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Pālama Settlement

Pālama, then a sleepy neighborhood of neat little cottages and taro patches, was chosen by philanthropist and Central Union members Mr. and Mrs. PC Jones as the site for a new chapel. On the makai side of King street, opposite Liliha Street, the chapel was dedicated on June 1, 1896, and presented to Central Union by the Joneses. Social worker James Arthur Rath, Sr. and his wife, Ragna Helsher Rath, turned Pālama Chapel into Pālama Settlement (in September 1906).

The Raths established the territory’s first public nursing department, a day-camp for children with tuberculosis, a pure milk depot, a day nursery, a night school, and low-rent housing. Pālama Settlement – a smaller one due to the widening of Vineyard Boulevard and the construction of the H-1 Freeway – continues to exist as a nonprofit, nongovernmental agency dedicated to helping needy families and at-risk youths.

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La Pietra

In 1910, Walter Dillingham married Louise Gaylord. Bucking the current trend of wealthy families living in Mānoa, Mr. Dillingham chose to build his new bride a home on a dry and – at the time – remote area on the slopes of Diamond Head. With the help of famed Chicago architect, David Adler, they built a home similar to the Villa La Pietra they admired in Tuscany while on their honeymoon.

For the next 40 years, La Pietra was a social center for Honolulu’s wealthy and famous. Upon Mr. Dillingham’s death in 1963, Punahou School gained ownership of La Pietra and used it for faculty housing; the property was eventually sold to the newly formed Hawaii School for Girls in 1969. With its start at Central Union Church, Hawaii School for Girls then renamed and relocated to La Pietra – Hawaii School for Girls, an independent, college preparatory school for girls.

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Downtown Honolulu In 1950

In 1950, Bishop only went to Beretania – with no further mauka extension (it finally popped through and extended/ connected to the Pali Highway and became the windward gateway into “Town”); (the Pali Tunnels and Ala Moana Center weren’t open until 1959.) Bishop Street was the home of the Big 5. Bishop Street was and continues to be the center of Hawai‘i commerce and banking (in the center of the map, running up/down.)

Back in the ‘50s, Fort Street was “it” for shopping (to the left of Bishop Street, also running mauka/makai – now, it’s mostly a pedestrian mall.) ‘Iolani Palace is on the site labeled Territorial Executive Grounds (we’re still nine years away from statehood;) mauka of it had different uses – it’s now the State Capitol and Hotel Street walkway. The Alexander Young Hotel, opened in 1903 (on Bishop between Hotel and King,) was later converted hold offices and was demolished in 1981.

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Hale‘iwa Hotel

While the Moana is touted as the First lady of Waikīkī, the Hale‘iwa Hotel, at the end of the O‘ahu Railway & Land Company (OR&L) train line in North Shore O‘ahu, was completed a year before the Moana. The Hale‘iwa Hotel (“house of the ‘iwa”, or frigate bird) was built in 1898, as part of the OR&L rail system. The hotel was part of a bigger plan to expand and diversify operations of OR&L.

They primarily serviced the sugar plantations, adding a hotel at the end of the line opened up opportunities to expand the number of people riding the train. The weekend getaway from Honolulu to the Hale‘iwa Hotel became hugely popular with the city affluent who enjoyed a retreat in “the country.” The last ride on OR&L’s train operations was on December 31, 1947, ending 58-years of steam locomotives hauling all kinds of people, freight and other around O‘ahu. By 1953, the aged, termite-ridden structure had been torn down. Hale‘iwa Joe’s restaurant now stands where the Hale‘iwa Hotel once stood.

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Big Five (plus 2)

As the sugar industry pushed ahead, something new was introduced into the economic scheme of things. In Honolulu two or three new firms began business solely to handle the affairs of the scattered plantations. They began by acting as selling agents for the planters. Gradually they took over other functions: financing crops, importing labor, purchasing machinery for the planters and serving in all ways as their business agents. The new businesses soon found themselves running the sugar industry.

“By 1941, every time a native Hawaiian switched on his lights, turned on the gas or rode on a street car, he paid a tiny tribute into Big Five coffers.” They were C. Brewer & Co; Theo H. Davies & Co; Amfac; Castle & Cooke: and Alexander & Baldwin. They branched out into other businesses. There were a couple other associated entities that were associated with the Big 5” Dillingham (Benjamin Franklin Dillingham) and Campbell (James Campbell) and their associated companies.

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