Temanihi Napoleon; she was of Hawaiian, Corsican and Tahitian descent.

They lived in downtown Honolulu, on Queen Street near Kawaiahaʻo Church; she was a teacher at Kawaiahaʻo Seminary.

Emma lived during the time of transition in Hawaiʻi's history when the Americanization of Hawaiʻi had replaced the Hawaiʻi of high chiefs.  Growing up during the early part of this period, Emma was one of many exemplary women of her time who strove to bridge the gap between the old and the new.

While protecting her heritage, she followed her convictions to improve the quality of life for all people in Hawaiʻi.  (Notable Women of Hawaii)

On June 2, 1882, Emma married Samuel Mahelona.  Born July 7, 1861, Samuel passed away on May 24, 1892 at age of thirty-one.  As noted in ‘The Friend,’ June, 1892, “The very sudden death of Mr. Samuel Mahelona has removed the head of a beloved Hawaiian household. Mr. M. had for some years been a book-keeper with Allen & Robinson, and was a gentleman of the highest character, and a consistent member, with his wife, of Kawaiahaʻo Church.”

“Mrs. Mahelona, prior to their marriage nine years since, had been greatly valued as an assistant teacher in Kawaiahaʻo Female Seminary, as Miss Emma Napoleon. The example of this refined Christian home of their own people has been one of most important service and encouragement to Hawaiians, and makes the death of this young father a public as well as private loss.”

Their four children were Samuel Hooker Kaleoʻokalani Mahelona (1884 - October 20, 1912;) Ethel Kulamanu Mahelona (February 2, 1887 - September 19, 1954;) Sunbeam Cushman Nehenuiokalani Mahelona (April 14, 1888 - August 16, 1889) and Allen Clesson Kauluheimalama Mahelona (1891 - unknown.)  

On June 7, 1898, Emma married Albert Spencer Wilcox (May 24, 1844-July 7, 1919.) (Albert adopted Emma’s children.)  Albert is the son Abner Wilcox (1808-1869) and Lucy Eliza (Hart) Wilcox (1814-1869;) they were in the eighth company of missionaries to Hawaiʻi for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.)

Albert was born in Hilo on Hawai‘i Island and grew up at Waiʻoli in Hanalei, Kaua‘i.  He worked with his brother George Norton Wilcox (1839-1933) in a sugarcane business in Hanalei, before working as the manager of Hanamāʻulu Plantation; for many years (1877-1898) he managed that section of Līhuʻe plantation.

In 1892, Albert purchased an interest in the Princeville Plantation, and by 1899 had complete ownership; he sold the Princeville lands in June of 1916.

Albert served as president of C Brewer and sat as a director on the boards of Kekaha Sugar Company, Waiʻanae Sugar Company, the Home Insurance Company and the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company. In addition, he served as a member of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi's House of Representatives for two years (1891-1892.)

In 1899, they built their home on Hanalei Bay.  Albert and Emma named their Hanalei home after Emma’s namesake, Kauikeōlani, which means “place in the skies (of) heaven.”  (The house is also referenced as the Albert Spencer Wilcox Beach House – it’s on the State and National Register of Historic Places.)

It is the earliest known beach house to be constructed on Hanalei Bay.  In the early twentieth century, other substantial beach houses were constructed by Mabel Wilcox, Dr. Harl, the Baldwins, Fayes, Sloggetts and Sanborns.

Kauikeōlani sits on a large landscaped lawn of land on the mauka (mountain) side of Weke Road; it has two inland fish ponds.

The deaths of five of her siblings at early ages greatly influenced Emma’s concern for the welfare of all native Hawaiians.  Albert and Emma Wilcox purchased land and built a hospital in Honolulu; in 1909, the Kauikeōlani Children's Hospital opened on Kuakini Street and was named in Emma’s honor (one of the few hospitals in the world at that time that was dedicated to treating children.)

“Nearly every child In Kauikeōlani hospital today is a charity ward. It is essentially a charity hospital. No babe in distress is turned from its door. If the parents can afford it, they must pay, but lack of fund keeps no baby away.”

