30. March 2020 · Comments Off on May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii – Hawaii Events 2020 · Categories: Art & Lifestyle, Hawaii Real Estate, News & Events, Oahu Community, Oahu History

This year marks the 93rd Annual Lei Day celebration in the Hawaiian Islands. The tradition highlights the art and craftsmanship of lei makers, allowing them to demonstrate their skill and beautiful artwork. By showcasing a unique element of local culture, May Day honors the rich history of the Hawaiian people.

Lei Day began in 1927 with just a few people wearing lei in downtown Honolulu. The holiday has since grown into a recognized event complete with organized exhibits, competitions, and festivities. Today, Lei Day features lei making demonstrations, lei contests, and live entertainment from the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association. By dedicating a day to the celebration of local artists, Lei Day provides a moment of reflection and appreciation for the beauty of Hawaii and its culture. So remember, May 1st is a day to give and receive lei and ultimately a day to spread the Aloha spirit!

30. March 2020 · Comments Off on Honoring Price Kuhio · Categories: Hawaii Real Estate, News & Events, Oahu Community, Oahu History

Prince Kuhio Day on March 26 celebrates the life and legacy of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. Prince Kuhio was a member of Hawaiian royalty and next in line for the throne when Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown. Rather than abandon his royal status, Prince Kuhio worked hard to ensure the future success of the Hawaiian people. He is remembered to this day for his unwavering support of his people in times of both peace and unrest.

Born on the island of Kauai, Kuhio was orphaned at the age of 13 and adopted by Queen Kapiolani and her husband, King David Kalakaua. His education consisted of the Royal School and Punahou School on Oahu. Two years after the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani, 25-year-old Kuhio participated in a rebellion that resulted in a prison sentence of one year. Upon his release, he married his fiancée, Elizabeth Kahanu Ka’auwai, and set off to travel around Europe and America.

Returning to the recently annexed state of Hawaii, Prince Kuhio pursued a career in politics. It was as a member of Congress that he made his greatest impact on Hawaii. Prince Kuhio served as Hawaii’s representative in Congress from 1903 until his death in 1922. His most lasting contribution came in the form of the Hawaiian Homes Act of 1920, which provided native Hawaiians land upon which to build homes and live.

The statue of the Prince, cemented in Waikiki in 2002, forever enshrined the ideals that he stood for. His unwavering support for the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture and protection of Hawaiian people earned him the title, “Prince of the People.” On the state holiday of Kuhio Day, the state of Hawaii recognizes the role Prince Kuhio played in securing a prosperous future for the Hawaiian people.

23. October 2016 · Comments Off on Diamond Head Theater · Categories: Oahu History · Tags: ,

Aliiolani Hale, 1888 (PPWD-1-7-017)

View from Iolani Palace shows the Kapuaiwa building at left, Aliiolani Hale, in the center, the Opera House at right and Honolulu Harbor in the distance.

The Diamond Head Theater is affectionately known as the Broadway of the Pacific. Thousands have attended plays at theatre over the years. However, did you know it’s the third oldest continuously operating theatre in the entire United States?

Its roots can actually be traced to 1915, when a theatrical group called The Footlights was formed. Their first performance was The Amazons at the Honolulu Opera House, where the downtown Post Office on Merchant Street now stands.

During World War II, Honolulu Community Theatre (as it was formerly known) entertained thousands of troops at over 300 performances throughout the Pacific.
DHT

In 1952, the Honolulu Community Theatre took over the Fort Ruger Theatre, the Army Post’s former movie house. In 1990, the name was changed to Diamond Head Theatre. Each season offers six theatrical productions including five major musicals, on a scale that rivals that of Broadway.

Rendering of the theatre's planned new home.

Rendering of the theatre’s planned new home.

In a 2015 article, Pacific Business News reported that Diamond Head Theatre could start construction its new $22 million, 500-seat theater on land leased from the state near Kapiolani Community College as early as April 2017,

#hawaii #diamondhead #diamondheadtheatre #dht #oahuhistory #bobsigall #oahu #listsir


 

O’ahu Art & Home explores our island’s history with Bob Sigall, Honolulu Star Advertiser Rearview Mirror columnist and author of The Companies We Keep 1, 2, 3, & 4 books – Amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and companies. Available at www.CompaniesWeKeep.com.
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16. October 2016 · Comments Off on Dairymen’s Waialae Ranch · Categories: Oahu History · Tags: ,

Meadow Gold Dairies (84733)

The dairy at Waialae Ranch continued alongside the golf course as the area redeveloped and in 1946, it became the Dairymen’s Waialae Ranch when it was purchased by Creameries of America.

Creameries of America would become Meadow Gold a few years later. Dairymen’s was the largest dairy on Oahu and produced over 2 million quarts of milk a year.

