Princess Kaiulani’s Home Destroyed by Fire

Today in history — August 2, 1921 — a fire burned the late Princess Kaiulani’s home–Ainahau. An automatic gas heater next to a former kitchen ignited the fire. Film producer W. F. Adrich and his wife Peggy were residing in the Waikiki house, previously a hotel.

While the house is gone today, the location still honors Princess Kaiulani with the stone bench she sat on with writer Robert Louis Stevenson, a small triangular park, a bronze statue of her in the park, and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel.

Read more about the house in “Ainahau, Historic Old Landmark, Is Burned.”

“Ainahau, Historic Old Landmark, Is Burned”
The Garden Island, Aug. 9, 1921, P. 8
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015411/1921-08-09/ed-1/seq-8/

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Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani Died

Today in history — May 24, 1883 — Princess Ruth Luka Keanolani Kauanahoahoa Keʻelikōlani died at age 56. Born in 1826, Keʻelikōlani (“leaf bud of heaven”) served as Royal Governor of the Island of Hawaii. Throughout her life, Keʻelikōlani defended the Hawaiian culture.

As a grandchild of Kamehameha I, Keʻelikōlani served as the primary heir to the Kamehameha family. Thus, When she died, Keʻelikōlani was the richest woman in Hawaii and owned almost nine percent of the land in Hawaii.

Through Keʻelikōlani’s will, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bernice Bishop inherited 353,000 acres of Kamehameha Lands and became the largest private landowner in Hawaii. After Pauahi died, her husband Charles Reed Bishop executed her will and used her land to create the Bishop Museum, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate and Kamehameha Schools.

Read more about it in “Death of Her Highness Princess Ruth Keelikolani.”

“Death of Her Highness Princess Ruth Keelikolani”
The Daily bulletin, May 28, 1883, Image 2
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1883-05-28/ed-1/seq-2/


Prince Consort John Owen Dominis Died

This week in history — August 23, 1891 — John Owen Dominis died. Eight months before, his wife Queen Liliuokalani became the last ruling monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

A friend and family member to Hawaiian royalty, the Prince Consort played many powerful roles:

Royal Governor of Oahu
Royal Governor of Maui
Lieutenant General and Commander in Chief
Quartermaster General and Commissioner of Crown Lands
Legislator in the House of Nobles
Royal Commander of royal orders (e.g. Royal Order of Kamehameha and the Royal Order of Kalākaua)
Member of the King’s Privy Council, Board of Health, Board of Education, and Bureau of Immigration

Dominis left behind his ten-year-old son, and Liliuokalani adopted John ʻAimoku Dominis as her stepson.

Through Dominis’ death, Liliuokalani inherited Washington Place, his family home, which would house Hawaii’s future governors.

Read more about John Owen Dominis in “Death of H. R. H. the Prince Consort.”

“Death of H. R. H. the Prince Consort”
The Hawaiian gazette, September 1, 1891, Image 1
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025121/1891-09-01/ed-1/seq-1/


A Gift from Abraham Lincoln

Rev. James Kekela got a watch and chain from President Abraham Lincoln for saving an American citizen from being eaten by cannibals. Read more about it in “Lincoln’s Gift to a Honolululan.”

Pacific commercial advertiser, January 15, 1901, Page 6
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047084/1901-01-15/ed-1/seq-6/


U.S. President Zachary Taylor Died

This month in history–July 9, 1850–U.S. President Zachary Taylor died of a stomach-related illness. The Southern Press (Washington, DC) described the former major general: “His splendid military achievements won the admiration of his countrymen,– his simplicity of character a large measure of their confidence.”

Read more about the twelfth U.S. President in “Death of President Taylor.”

“Death of President Taylor”
The Southern press, July 10, 1850, Image 2
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014764/1850-07-10/ed-1/seq-2/


Alexandar Joy Cartwright Jr.’s Legacy in Hawaii

Today in history — July 12, 1892 — Known as the inventor of modern baseball, Alexandar Joy Cartwright Jr. passed away in Hawaii, where he lived during the second half of his life.