“So good are the environments, the care and the treatment given, that many wealthy parents send their ailing children to private wards in this hospital. … Although all nationalities are welcome at Kauikeōlani … the Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian children predominate.”  (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 30, 1916)

In 1978, Kauikeōlani Children’s Hospital merged with Kapiʻolani Hospital and relocated to become Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children.  (Queen Kapiʻolani founded the Kapiʻolani Maternity Home in 1890.)

(The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (which first started as a department of the Kauikeolani Children’s Hospital) is now on the grounds of the former Kauikeolani Children’s Hospital.)

Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women & Children is Hawai‘i’s only maternity, newborn and pediatric specialty hospital; it’s in a $30-million fundraising program for its first phase to renovate and expand its facility.

This was not the only medical facility the Wilcox family founded.  Son Samuel Mahelona died of tuberculosis at a young age.  As a memorial to his son, in 1917, Wilcox (with others from the Wilcox family) provided land and funds for the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital at Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi, for the treatment of tuberculosis (one of the first hospitals on Kauaʻi.)

Over the years, the hospital was enlarged to accommodate increasing numbers of patients and services.  When antibiotics established the cure of tuberculosis, in the early-1950s and 60s, the facility began focusing on long term care needs and began admitting patients with acute mental illness.  It provides 24-hour Emergency Services, Imaging (Digital Xray), Rehabilitation Therapies (Occupational, Physical, Respiratory and Recreational,) Skilled Nursing, Intermediate, Long Term and Acute Care.

The image shows Emma Kauikeolani Wilcox (1920.)  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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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Teishoku #3 was my mother’s favorite.

With the meal came the anticipated stop and discussion with Mrs Teshima, proprietress of the place.  Mrs Teshima is now gone, but the memory of her gracious hospitality and her ability to remember the family and life experiences of her customers will live forever.

To tell the story of Shizuko (Mary) Teshima and her restaurant, Teshima’s, we need to step back a few years … a lot of years.

In the early-1900s her father, Goichi Hanato, emigrated from Hiroshima, along with her mother, Kiku Morishima, in a picture bride marriage (1905.)  Shizuko (Mary) was born June 24, 1907 in a Kona coffee field, not far from where Teshima’s restaurant is today.

Her father was an industrious man who tried his hand at many jobs; among other things, milked cows and made butter. He got a farm in Honalo and opened a store. He and his wife made tofu at home and delivered it by horse and wagon to their customers.  (Kona Historical Society)

A few years after arriving in Hawaiʻi, Goichi Hanato opened a general store, tofu factory and taxi service.

During World War I, Shizuko attended Konawaena Elementary School.   As a teenager having only an eighth grade education, Shizuko worked at her father’s general store.  It was there that she met Fumio (Harry) Teshima, an islander who worked as a mechanic for the Captain Cook Coffee Company.

Shizuko’s father wrote to his family back in Hiroshima Japan to ask about fiancée Fumio’s farmer family/reputation – the response was favorable, so Fumio was allowed to marry Shizuko.  (Narimatsu)  In 1926 they were married, and in 1929 the couple opened a store and called it F Teshima Store.

While her husband worked at Captain Cook Coffee Company and earned a cash salary, Shizuko worked in the store and started raising their family of five children.  She did sewing at night with a gas lamp to make extra cash, earning a dollar for trousers and seventy-five cents a shirt.

“To begin with I had the store. It was kinda boring, and I wanted to do something to keep me real busy. So, I decided …to run up to the church (when) they had classes in cooking.  So, I said, oh, I must like this work. I started with an ice cream parlor at first ‘cause I had general merchandise.”

“People, when they came to buy something, wanted to eat, and that’s how I got into food, too. I had two tables, one dozen ice cream spoons, one bamboo ice cream scoop, and the glasses….We made our own ice cream. Our ice used to come from Hilo.”