During this time the advertising character “Lani Moo” was created, the result of a 1949 contest that Dairyman’s Waialae Ranch sponsored.

The poultry farm housed 4,000 chickens and supplied eggs and broilers to most of the Waikiki hotels.

Today, the Meadow Gold brand, a division of Dean Foods, continues to thrive in Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

#hawaii #waialae #dairymans #meadowgold #lanimoo #oahuhistory #bobsigall #oahu #listsir


 

O’ahu Art & Home explores our island’s history with Bob Sigall, Honolulu Star Advertiser Rearview Mirror columnist and author of The Companies We Keep 1, 2, 3, & 4 books – Amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and companies. Available at www.CompaniesWeKeep.com.
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09. October 2016 · Comments Off on Fort Ruger · Categories: Oahu History · Tags: ,

Fort Ruger, Kaimuki, Oahu, 1914 (PPWD-11-7-023)

Fort Ruger, Kaimuki, Oahu, 1914

Before World War I, military strategists anticipated that enemy ships would approach the islands and fire on the city. To defend the territory, the Army ringed the coast with gun batteries. With its panoramic view from Barber’s Point to Koko Head, they saw Diamond Head as an ideal vantage point.

Thomas H. Ruger

Thomas H. Ruger


The U.S. Army bought Diamond Head crater in 1904 for about $3,300 and established five gun batteries there (Battery Dodge, Harlow, Hulings, Birkheimer and Battery 407). A Balloon Squadron was stationed inside the crater. The gun batteries were never used in combat.

The Fort Ruger lands were purchased for $32,000 around 1904. About the same time that Fort Ruger was built, the Army was building Fort Shafter, in 1907.

Fort Ruger was named for Civil War General Thomas Ruger, who later served as Superintendent of West Point.

Leading up to World War II, we believed attacking ships would pull up to the islands and fire cannon at us. In response, we ringed the islands with coastal gun batteries.

Of course, when the Japanese attacked in 1941, it was from over 100 miles away and the gun batteries were useless.

One of the best remembered places on the base was the Cannon Club, which opened in 1945. On the slopes of Diamond Head, it offered an amazing view of Waikiki and Honolulu.

The sunsets and night time views were particularly spectacular. The officers club closed in 1997.

Fort Ruger and the gun batteries are long gone but some guardhouses, bunkers, tunnels and lookout stations remain and are visited by over 1 million people a year. The trail is just short of a mile long and begins inside the crater. Take the Kahala Tunnel near 18th Avenue near Kapiloani Community College into the crater.

#hawaii #diamondhead #fortruger #militaryinhawaii #oahuhistory #bobsigall #oahu #listsir


 

O’ahu Art & Home explores our island’s history with Bob Sigall, Honolulu Star Advertiser Rearview Mirror columnist and author of The Companies We Keep 1, 2, 3, & 4 books – Amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and companies. Available at www.CompaniesWeKeep.com.
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02. October 2016 · Comments Off on Waialae Golf Course · Categories: Oahu History · Tags: , ,

Waialae_Golf_Course
In the 1920s, Waialae became the third leg in a Grand Scheme developed by the Territorial Hotel Company. Their idea was to bring wealthy tourists to Hawaii on luxury liners and have them stay at luxury hotels – the Moana Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian.

For recreation, a golf course and tennis facilities would be built. The Waialae Ranch was chosen for that purpose.

The course opened in 1927, along with the Royal Hawaiian and greens fees were a reasonable $2.50. Isenberg’s home, became the clubhouse.

A group of local golfers formed a club and were allowed to use the course, as long as they belonged to it and paid annual dues.

Two years later, the stock market collapsed and the nation was plunged into a Great Depression. Visitors to Hawaii dropped by a third and all the investors in the Grand Scheme lost their money.

In the end, the local golfers came to own the lease on the golf course.

#hawaii #waialae #waialaekahala #kahala #oahuhistory #bobsigall #oahu #listsir


 

O’ahu Art & Home explores our island’s history with Bob Sigall, Honolulu Star Advertiser Rearview Mirror columnist and author of The Companies We Keep 1, 2, 3, & 4 books – Amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and companies. Available at www.CompaniesWeKeep.com.
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18. September 2016 · Comments Off on Mark Twain Returns to Hawaii · Categories: Oahu History · Tags:

'Waikiki Beach in Sunlight' by D. Howard Hitchcock, 1896

Mark Twain first visited Hawaii in 1866 as a reported for the Sacramento Union. When he returned to Hawaii in 1895, he was moved by the sight of Diamond Head as his ship approached Oahu. He wrote:

“On the seventh day out (to sea) we saw a dim vast bulk standing up out of the Pacific and knew that special promontory was Diamond Head, a piece of the world I had not seen before for twenty-nine years.

