Preserving Kona's Stories

Maile's Meanderings

Posts tagged hawaiian history
Congratulations to Daifukuji on its 100th Anniversary!

For Kona’s fast growing Japanese immigrant population, Daifukuji was a welcome glimpse of home.  How comforting it must have been to see that high peaked roof and an altar gleaming with golden lotus blossoms, to hear the notes of the temple gong ringing in the air and to breathe the familiar scent of incense once more.

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Isabella and Martha on the Path Less Traveled

Author Isabella Bird said it best back in 1873 when she wrote a letter to her sister Henrietta trapped in somber Scotland: “It is a joyous green; a glory!” Isabella happened to be riding across the lower reaches of Mauna Kea at the time, but her observation is as spot on now for Kona as it was then for Hamakua. “Whenever I look up from my writing, I ask , Was there ever such a green? Was there ever such sunshine? Was there ever such an atmosphere? And Nature – for I have no other companion, and wish for none – answers,’ No’.”

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Honaunau ~ Refuge for Man and Beast

Surrounded by a moat of naked lava, Honaunau's emerald green coconut crowns now stood out for miles. Enthusiastic young park rangers supervised the dismantling of the core of great `Ale`ale`a heiau on the point. With my intrepid mother once again, we crept up wooden ladders and teetered on rickety temporary bridges set up for visitors to peer into the heart of the temple. I was happy when the rocks were put back in place because that structure was and is for me the epitome of a heiau, a classic beauty of the pure Hawaiian type.

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Kamakahonu circa 1930 ~ Kailua, Kona, Hawaii

Kahu Billy Paris recalled when freighters arrived in Kailua Bay laden with fuel, a long hose or pipe was connected from the ship to the shore to enable gasoline to be pumped directly into Standard Oil’s large white fuel tank. Fifty gallon drums full of oil were simply floated ashore. When “rafts” of bundled lumber made it onto the beach, Mr. Linzy Child, Amfac’s Kailua branch manager, had men grade (select with no knots, rough clear), segregate, and carefully stack each plank to dry with laths in between each piece.

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Ka`awaloa, South Kona, Hawaii

If it were possible to be a fly on the wall of Kealakekua’s cliffs in 1793, we would have seen Vancouver unloading California cattle into canoes in these waters. We would have witnessed Queen Ka`ahumanu and Kamehameha patching up their lover’s quarrel on board Vancouver’s ship. We would have shuddered in fear and delight as explosions of fireworks lighted up the inky night skies over the bay, a popular 18th century entertainment produced by the English for their Hawaiian hosts.

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