Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1950s – Diamond Head opens to the public, the Waikīkī Shell opens, Pan-Am jet service to the Islands and Statehood. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world
“On the 24th (of April, 1823), we saw and made Hawaii (Owhyhee). At the first sight of the snow-capped mountains, I felt a strange sensation of joy and grief. It soon wore away, and as we sailed slowly past its windward side, we had a full view of all its grandeur. … Two or three canoes, loaded with natives, came to the ship … We informed them that we were missionaries, come to live with them, and do them good. At which an old man exclaimed, in his native dialect, what may be thus translated—‘That is very good, by and by, know God.’”
“This beginning of missionary labours seemed very encouraging; and in a short time our unpleasant feelings were much dissipated, and we conversed with them freely, through the boys, who were our interpreters. We gave them old clothes; and in return they gave us all the fish they had caught, except one large one, which we bought. … The last expression of affection we could have dispensed with very well; but we have to become all things to all men, that we may gain some. They then bid us many arohas, and took their departure.”
West Maui was considered a ‘window to the world’ because this area has seen the comings and goings of rival chiefs, kings, missionaries, whalers, government officials, the military, sugar and pineapple plantation owners, early labor immigrants, celebrities and travelers for centuries. The stories of West Maui give a bigger perspective of the world, than we would otherwise have, and helps us to expand our view and broaden our understanding of the world.
Probably there is no portion of the Valley Isle, around which gathers so much historic value as West Maui. It was the former capital and favorite residence of kings and chiefs. By whatever means (vehicle, transit, bicycle or on foot,) exploring West Maui, and embracing the scenic beauty, natural features, historic sites, associated cultural traditions and recreational opportunities, will give the traveler a greater appreciation and understanding of Hawai‘i’s past and sense of place in the world.
Captain James Cook’s third and final voyage (1776-1779) of discovery was an attempt to locate a North-West Passage, an ice-free sea route which linked the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. “Cook had chosen his subordinates well or had been lucky. The officers of the third voyage were a remarkably intelligent group of men.” George Dixon, an armourer in the Royal Navy per a warrant dated April 16, 1776, joined the Discovery and also sailed for the Pacific on Captain James Cook’s third voyage of exploration. As an armourer Dixon was a skilled mechanic, with the rating of petty officer first-class, whose duty it was to assist the gunner in keeping the ship’s arms in order.
Cook’s voyage had initiated the maritime fur trade in sea otter pelts with China. “(D)uring the late Captain Cook’s last voyage to the Pacific Ocean, besides every scientific advantage which might be derived from it, a new and inexhaustible mine of wealth was laid open to future navigators, by trading furs of the most valuable kind, on the North West Coast of America.” Then, in the spring of 1785 Dixon and Nathaniel Portlock, a shipmate in the Discovery, became partners in Richard Cadman Etches and Company, commonly called the King George’s Sound Company, one of several commercial associations formed to conduct trade. Portlock was given command of the King George and of the expedition, Dixon commanded the Queen Charlotte.
Shuichi and Taneyo Fujiwara, immigrants from Shikoku, Japan, were in San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake. The lost everything they owned in the earthquake and went back to Japan. They were returning to San Francisco, stopped in Hawai‘i and decided to stay. They purchased a nearly 1-acre property on Alewa Heights and opened Shunchoro Teahouse (Spring Tide Restaurant) in 1921. “A customer named Yoshikawa used to come here during the day for tea or beer.” Takeo Yoshikawa, a Japanese spy, arrived in Honolulu on March 27, 1941.
“I assumed my job was to help prepare for an attack on Pearl Harbor and I worked night and day getting necessary information.” “(M)y favorite viewing place was a lovely Japanese teahouse overlooking the harbor. It was called ‘Shunchoro.’ I knew what ships were in, how heavily they were loaded, who their officers were, and what supplies were on board.” The government took over Shunchoro Teahouse during World War II and converted the building into an emergency fire and first-aid station. It later reopened and later changed its name to Natsunoya Tea House.