So we were nearing Honolulu, capital city of the Sandwich Islands – those islands, which to me were paradise, a paradise which I had been longing all those years to see again.

Not any other thing in the world could have stirred me as the sight of that great rock did.”

Two books which tell the story of Twain’s days in Hawaii are: Mark Twain’s Letters from Hawaii and Mark Twain in Hawaii: Roughing It in the Sandwich Islands, Hawaii in the 1860’s.

Mark Twain Letters from Hawaii Mark Twain in Hawaii

#hawaii #diamondhead #marktwain #oahuhistory #bobsigall #sandwichislands #oahu #listsir


 

O’ahu Art & Home explores our island’s history with Bob Sigall, Honolulu Star Advertiser Rearview Mirror columnist and author of The Companies We Keep 1, 2, 3, & 4 books – Amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and companies. Available at www.CompaniesWeKeep.com.
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11. September 2016 · Comments Off on In and Around Diamond Head · Categories: Oahu History · Tags: ,

The Waikiki Shell

The Waikiki Shell was build in 1956 for concerts and events. It seats 2,400 and the lawn can hold another 6,000. The outdoor arena resembles the Hollywood Bowl which was built in 1928. http://www.waikiki-shell.com.

Waikikishell

The Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo occupies 42 acres of Kapiolani Park. It is the only zoo in the United States built by a king and queen and dates to 1876. The zoo features over 1,200 animals in specially designed habitats. Over 600,000 people visit the zoo annually. http://www.honoluluzoo.org

Grant's Zebra equus quagga bohmi

The Waikiki Aquarium

Founded in 1904, 5he Waikiki Aquarium is the second oldest public aquarium in the United States. An institution of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, it is home to more than 3,500 organisms of 490 species of marine plants and animals. http://www.waikikiaquarium.org

Waikiki Aquarium entrance

#hawaii #diamondhead #kapiolanipark #waikikishell #honoluluzoo #waikikiaquarium #oahuhistory #bobsigall #oahu #listsir
 


 

O’ahu Art & Home explores our island’s history with Bob Sigall, Honolulu Star Advertiser Rearview Mirror columnist and author of The Companies We Keep 1, 2, 3, & 4 books – Amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and companies. Available at www.CompaniesWeKeep.com.
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04. September 2016 · Comments Off on The Waialae Ranch · Categories: Oahu History · Tags: ,

Ad: Waialae Breeding Ranch| Hawaii Digital Newspaper Project http://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/

The Waialae Ranch

The first development in Waialae-Kahala was the Waialae Ranch, built by a Captain Ross in the 1850s.

Paul Isenberg (1837-1903)

Paul Isenberg (1837-1903)

Very little is known about the place until Daniel Paul Rice Isenberg, bought the lease in 1888. His friends called him Paul Jr. or Paulo Li’ili’i.

Paul Isenberg’s ranch became one of the largest estates on Oahu. It comprised 3,000 acres, most of which was rocky and barren.

Isenberg was born in Lihue, Kauai on June 11, 1866. His father, Paul Isenberg, right, was a founder of H. Hackfeld and Company, which became American Factors (Amfac, Inc.).

Paul Jr. was sent to Bremen, Germany to study agriculture and returned to work at the Lihue Plantation.

When he turned 21, he inherited a sizable amount of money from his mother, who had passed away a few years earlier. He used the money to move to Oahu and develop the Waialae Ranch.

Water was a perennial issue, and to deal with it, Isenberg installed pumps powered by windmills. They produced 2.5 million gallons of water a day. The water transformed Waialae.

Isenberg grew alfalfa as feed on 70 acres. He raised cattle, horses, water buffalo, turkeys, Peking ducks, chickens, hogs and dogs.

Waialae was not easy to get to 110 years ago. Past Kalakaua Avenue and Diamond Head, there was only a narrow, gravel road that many considered to be dangerous in places. The photo of Waialae below shows it nearly treeless, except at the ocean.

Barrenness_of_Kahala-seen_from_Kaimuki-in_distance_is_Isenberg's_Waialae_Ranch-(later_Golf_Cource)-1889

The alternative was down old Waialae Road (now Kalanianaole Highway), to Kealaolu Avenue to Kahala Avenue, which was a winding, curbless, semi-paved street.

Kingdavidkalakaua dustIsenberg created an oasis at Waialae and was a genial host. He threw some of the greatest parties and luaus on Oahu, many of which were attended by his friend, King David Kalakaua, pictured at right.

In Kaimuki John Takasaki says that after the annexation of Hawaii, Isenberg “became very active in politics and was an instant success and favorite of the Hawaiian people.

