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Curtis and Victoria Ward’s Legacy

The Wards, Old Plantation, and New Ward Village By Kristen Pedersen  Imagine owning all the property between Thomas Square on King Street down to the ocean, including most of eastern Kaka’ako. Now envision the property, not as part of urban Honolulu, but as a green and productive plantation, as it was in the 1880’s. This vision was real and it began in 1870 when Curtis and Victoria Ward purchased this exact 100 acres of land. Over the next several years, the Wards established a self-sufficient farm and built a beautiful Southern-style house, called Old Plantation. The house was located on the mauka side of the property, and included an artesian well, a large fishpond, vegetable and flower gardens, more than 7000 coconut trees, and extensive pastures dedicated to raising horses and cattle. Victoria Ward raised 7 daughters_Photo credit - Victoria Ward Ltd According to Frank Ward Hustace, in his book “Victoria Ward and Her Family: Memories of Old Plantation,” the fishpond was filled with amaama, mullet, and aholehole. The artesian well was fed by a spring of cool water, as clear as glass. According to Hustace, “Queen Emma loved the cool water from the Wards’ artesian well and would stop to drink out of kaio leaves folded into cups.” Unfortunately, Curtis Ward did not get to enjoy the plantation for long. Just a year after construction on the house was finished, Curtis died and Victoria took over the plantation’s commercial operations. She successfully ran the business on her own until 1930 when she and her seven daughters established Victoria Ward Ltd, which assumed daily management of the property. Victoria died in 1935. Curtis Perry Ward died at age 53_ Photo credit Victoria Ward Ltd [...]

2017-04-28T12:51:59+00:00 April 27th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

The Labor Murals of Ceramicist Isami Enomoto

Our friends at Docomomo Hawaii shared a serendipitous story of how they came to be the proud caretakers of a set of five murals by renowned Hawaii artist,  Isami Enomoto. After agreeing to take the murals and not knowing who would adopt them for display, a series of "chance encounters" led them to the Center for Labor Education at West Oahu College, a perfect fit. THE PROJECT: On Oct. 31, 2015, the Bank of Hawaii, closed its Kapahulu branch and sold the building, which was home to a set of five 1961 murals by acclaimed Hawai‘i artist Isami Enomoto depicting labor in the islands. The bank did not want to keep the murals, and when none of the state’s established art institutions were able to accept them, Docomomo Hawai‘i assumed responsibility for the preservation of these artistically and historically important murals. The Bank of Hawaii donated the artwork, which was appraised at $50,000, to the organization. To date Docomomo Hawai`i has spent $5,000 for the moving, crating, and storage of the works, which range in size from 6'-8"x6'-6" to 11'-2"x6'-2 , with the largest piece estimated to weigh 650 pounds. Happily, Docomomo Hawai‘i has found a home for the murals at the Center for Labor Education at West Oahu College, which has agreed to publicly display them, and Docomomo is raising funds to prepare the wall, and clean, repair, move and install the them. The goal is to preserve and share this unique modern art with the people of Hawai‘i. THE ART: Rendered in a style reminiscent of Depression Era public works art projects, these five murals by Isami Enomoto depict laborers and occupations, vividly capturing an important moment in Hawai‘i's history. Commissioned by the [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:51+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Volunteer at Loko Paaiau Fishpond on Earth Day

HHF In the Field Last week, HHF staff participated in the annual Cultural Resources Management meetings with Navy Region Hawai`i and Marine Corps Base Hawai`i this week. The 4 days of meetings and site visits are held to review all preservation actions from the previous year and prepare for coordination for anticipated projects in the coming year. The meetings included an opportunity for site visits to nearby historical and cultural sites and a memorable one was the trip to Loko Paaiau fishpond which is about 400 years old. Volunteer to help clean up the fishpond on Earth Day, April 22, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon Sailors and local volunteers pick invasive mangroves out of the ground during a July 18 cleanup at the ancient fishpond, Loko Pa’aiau, at McGrew Point Navy housing on Oahu. The fishpond restoration started September 2014 and is an ongoing cultural resources project involving the Navy and the local community. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Laurie Dexter The Navy and the Aiea Native Hawaiian Civic Club are partnering to clean up the Loko Paaiau fishpond. Volunteer for clean-up efforts this Earth Day and help remove invasive vegetation and plant native vegetation.  Other volunteer activities may include trash pick up and restoration of the makai wall and other features.     Volunteers will be briefed on the archaeological and cultural background of the fishpond, natural resources of the area and storm water issues. They'll be time for question and answers and light snacks will be provided. To volunteer, contact Jeff Pantaleo, 471-1171 X368 / jeff.pantaleo@navy.mil by April 17.  

