© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC
In 1916, after a revival of local county fairs, there was discussion to establish a Territorial Fair, with the idea that an event held every 2-3 years could draw from across the Territory to “display the results of their efforts along agricultural lines.” A Fair Commission of Hawaiʻi was formed.
With the US participation in World War I, from April 6, 1917 until the war’s end in November 1918, the Territorial fair was largely focused on “a demonstration in intensive cultivation of staple and special field products and also as a demonstration in food conservation … it was found (that) the islands depended too largely on the mainland for food supplies”
The first Territorial Fair was held during June 10-15, 1918; over a six day period, one hundred and eighteen thousand tickets of admission were sold.
The Army stepped forward and set up a tent city at Kapi‘olani Park for the first fair, providing “almost unlimited space for exhibits, a considerable reduction in charges to merchants, and a material saving in cost of building.” Likewise, the Army and Navy stepped up to present “a big amusement program.”
Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, it was a “campaign of education … designed to acquaint our people of Hawaii, as well as those abroad, with our resources and the opportunities which are presented in this Island Territory.”
“For, as we become better acquainted with the possibilities of our Island Home and better understand our opportunities and capabilities … and better be able to take advantage of the many blessings with which Nature has endowed this Cross Roads of the Pacific.”
It also sought to “interdisperse amusement as well as refreshment, in order to secure the greatest measure of success.”
“The Fair presents a splendid business opportunity to the merchants to show their stock and wares; a fine opportunity for the producer to exhibit what our soil has brought forth; and an excellent educational treat to all who would learn more of the land in which we live, as well as a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an unusual program of amusement and entertainment.”
The Fair Commission adopted the slogan “A War Fair Over Here to Back up the Warfare Over There.” The purpose of the first fair was “in the interest of conservation and production and in educating the people of the Territory up to a point where we may be self-sustaining.”
With that initial success, the Chamber sought “A Bigger and Better Fair.”
A second fair was held June 9-14, 1919. “Help Win the War!” was the slogan that made the first Fair a success and it was based on common sense and a real need.
In 1921, the Territorial legislature appropriated funds from the “general revenues of the Territory of Hawaii for the purpose of purchasing and improving land to be used for territorial fair and amusement park purposes.”
A site was selected and “set aside for territorial fair and amusement park purposes that portion of the government lands lying mauka of the proposed Waikiki drainage canal (Ala Wai) and adjacent to Kapahulu road.”
Then field work was undertaken for the Fair Commission in connection with improvements of the fairgrounds and amusement park: polo field and race track; grandstand site was surveyed; two baseball diamonds and two indoor baseball diamonds were staked out.
For a time, Charles Stoffer operated his seaplane “from both Kapiolani Park and later the Territorial Fair Grounds. Several flights were made to Kahului, Maui, and also to Molokai. Schedules were usually set up to coincide with paydays at the plantations.”
The Territorial fair continued for a number of years. However, it’s not clear why the use of the site transitioned from a Fair Grounds to something else – but a transition appears apparent, starting in 1923.
Reportedly, golf started at the Fair Grounds in 1923, when someone placed a salmon can down as its first hole. A year later, three more holes were built for a total of four. By 1931 five more holes were designed and it became a nine-hole course.
It was renamed the Ala Wai Golf Course.
The second nine was added in 1937, and the original clubhouse followed in 1948. In the 1980s, a new water feature was added and the course was also fitted with a new sprinkler system. The driving range was relocated to make room for expansion of the Honolulu Zoo in 1989 and, finally, a new clubhouse was built in 1990.
The state, through the Fair Commission of Hawaiʻi, had jurisdiction of the Ala Wai Golf Course until just after statehood (when the Fair Commission was abolished and the functions and authority relating to the Ala Wai Golf Course was transferred to the City and County of Honolulu. (However, the state continues to own the land today.)
This Territorial Fair discussion reminds me of my final years at University of Hawaiʻi and membership in the Honolulu Jaycees. Back then, the Jaycees operated the 50th State Fair (I served on the fair committee.) In those days, we ran the fair out at Sand Island.