“He was elected to the House of Representatives eight consecutive times, and became a prominent figure in Hawaii. He had a great baritone voice and nothing made the Hawaiians happier than to hear Paulo Li’ili’i sing.”

“Once, when the King came out to Waialae, he brought the words of a song which he had started to write in praise of his genial host. Words and music were finished by Major Kealakai and the lyric was called Pua Ahiahi, “evening flower,” or the wreath placed by a girl around her lover’s neck.

“This song was first sung by the Kawaiahao Glee Club at Waialae Ranch in honor of the King, who in turn dedicated the song to Paulo Li’ili’i.

The song was re-named Waialae, to signify the pleasures of that hospitable ranch and became very popular, especially when Paul Isenberg was singing it.

“When campaigning for election to the senate, his Hawaiian audiences never allowed him to finish a political speech, but soon called out, ‘You are elected, Paulo! Give us Waialae.’ “ They preferred his singing to his speeches.

Isenberg owned one of the first automobiles on Oahu and installed an ingenious automatic gate, which opened for approaching vehicles. He had the first telephone in the area.

After Isenberg passed away in 1919, the ranch continued, before the Territorial Hotel Company took over part of its lands.

According to the book Waialae Country Club, by 1925, there were only about 35 homes in the Kahala area, mostly beach cottages for families who had primary residences in town.

Queen Liliuokalani had a beach house along Kahala beach. Much of Kahala was given to her by her step-sister, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, for use during her lifetime, when she died in 1884. When Queen Liliuokalani passed in 1917, the land reverted to the Bishop Estate.

#hawaii #waialae #waialaekahala #kahala #oahuhistory #bobsigall #oahu #listsir


 

O’ahu Art & Home explores our island’s history with Bob Sigall, Honolulu Star Advertiser Rearview Mirror columnist and author of The Companies We Keep 1, 2, 3, & 4 books – Amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and companies. Available at www.CompaniesWeKeep.com.
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28. August 2016 · Comments Off on The Origins of Kapiolani Park · Categories: Oahu History · Tags:

King David Kalakaua and Queen Esther Kapiolani built Kapiolani Park in 1877. The Star-Bulletin said “the land became a park specifically because it wasn’t considered suitable for anything else, and because of it’s peculiar climate — it’s one of the few places on Oahu where rain almost never falls. And because King Kalakaua loved the ponies.”
View in Kapiolani Park about 1900

The winter of 1876 was wet, and a many Honolulu horse races were canceled because of muddy tracks that year. “Racing enthusiasts asked the king for a permanent, dry course. Many ali’i lived in Waikiki, so Kalakaua chose the flat plain at the foot of Diamond Head because it was handy, unoccupied and dry. The government condemned the land and Kalakaua decided to make its dedication memorable.”

Kapiolani Park Horse Race AdOn June 11, 1877, Kapiolani Park was dedicated in spectacular fashion, with food, entertainment, horse races, barrel races, and even sack races. The park was the first Hawaiian public space, and is run by the Kapiolani Park Association.

Scotsman Archibald Cleghorn, father of Princess Kaiulani, planned the park’s landscaping, including the majestic ironwood trees along Kalakaua Avenue. Money was raised by selling $50 shares in the association. Shareholders had the right to lease a beachfront lot skirting the park, and many of the best-known names in Honolulu had cottages there by the 1880s.

During the 1893 revolution, most of these valuable properties became privately owned, and most were later given back to the city or condemned and seized.

Baseball followed as a natural successor to horse-racing, and became a regular Saturday attraction. The two main teams were the Athletes and the Whangdoodles.

Grounds were manicured and lily ponds were created. Wild peacocks – a favorite of Princess Kaiulani – became a park fixture. Picnicking took place on the banks of streams that meandered through the park, and no two footbridges were built alike. The area was a playground for all the citizens of Hawaii.

The first military base in the islands was temporarily built at Kapiolani Park in 1898. Soldiers on their way to the Philippines for the Spanish-American War founded Camp McKinley at the park.

The Ala Wai Canal was built in 1928. It was the idea of future governor Lucien Pinkham. The original proposal called for it to continue through Kapiolani Park and exit at the ocean near the Natatorium.

Without the complete loop and the tidal flushing it would bring, the canal filled with silt. The Ala Wai Canal lowered Waikiki’s water table so drastically that Kapiolani Park’s pleasant waterways turned into sludge. By the late ‘30s, the park was largely abandoned to rotting vegetation, trash dumps and muddy trails. Restoration began after World War II.


 

O’ahu Art & Home explores our island’s history with Bob Sigall, Honolulu Star Advertiser Rearview Mirror columnist and author of The Companies We Keep 1, 2, 3, & 4 books – Amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places and companies. Available at www.CompaniesWeKeep.com.
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