While people have recently questioned Cartwright’s role as the inventor, he definitely spread modern baseball throughout Hawaii. As his two youngest sons, Bruce and Allie, attended Punahou School (then Oahu College) from 1864 to 1869, the school also popularized modern baseball in Hawaii. In fact, Allie played baseball with his classmate Lorrin A. Thurston–decades before he led the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy.

As a friend to Hawaiian royalty, Cartwright served in political posts. He founded the Honolulu Fire Department and managed it as chief for years. As the Consul of Peru, Cartwright assisted Peruvian merchants in Honolulu. Cartwright also served as executee and trustee of royal wills including Princess Likelike’s (Princess Kaiulani’s mother) and Queen Emma Rooke’s.

Cartwright’s legacy still lives on today. People still play ball on Makiki Field, now known as Cartwright Field. Each year, the Hawaii state high school baseball champions receive the Cartwright Cup. And Cartwright’s descendants still live in Hawaii.

Read about Cartwright’s legacy in “A Great Loss.”

“A Great Loss”
The Daily bulletin, July 13, 1892, Image 4
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1892-07-13/ed-1/seq-4/


Civil Beat Featured Chronicling America in Reporting HECo’s History

Iolani Palace lit up

Honolulu Civil Beat used Chronicling America to illustrate Hawaiian Electric Co.’s history in a special report “How One Company Turned ‘Darkness Into Day:'”

On a long-ago summer night, thousands of people gathered on the grounds of Iolani Palace for what might be described as an illuminating tea party with David Kalakaua, Hawaii’s last ruling king.

There was tea, coffee, ice cream, Hawaiian music, dance and high society in fine evening wear. But the real draw on the evening of July 21, 1886, was the simple spectacle of electric light that few locals had ever seen.

The 49-year-old king, who was fascinated by the potential of electricity, was something of an early adopter who had promised to bring electric light to Hawaii. Even the White House wouldn’t have electric lights for years after Iolani Palace, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, was electrified.

In 1881, during a trip around the world, Kalakaua had dropped in on Thomas Edison’s “invention factory,” a laboratory in New Jersey, to see if he could find a way to brighten Hawaii’s future. It was less than two years after the inventor had come up with the incandescent light bulb.

As night fell on that July evening in 1886, a small steam engine located in the Honolulu Iron Works on Merchant Street successfully powered up cables that led to five lamps outside the palace. During the course of the night, the light around Palace Square drew a gawking crowd that the Honolulu Daily Bulletin put at more than 5,000. That amounted to one in every six people on the island.

It was, according to another news report in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, a “soft but brilliant light which turned darkness into day.”

Soon, the newspaper said, the Royal Hawaiian military band began playing, soldiers marched on the grounds and a tea party for children got underway, hosted by Princess Liliuokalani and Princess Likelike.

“The Palace was brightly illuminated, and the large crowd moving among the trees and tents made a pretty picture.”

A nonprofit online news source, Civil Beat is currently publishing “Electric Dreams,” a special report series:

For the past 125 years, Hawaiian Electric Co. has helped shape Hawaii’s development, its politics and its culture. We explore its past to see what we can learn about its future.

Civil Beat Article: How One Company Turned ‘Darkness Into Day’
http://www.civilbeat.org/2016/07/how-one-company-turned-darkness-into-day/

Hawaii’s First Electric Lights
https://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/…/hawaiis-first-electric-li…/

Electric Light (second column from left, bottom)
The Daily bulletin, July 22, 1886, Image 3
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/…/…/1886-07-22/ed-1/seq-3/

Kalakaua Visits Edison: The King in Search of a Means to Light Up Honolulu (column on the extreme right)
The sun, September 26, 1881, Image 1
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030272/1881-09-26/ed-1/seq-1/

Points in Hawaiian History (second column from left, middle)
The Daily bulletin, September 30, 1887, Image 3
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1887-09-30/ed-1/seq-3/

Honolulu Electric Works: Starting of the Machinery (third column from left, top)
The Daily bulletin, March 21, 1888, Image 3
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1888-03-21/ed-1/seq-3/