© 2012 Hoʻokuleana LLC
After sailing around the island and exploring its northern and eastern sides, Captain Cook landed at Kealakekua Bay early in 1779.
When Cook arrived at Kealakekua, “they called Captain Cook Lono (after the god Lono who had gone away promising to return).” (Kamakau)
When Cook went ashore, he was taken to Hiki‘au Heiau and was seated above the altar and covered with a cloak of red tapa like that about the images.
Both chiefs and commoners said to each other, “This is indeed Lono, and this is his heiau come across the Sea from Moa-ʻula-nui-akea (land in Raʻiatea in the Society Islands) across Mano-wai-nui-kai-oʻo!” (Kamakau)
There are a number of reasons why the people may have thought Cook was the god Lono:
- He arrived during the Makahiki festival, a time when the god Lono symbolically returned from his travels
- Like Lono, Cook had come to the Hawaiian people from the sea
- The shapes of the English ships were reminiscent of the kapa cloth and upright standards used in the Makahiki parades
- Cook’s ships had sailed around Hawai’i clockwise, the same direction followed by Lono’s processions
- Kealakekua, where Cook’s ships anchored, was the site of the important Hiki‘au Heiau dedicated to Lono
When Kalani‘ōpu‘u (Ali‘i ʻAimoku (High Chief or King) of the Island of Hawai‘i) met with Cook, he treated him with hospitality, giving him hogs, taro, potatoes, bananas and other provisions.
In addition, he gave feather capes, helmets, kahili, feather lei, wooden bowls, tapa cloths and finely woven mats. Cook gave Kalani’ōpu’u gifts in return.
When Captain Vancouver visited the islands in the 1790s, he provided the following description of Hiki‘au:
“Adjoining one side of the Square was the great Morai (heiau,) where there stood a kind of steeple (‘anu‘u) that ran up to the height of 60 or 70 feet, it was in square form, narrowing gradually towards the top where it was square and flat; it is built of very slight twigs & laths, placed horizontally and closely, and each lath hung with narrow pieces of white Cloth.”
“… next to this was a House occupied by the Priests, where they performed their religious ceremonies and the whole was enclosed by a high railing on which in many parts were stuck skulls of those people, who had fallen victims to the Wrath of their Deity.. . . In the center of the Morai stood a preposterous figure carved out of wood larger than life representing the . . . supreme deity. . . .”
John Papa I‘i wrote that in ca. 1812-1813, shortly after Kamehameha’s return to Hawai‘i, the king celebrated the Makahiki and in the course of doing so he rededicated Hiki‘au, “the most important heiau in the district of Kona”.
In 1819, Louis de Freycinet also visited Hiki‘au Heiau and stated:
“The one [temple] of Riorio (Liholiho) in Kayakakoua (Kealakekua) was surrounded by a simple square palisade in the center of which were twelve hideous idols of gigantic proportions. … Next to them rose the light wooden obelisk-like structure that we mentioned earlier and then a small terrace surrounding a wooden platform, which was supported by two stakes driven into the ground. This platform is where they sacrifice men and animals to these terrible deities.”
“… A rather large number of rocks, piled here and there without any seeming order, covered the ground. … In the center, as well as to the extreme right of the enclosure, stood wooden huts covered with palm leaves. One of these was reserved for the king during certain ceremonies and others for the priests.”
As a side note, you recall that Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia left Hawai‘i in 1809 and sailed to the continent where he eventually inspired the first missionaries to volunteer to carry the message of Christianity to the islands.
ʻŌpūkahaʻia had wanted to join them in spreading the word of Christianity back home in Hawaiʻi, but died in 1818 of typhus fever before the first company of missionaries sailed to Hawaiʻi in 1819, landing at Kailua-Kona on April 4, 1820.
It is interesting to note that ʻŌpūkahaʻia (prior to leaving the islands) had been under the direction of his uncle, a kahuna (priest) at the Hiki‘au Heiau. It had been the hope of his uncle that Opukahaʻia would take his place as the kahuna at Hiki‘au Heiau.
The image is on Hiki‘au Heiau drawn by William Ellis (1779,) part of the crew in the Cook’s expedition. In addition, I have added other images of Hiki‘au Heiau and surrounding area in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.