“We bought 100 lbs. and we packed it in the coffee skins, in the box, and we made ice cream the night before after we closed the store. In the morning it was ready and we packed it in ice with salt, but there was no electricity anyway, so we did it the hard way.”  (Kona Historical Society)

Around 1940, Mary purchased a fountain so Kona kids could have ice cream sodas, as well.  When World War II started, life changed.

The store became a popular saimin stand before serving libations and food to soldiers stationed nearby.  The store expanded into a hamburger stand, before it was launched a Japanese family restaurant.

Suddenly, Kona was filled with hungry, thirsty US servicemen who showed up at F Teshima Store with money in their pockets, looking for drinks at the horse shoe bar and hot off the stove hamburgers.

“Homesick boys, only 18 or 19,” she said, “but they were all very nice.”  These WWII soldiers, who couldn’t pronounce her name, gave her the name Mary.  (Winther)  (Relatives and good friends called her Grandma; we, always, respectfully, called her Mrs Teshima.)

When the war was over, the family made a smart decision in 1957 to tear down the old store and build a restaurant.  (Kona Historical Society) What was the general store evolved into a 230-seat restaurant.  (Her husband Fumio (Harry) Teshima died April 20, 1997.)

In 2009, Shizuko “Mary” Teshima was recipient of the Women’s Hall of Fame award, given by the Hawaiʻi County Committee on the Status of Women.

On October 22, 2013, “Mary” “Grandma” “Mrs Teshima” died at the age of 106 (she worked for 83-years at her Honalo landmark.)  She had five children, 17 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 16 great-great grandchildren.

The image Mrs Teshima (RuthAnnePhotography.)  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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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ka Iwi

The winds will turn before you and find you,
You'll be overwhelmed, O deaf aliʻi,
The winds will gather,
The naʻenaʻe leaves will bend,
You'll be swept ashore at Awāwamalu.
Caught in the fishing net of the head fisherman,
Your thigh bone and upper-arm bone
Will be made into fishhooks,
To catch the paoʻo and the ʻopakapaka,
Your flesh will be without bones,
The black crab, the shearwater will eat your remains,
The life from the parents will be broken off.
Here I am, the ʻaumakua kanaka,
Listen to my life-giving words,
Keawenuiaʻumi, come ashore, a storm is coming,
When you sailed yesterday, it was calm.
(Excerpt from The Wind Gourd of Laʻamaomao – (hawaii-edu))

Wāwāmalu or Awāwamalu (“Shady Gulch or Valley” – referenced above,) was on the Waimānalo side of the Ka Iwi Coastline, (known today as "Sandy Beach.")  Corpses of fisherman and sailors who drowned in the Kaiwi channel were swept ashore by the currents there and at other spots along the southeast coast of Oʻahu, like Hanauma Bay.  (Ka Poʻe Kahiko 76; hawaii-edu)

The meanings of the two core words are: ka (the) and iwi (bone.) This is the literal meaning of the word iwi, but we can be sure that there is also a deeper meaning, for bones of ancestors were very sacred; it was in the bones that mana (supernatural power) was believed to have been stored and that it remained in the bones even after death.  (Marion Kelly)

This coastline is called Ka Iwi; it fronts Ka Iwi Channel.  It may have been named for the bones of lost travelers who failed to make the crossing between Molokai and Oʻahu.

Others suggest it may be because the raw, wild, volcanic landscape of the area, rising from the sea, reminded the ancients of the exposed bones of the earth.

The ancient Hawaiians paddled the channel waters in their canoes for food, recreation, trade, communication and military purposes. The rich history of the islands is full of accounts of mythical demigods and real-life heroes testing their skills on the oceans. Control of Hawaiʻi’s channel waterways was an important part of Hawaiian society. This importance is reflected today in modern Hawaiʻi's claim to state ownership of interisland waters (Hawaiʻi State Constitution, Article XV).  (NOAA)

Control of the interisland waterways was an extension of domination of the land by the aliʻi. The “nature of the dominion exercised over a channel lying between two portions of a multi-island unit was based on Polynesian rather than Western concepts.” The Polynesians view the surrounding waters as part of the land. Control of the ocean by Hawaiians was implicit in the control of the islands themselves.  (NOAA)

Kaiwi is known for the Kualau or Kuakualau - the strong wind and the rain out in the ocean.  It is customary for it to blow in the evening and in the morning but sometimes blow at all times.  "Where are you, O Kualau, Your rain goes about at sea." (McGregor)

Wind speeds decrease in the lee of each island; whereas winds in the channel increase in strength. The area out in the channel is subject to heavy, gusty trade winds.

