From Our Files
Aug. 1945: “The story of the Oahu railroad, whose small puffing engines have been noted with curiosity by millions of visitors to Hawaii’s shores, is one that parallels the growth of Honolulu from a dream South Seas village to the war-boom city it is today,” writes Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU magazine. Founded by Benjamin Franklin Dillingham in 1889, the railroad transported produce, equipment and workers from the North Shore and Ewa plantations, spurred by the growth of Oahu’s sugar industry. During World War II, the railroad shuttled hundreds of thousands of military service members and civilian workers from Honolulu to Pearl Harbor and Schofield Barracks. The photo at right shows the rail in Iwilei, with Dole Cannery’s iconic pineapple water tower in the background.
Aug. 1960: Paradise of the Pacific dispels Mainlanders’ notions about fashion in Hawaii. “Travel folders picturing long haired, brown skinned beauties clad in hibiscus sarongs are not exactly preparation for the degree of well-dressed formality, the white gloves, chic coiffures and sometimes flowered chapeaux glimpsed at numerous Hawaii functions,” the magazine writes. In the photo at left, model Shirley Olson shows off a Harvey Brien cocktail dress at a Honolulu fashion luncheon.
Aug. 1990: HONOLULU Magazine interviews Gensiro Kawamoto, the notorious Japanese billionaire who snapped up nearly 200 Hawaii properties in the late ’80s, during one of the worst housing crunches in Hawaii history. “I don’t think about how much I’m spending, I just spend it,” Kawamoto tells HONOLULU. “About five years ago I purchased an inn in Shizuoka for about $18 million. That was because I wanted to go into [the inn’s] onsen, the hot springs, but I didn’t want to go when there were a lot of people around.” Kawamoto, who has since sold dozens of his Hawaii properties, made local headlines again last year. Just weeks before Christmas 2004, he issued eviction notices to residents renting several of his Hawaii Kai homes, with plans to sell the properties to capitalize on record home prices.