Waikīkī was once a vast marshland whose boundaries encompassed more than 2,000-acres (as compared to its present 500-acres we call Waikīkī, today).
In the late-1890s, with additional steamship lines to Honolulu, the visitor arrivals to Oʻahu were increasing. In 1896, Walter Chamberlain Peacock, a wealthy Waikīkī homeowner at the time, proposed to build Waikīkī’s first major resort to provide a solution to the area’s main drawback – the lack of suitable accommodations on the beach.
Often called the “First Lady of Waikīkī,” the Moana Hotel has been a Hawaiʻi icon since its opening opened on March 11, 1901.
The original wooden center structure of the Moana Hotel is the oldest existing hotel in Waikīkī. As such, it deserves recognition as a landmark in Hawaii’s tourist industry.
Designed in the old colonial style architecture of the period, it boasted 75 rooms and was the costliest, most elaborate and modern hotel building in the Hawaiian Islands at the time.
Each room on the three upper floors had a bathroom and a telephone – innovations for any hotel of the times. The hotel also had its own ice plant and electric generators. The first floor had a billiard parlor, saloon, main parlor, library, office, and reception area.
The Moana was one of the earliest “high-rise” buildings in Hawaii and was the costliest hotel in the islands. In spite of numerous renovations and changes, it has retained its tropical openness and is a welcome change from the more modern high-rises that surround it.
The original four story wood structure, designed by OG Traphagen, a well known Honolulu architect, features an elaborately designed lobby which extends to open lanais and is open to the Banyan Court and the sea.
By 1918, Hawaii had 8,000 visitors annually and by the 1920s Matson Navigation Company ships were bringing an increasing number of wealthy visitors.
This prompted a massive addition to the hotel. In 1918, two floors were added along with concrete wings on each side, doubling the size of the hotel.
In the 1920s, the Waikīkī landscape underwent a dramatic re-development when the wetlands were drained with the construction of the Ala Wai Canal. The reclaimed lands were subdivided into 5,000-square foot lots.
Matson Navigation Company bought the Moana in 1932; it paired with Matson’s other Waikīkī property, the Royal Hawaiian.
From 1935 until 1975, the Moana Hotel courtyard was home to the “Hawaii Calls” worldwide radio show, with its trademark sound of waves breaking in the distance.
The 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor and Second World War interrupted the flow of visitors to Waikīkī and the region becomes a rest and recreation area for soldiers and sailors coming and going to the war in the Pacific.
After the war, tourism thrived in the late-1940s and 50s, with the introduction of regularly scheduled airline service from the West Coast.
1959 brought two significant actions that shaped the present day make-up of Hawai‘i, (1) Statehood and (2) jet-liner service between the mainland US and Honolulu (Pan American Airways Boeing 707.) (That year, the Moana was sold to the Sheraton hotel chain.)
These two events helped guide and expand the fledgling visitor industry in the state into the number one industry that it is today. Tourism exploded. Steadily during the 1960s, 70s and 80s the millions of tourists added up, as did the new visitor accommodations in Waikīkī.
The Moana remains a constant reminder of the old Waikīkī.
In the center of the Moana’s courtyard stands a large Banyan tree. The Indian Banyan tree was planted in 1904 by Jared Smith, Director of the Department of Agriculture Experiment Station (about 7-feet at planting, it is now over 75-feet in height.)
In 1979 the historic tree was one of the first to be listed on Hawaii’s Rare and Exceptional Tree List. It has also been selected by the Board of Trustees of America the Beautiful Fund as the site for a Hawaii Millennium Landmark Tree designation, which selects one historic tree in each state for protection in the new millennium.
In 1905, the Moana Hotel was at the center of one of America’s legendary mysteries. Jane Stanford, co-founder of Stanford University and former wife of California Governor Leland Stanford, died in a Moana Hotel room of poisoning.
After several renovations and additions, the hotel now accommodates 794 guest rooms, two restaurants, spa and a bunch of other hotel amenities.
The image shows the Moana Hotel in 1908; in addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.