2017-04-21T01:00:52+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Camp Tarawa Then and Now

Camp Tarawa Today by Fred Greguras Kamuela (Waimea) is located at the intersection of the Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 190) and Kawaihae Road (Highway 19) in the northwest part of the island of Hawai’i.  In 1943, it was a small town of about 400 called Kamuela and its residents were almost totally dependent on the Parker Ranch for their livelihood. Camp Tarawa was located on Parker Ranch property in and around Kamuela from 1943-1945.  The camp was between the volcanic peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The Marines and Seabees were at four locations: the camp main side at Kamuela; the artillery camp at Pohakuloa; the amtrac camp at Hapuna Beach and the division rear at the port facilities in Hilo. Most unit headquarters, tent camps, mess halls, clubs, recreation facilities, warehouses, etc. were located at main side.  There were large outlying training areas surrounding the camps for small arms practice, an artillery range, amphibious training and other purposes.   Main Side, Camp Tarawa, 1944-45 The 2nd Marine Division was sent to Camp Tarawa in December, 1943 after the World War II battle of Tarawa to recuperate, get replacements and train for the Saipan and Tinian campaigns in the Pacific. The 2nd Marine Division named their camp after the brutal battle they had just fought to honor the Marines who died there. The division departed from Camp Tarawa in the spring, 1944. The 5th Marine Division used Camp Tarawa beginning in the fall, 1944 to train for the assault on Iwo Jima. The 5th Marine Division left the camp in late December, 1944 and returned to the camp in March 1945 after the battle of Iwo Jima to recover, get replacements and prepare [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:52+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

The Mana of Place, A Poem

The Mana of Place There’s a mana in the air of historic places Intangible yet present. Distinct. Sometimes abrupt. A secret storyteller. Resolute. Forceful. Needy in its urge to share Happenings, unfoldings, chains of events that led there, To its vibratory memory marking what occurred. #PlacesTellStories  #ThisPlaceMatters  #HawaiiNei

2017-03-22T15:35:38+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Public Advocacy Efforts Help Pass County Resolution for Kapaia Swinging Bridge

UPDATE ON KAPAIA SWINGING BRIDGE We're happy to report that rapid response from the public showing support for the Kauai County Council resolution to transfer ownership of the bridge to the Kapaia Foundation was successful!  On March 22, 2017, the Council unanimously passed Resolution 2017-23. Next steps? Kapaia Foundation will submit the grant application for the $231,000 the Council appropriated for the bridge in 2006, and hope to start rebuilding within the next couple of months.  We'll keep you posted. ADVOCACY ALERT - March, 20, 2017 Kapaia Swinging Bridge was added to the list of Hawaii’s Most Endangered Historic Site in 2011 and remains vulnerable.  Please lend your support by submitting testimony in favor of a resolution which will be voted on at the Kauai County Council on March 22. The resolution will transfer ownership, responsibility and funding for the bridge to the Kapaia Foundation who seek to preserve and restore it. HISTORY OF THE BRIDGE Imagine daily life in the 1920s in Kapaia Valley in the Territory of Kauai, where most of the plantation villagers traveled by foot because they could not afford to own an automobile.  Back then the foot bridge across Kapaia Stream was heavily trafficked by Kapaia residents who used it to go to and from work, school, shopping and social time with relatives and neighbors.   Completed in 1948, it connected two communities in Kapaia Valley: the east side was home to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, a Filipino “camp”, Hawaiian and Japanese families, taro and rice fields; the west side was home to the Līhu‘e Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Korean Methodist Church, Chinese Church, Naganuma Store, Ogata Store, Moriwake and Ah Chock’s Store.  The Kapaia Swinging Bridge is listed on the [...]

2017-03-30T17:47:13+00:00 March 21st, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Spotlight on a Grantee: YMCA Waipahu Sugar Mill Smokestack

A Symbol of the Sugar Mill's Role as a Community Gathering Place Lives On The Sam and Mary Cooke Preservation Fund for Hawai‘i supports diverse preservation projects with grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Grants are awarded three times a year and the next application deadline is June 1, 2017.   Click here for more information. Below is the story of how one grant recipient is benefiting from the Fund. The YMCA of Honolulu, founded in 1869, is the latest recipient of a Cooke Preservation Fund grant. The YMCA has been located on the site of the former O‘ahu Sugar Company in Waipahu since 1989 with the YMCA purchasing two acres in 1997 and Oahu Sugar Company donating an additional two acres (including the smokestack) under the condition that the original smokestack be preserved. In 2007, after the successful completion of a large capital campaign, a new family focused Leeward YMCA opened on the site of the Sugar Mill.  Built in 1898, the 170-foot-tall landmark known then as the Oahu Sugar Company mill was an integral part of Waipahu until 1995. The historic building connects children and adults to an important part of their community history, educating and inducing community pride in its heritage. Today the iconic smokestack has deteriorated and stands in disrepair creating a potential safety hazard for surrounding areas. The Cooke Preservation Fund grant is funding part of a concerted effort that will assist with clean up and demobilization of the smokestack with additional phases of the project including testing and permitting, scaffolding that will encircle the smokestack (26 feet high!), cleaning and preparation of the smokestack’s exterior surface and painting of the exterior surface. Waipahu Sugar Mill Campus The smokestack [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:53+00:00 March 7th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Hanapepe’s Entrepreneurial Past

