Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1890s – Kapi‘olani Hospital is formed, Kalākaua dies, Overthrow, Annexation, Pali Road is completed and the first Beachboys organization is formed. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.
The future seemed uncertain for Princess Kaʻiulani when she headed to the Island of Hawai‘i for the wedding of her friend Eva Parker. “They have taken away everything from us and it seems there is left but a little, and with that little our very life itself. We live now in such a semi retired way, that people wonder if we even exist any more. I wonder too, and to what purpose?” (Kelley) Then, the sad news, “Princess Ka‘iulani is dead.”
“Her young life went out at two o’clock this morning (March 6, 1899,) at her residence, Waikiki. The sad event had been feared for more than a month, and deemed hourly imminent for a week past. It was about four months ago that the Princess was first attacked with the illness that has cut her off in the springtime of life.” “(F)rom her cradle to the end of the monarchy, Princess Kaʻiulani was regarded as ‘the hope of the nation.’” “From her infancy she was known as the heir presumptive to the throne of Hawaii, and at the accession of Queen Lili‘uokalani was proclaimed as the Heir Apparent.”
Emma Kaʻilikapulono Metcalf was born on March 5, 1847, at Kauaʻaia in Honolulu’s Mānoa Valley to Theophilus Metcalf, Hawai‘i’s first photographer, a civil engineer and sugar planter and Chiefess Kailikapuolono of Kūkaniloko. (Metcalf Street in Mānoa is named for Theophilus Metcalf; he arrived in the Islands on May 19, 1842 and became a naturalized citizen on March 9, 1846. He owned the property that most of the University of Hawai‘i campus sits on today.) Emma “springs from blood lines which touch Plymouth Rock, as well as midseas islands. High priests, statesmen and warriors join hands in their descendants with pilgrims, lawmakers and jurists.”
Emma attended Sacred Hearts’ Academy, Oʻahu College (Punahou School) and the Mills’ Seminary for Young Ladies in Benicia, California. In 1867, Emma married Frederick William Kahapula Beckley (eldest child of William Charles Malulani Beckley and Kahinu.) Beckley was a plantation owner and eventually chamberlain to King Kalākaua (1875) and governor of Kauai (1880). They had seven children. Emma served the government of Kamehameha IV in the courts as Commissioner of Private Ways and Water Rights for Honolulu. Kalākaua named her as curator for the Hawaiian National Museum, making her one of the first, if not the first, female curator of a national museum anywhere in the world. Beckley died in 1881 and, in 1887, she married Rev. Moses Keaea Nakuina. he was caught in a tumultuous world of underhanded politics, shifting governments, and the reluctant need to transition from a ‘Hawaiian’ way of life to that of the ‘civilized world.’
Throughout the years of AD 1400s – 1700s, and through much of the 1800s, the canoe was a principal means of travel in ancient Hawaiʻi. Canoes were used for interisland and inter-village coastal travel. In addition, extensive cross-country trail networks enabled gathering of food and water and harvesting of materials for shelter, clothing, medicine, religious observances and other necessities for survival. June 21, 1803 marked an important day in the history of Hawaiʻi land transportation with the arrival of the Islands’ first horses. Eventually, wider, straighter trails were constructed to accommodate horse drawn carts. Unlike the earlier trails, these later trails could not conform to the natural, sometimes steep, terrain.
It wasn’t until 1868, that horse-drawn carts became the first public transit service in the Hawaiian Islands, operated by the Pioneer Omnibus Line. In 1888, the animal-powered tramcar service ran track from downtown to Waikīkī. In 1900, an electric trolley (tram line) was put into operation in Honolulu, and then in 1902, a tram line was built to connect Waikīkī and downtown Honolulu. The electric trolley replaced the horse/mule-driven tram cars. The streetcars were replaced completely by buses (first gasoline and later diesel buses). In 1888, the legislature gave Dillingham an exclusive franchise for a steam railroad. Honolulu resident HP Baldwin is credited with having the first automobile back in October 1899 (it was steam-powered). The first gasoline-powered automobile arrived in the Islands in 1900.
A dime a dance … guests could pay 10 cents to dance with a girl for 90 seconds. Clustered in a rectangle, two by eight city blocks in size, in the less elite business district, were Honolulu’s seven taxi-dance halls. Around the entrance sit sellers of leis, corsages, and boutonnieres. “The customers (would buy) tickets by dollar’s worth or two dollars’ worth, and they would dance with the girl. And if the girl not so good, they would change.”
“A taxi-dancer or dance hostess is usually a Caucasian, Hispanic, or Asian female between the ages of 18 and 25 (sometimes older), employed by a public dance establishment which caters to the tastes of male customers by providing paid women partners for dancing within a reasonably acceptable social sphere.” “A man can, in effect, “rent” a woman’s company for as long as he likes; thus, the term “taxi-dancer” appears applicable.”