Orphaned when young and with only an 8th grade education, Charles Reed Bishop arrived in the Islands on October 12, 1846 and became an astute financial businessman, and one of the wealthiest men in the kingdom from banking, agriculture, real estate and other investments.
In early 1847, Bishop met Bernice Pauahi Paki (she was still a student at the Chiefs’ Children’s School;) despite the opposition of Pauahi’s parents who wanted her to marry Lot Kapuaiwa (later, Kamehameha V,) Bishop courted and married Pauahi in 1850.
For the first few months of their marriage, Pauahi and Charles lived in homes of Judge Lorrin Andrews, first in his downtown residence, and later in a cottage in upper Nuʻuanu Valley, opposite the site of the present Maunaʻala (Royal Mausoleum.)
Like many Hawaiian homes of the time, this one had a name, Wananakoa, for the grove of koa trees in the yard. This was only temporary – they were building a home on property Bishop bought on the Diamond Head/Mauka corner of Hotel and Alakea Streets.
Meanwhile, Pauahi’s father, Paki, had completed the construction of his new residence on King Street (between Fort and Alakea.) (Bishop Street had not been built, yet, the property would be on the ʻEwa/Mauka corner of what is now Bishop and King Streets.)
This new home replaced Paki’s prior modest, thatched-roof home he called ʻAikupika (‘Egypt’) that had been on the same piece of property. (ʻAikupika is where Pauahi was born.)
The name Paki gave his new home has been translated by some as ‘House of the Sun’ or Haleakala, but he probably meant it to be Haleʻakala or the ‘Pink House,’ after the color of the stone used in its construction. (Kanahele)
By the standards of the day, Haleʻakala was a splendid structure that was probably the equal of any of the better homes and gardens in town.
It was a large two-story stone-and-frame building with lanai (porches), supported by pillars on both first and second floors, extending around at least three sides of the house. Its extensive gardens combined shrubbery, flowers and trees and included the special tamarind tree planted at Pauahi’s birth.
Clarice B Taylor stated that he really built the house “hoping Pauahi would marry Prince Lot and make her home with her parents.” It was bigger than he and his wife needed; Paki had sold his lands at Mākaha to raise the money for its construction. (Kanahele)
Paki and his wife Laura Konia raised Pauahi there. When Liliʻuokalani was born, she was hanai (adopted) to Paki and Konia. The two girls attended the Chief’s Children’s School (Royal School,) a boarding school, together, and were known for their studious demeanor.
The history of the home goes beyond the Paki family living quarters; some other interesting bits of Hawaiian history happened here.
Liliʻuokalani and John Dominis were married at Haleʻakala, “I was engaged to Mr Dominis for about two years and it was our intention to be married on the second day of September, 1862. … our wedding was delayed at the request of the king, Kamehameha IV, to the sixteenth of that month”.
“It was celebrated at the residence of Mr and Mrs Bishop, in the house which had been erected by my father, Paki, and which … is still one of the most beautiful and central of the mansions in Honolulu.”
“To it came all the high chiefs then living there, also the foreign residents; in fact, all the best society of the city. My husband took me at once to the estate known as Washington Place, which had been built by his father, and which is still my private residence.” (Queen Liliʻuokalani)
“There was a Baptism at the Residence of the Honorable CR Bishop, “Haleʻakala;” baptized was the child of the honorable (Princess Ruth) Keʻelikolani and JY Davis, and he was called, “Keolaokalani Paki Bihopa.”
The Honorable CR Bishop and Pauahi were those who bestowed the name, and Rev C Corwin is the one who performed the baptism.” (Hoku o ka Pakipika, February 2, 1863) (Keolaokalani was hanai to Pauahi; unfortunately, he died later that year.)
Duke Kahanamoku was born at Haleʻakala on August 24, 1890. (With respect to his name “Duke,” he was named after his father. The elder Kahanamoku was born during the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the islands in 1869 and was named after him.)
Haleʻakala was converted to Arlington Hotel.
On the afternoon of January 16, 1893, 162 sailors and Marines aboard the USS Boston in Honolulu Harbor came ashore. The property that Liliʻuokalani was raised in (Haleʻakala) served as ‘Camp Boston,’ the headquarters for the USS Boston’s landing force at the time of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, January 17, 1893.
In 1901, Honolulu had three high-class hotels, the Hawaiian Hotel (in downtown Honolulu, now the State Art Museum on Hotel Street,) the Arlington Hotel and the Moana Hotel (in Waikiki.)
“The Arlington Hotel has, for its principal building, a house once occupied by a Hawaiian princess, by whose estate it is now leased to the hotel proprietor (Thomas E Krouse.”) (Chipman, 1901) Krouse, unfortunately, committed suicide at the Arlington the next year.
“A Mrs Dudoit ran the place for a while as a boarding house, and she was followed by a Mr Hamilton Johnson. Both these houses were, however, on a small scale. Just seven and a half years ago it became known as the Arlington, six cottages were attached, the aviary and the cages of animals so familiar to us all were added.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 6, 1900)
“The place was maintained as a chief’s residence for many years. It can only have been turned to other uses during the past fifteen years at the outside. Mrs Bernice Pauahi Bishop left the estate to her husband, who turned the property over to the Kamehameha estates.” (Sereno Bishop; Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 6, 1900)
“(Haleʻakala) has a most unique and interesting history. It is one of the most historic spots in all Honolulu, embracing as it does the scenes of joyousness under royalty, through the stirring days of ’93 … the pettinesses of a boarding house and down to the present day as the Arlington Hotel.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 6, 1900)
“The estate which had been so dear to us both in my childhood, the house built by my father, Paki, where I had lived as a girl, which was connected with many happy memories of my early life, from whence I had been married to Governor Dominis,”
“I could not help feeling ought to have been left to me. … This wish of my heart was not gratified, and at the present day strangers stroll through the grounds or lounge on the piazzas of that home once so dear to me.” (Liliʻuokalani)