This small town's history is present and relevant today By Kristen Pedersen We know Kauai for its incredible natural scenery, dense rainforests, and dramatic ocean cliffs. It has been the location for several Hollywood movies and television series, and is a popular destination for hiking and exploring. But, there is also a slice of history, alive and well,  in the small town of Hanapepe, that warrants attention. Hanapepe, a quiet town on Kauai's south shore, is off the Kaumualii Highway, about 16 miles southwest of Lihue. With a population of just 2700, there may be as many free-range chickens on the streets as there are human residents. The lush Hanapepe Valley was home to native Hawaiians for centuries before Captain Cook arrived in 1778. Many crops were grown in the area, including banana, sugar cane, taro, and sweet potatoes. By the 1880’s, the sugar industry was flourishing in Hawaii, bringing Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants to the islands. While most stores and towns on Kauai were built by the sugar plantation owners, Hanapepe was largely built by entrepreneurial immigrants. Many workers who retired from the sugar plantations came to Hanapepe to grow taro, rice, or begin small farms or businesses to serve the local community. Historical Hanapepe. Photo courtesy of Hanapepe.org In addition to agricultural businesses, the military also played a large role in the history and development of Hanapepe. From World War I to the 1950’s, Hanapepe’s Port Allen was a port of call for the US Navy and, subsequently, became one of the biggest towns on Kauai. The Navy no longer docks at Port Allen, but tour boats come and go on their routes up and down the Na Pali coast. There [...]

2017-04-21T01:00:55+00:00 March 1st, 2017|Categories: Blog|

Historic Kaupō School – Rugged Beauty and Solid Community

Site Visit Reveals a Community Steeped in History and Pride of Place February 19, 2017 Kaupō, located on the remote southeastern end of Maui, has a population of about 100 full-time residents but is embraced by thousands of visitors who pass by on the route between Hāna and Haleakalā National Park in Kīpahulu.  The residents are mostly descendants of Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) whose families have lived in this area for countless generations.  This is off-the-grid territory.  The stars are brilliant on clear nights as power lines do not exist out here. As one can imagine in such an exquisitely beautiful and remote place, community is small and tight. One could almost imagine the phrase “it takes a village” written for this special place.  The Kaupō Community Association’s (KCA) mission—to preserve the natural beauty, environmental resources and rural lifestyle of the Kaupō community—fits well into this terrain. Central to this place is Kaupō School, which is steeped in history.  Since its establishment in 1887, the school has served as the only government institution in a remote, isolated landscape. The two-room classroom building and associated Teacher’s Cottage were built in 1922-23. Keiki learned Hawaiian first here, along with other skills such as fishing, hunting and horseback riding. The school is significant to this remote community as both a gathering place and a link to the ranching and agricultural culture of Kaupō. Kaupō School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (https://historichawaii.org/2014/03/03/kaupo-school/). The community’s wish is to rehabilitate both the classroom building and the teacher’s cottage into a community center and a shelter to provide safety during storms, floods, earthquakes and other emergencies.  With this in mind, the Kaupō Community Association has taken steps forward [...]

2017-05-11T09:49:25+00:00 February 24th, 2017|Categories: Blog|

The Līhu‘e Community Steps Up to Save Their Historic Post Office!

Public Meeting Draws Crowds, Campaign Provides Guidance on Direct Action About 150 Līhu‘e residents attended the United States Postal Service public meeting at Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall on February 23 to learn more about the USPS desire to relocate daily operations at Līhu‘e Post Office. (Click here to read more about why the post office is being slated for possible closure.) In the weeks prior to the meeting, a public awareness and action campaign, “Save Our Post Office”, was launched by Pat Griffin of the Līhu‘e Business Association and other local leaders in collaboration with Historic Hawai‘i Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A team on the ground in Līhu‘e, led by Griffin, canvassed door to door rallying support. Members of the community signed coconuts with messages such as “Closing Līhu‘e Post Office is Nuts!” and postcards pre-printed with a plea to the USPS to maintain the post office as it remains a key component of Līhu‘e’s economically vibrant historic core. Lihue resident holding signed post card in support of keeping Lihue Post Office open.   Continued action, most importantly submitting written comments to Dean Cameron, the USPS representative in San Francisco, postmarked prior to March 25, is vital to send a clear, impactful message that a large segment of the public opposes the post office’s closure. Līhu‘e residents, HHF and the National Trust are calling out to the statewide preservation community for support. Click here for 5 quick, simple, direct actions you can take to let the USPS know you want the historic Līhu‘e Post Office to remain open and in service to the downtown community.

2017-04-21T01:00:52+00:00 February 24th, 2017|Categories: Blog|