These winds had an effect on the waters in the channel; "... the ship turned toward Lae-o-ka-laau.  As we went on the Kualau breeze of Kaiwi blew wildly, and many people were bent over with seasickness".  (Ku Okoa, 1922; Maly)

In Hawaiian tradition, Lāʻau Point on Molokai represents a point of no return. For those traveling by canoe from Oʻahu to Molokai across the Kaiwi Channel, once Lāʻau Point is sighted, there is no turning back to Oʻahu.

More commonly known today as the Molokai Channel, the Kaiwi Channel separates the islands of Molokai and Oʻahu; it has the reputation as one of the world’s most treacherous bodies of water.

The channel is about the length of a marathon (26.2-miles) but it's a body of water; annually, swimmers, paddlers and others seek to cross its span as an individual achievement, or the glory of participating/winning a race.

In 1939, William K Pai is reportedly the first person to swim the Kaiwi Channel, from ʻIlio Point on Molokai to the Blowhole near Oʻahu's Sandy Beach (because he first paddled a little offshore before swimming, it was 'uncertified.')  Since then, several others have tried and succeeded.

On October 12, 1952, three Koa outrigger canoes launched from Molokai's west side; nearly nine hours later, Kukui O Lanikaula landed on the beach at Waikīkī in front of the Moana Hotel. Thus began the world's most prestigious outrigger canoe race, the Molokaʻi Hoe.  Two years later, the women's Na Wahine O Ke Kai, Molokai to Oʻahu Canoe Race, was inaugurated.

We are reminded of the hazards and risks crossing Kaiwi Channel, when on March 16, 1978, Hokuleʻa left Ala Wai Harbor in Honolulu on a voyage to Tahiti.  According to the Coast Guard report, the canoe left O‘ahu in 30-knot trade winds, with clear skies, 6-8 foot seas from the NNE, and 8-10 foot swells from the NE.  (PVS)

“Swells were high, but the canoe had ridden out such seas before. However, this time it was heavily laden with food and supplies for a month's journey. The added weight put unusual stress on the canoe, making it difficult to handle.”

“Turning off-wind eased the strain but it also caused the sea to wash in over the gunwales, filling the starboard compartments and depressing the lee hull. Winds pushing on the sails rotated the lighter windward hull around the submerged lee hull, now dead in the water.”

“Five hours after leaving Ala Wai Harbor, Hokule‘a was upside-down in the sea between O‘ahu and Molokai.”  (Will Kyselka, An Ocean in Mind; PVS)

“All that night (sixteen crew members) clung to the hulls of the stricken vessel, huddling to protect themselves as best they could from wind and wave. Daylight came. Airplanes flew overhead but no one saw Hokuleʻa. .... Most alarming, though, was the fact that the canoe was drifting away from airline routes, decreasing its chance of being spotted.”  (Will Kyselka, An Ocean in Mind; PVS)

“Eddie Aikau wanted to go for help.”

“An expert waterman, he had saved the lives of many swimmers in trouble in the powerful surf of Waimea Bay on the north shore of O‘ahu. … Eddie would go alone.”

“The crew, clinging to the overturned hulls, watch(ed) in silence as he rode the waves into a fate not unknown to many of the people of old who sailed toward distant lands.”  (Will Kyselka, An Ocean in Mind; PVS)

In the early morning of March 18, 1978, the Coast Guard arrived to assist the Hokuleʻa; later that day, they sighted Aikau’s surfboard.  Eddie was never seen again.

The image shows a Google Earth image of Kaiwi Channel.  In addition, I have added related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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