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From Our Files

May archives


Our History

In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.




Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine, notes the passing of James J. Williams, one-time court photographer to Hawaii’s monarchy and a founder of Paradise of the Pacific. “James J. Williams was born in England, June 5, 1853, and came to America in 1854, his parents settling in Cleveland, Ohio. He studied photography in Baltimore, working later in San Francisco, "whence he came to Honolulu in 1879,” writes Paradise. “The J.J. Williams studio has been famous throughout the Islands … it would be difficult to imagine how many people have seen Hawaii through the Williams camera. Williams established the first passenger agency in Hawaii, and it was he who launched this magazine, Paradise of the Pacific, Hawaii’s illustrated monthly, in January, 1888. Graenhalgh & Williams published Paradise at the office of the Press Publishing Co., in the Friend Building, [on] Bethel Street. Williams was business manager.”



Paradise of the Pacific files a report on teenage beach parties, written by Maryknoll High School student Carol Yap. “Who can resist a clear, balmy day with the sun shining brightly overhead, beckoning to the beach? Not Honolulu teenagers!” writes Yap. “The day calls for a beach party, decides Natalie Chun, Maryknoll High’s National Honor Society President, as she proceeds to start the telephone system to notify members. [By] 3:30 p.m., twenty-one high students pile into four cars for a 20-minute ride to picturesque Hanauma Bay Beach Park.” From there, it’s all dodge ball, bongo drums, ocean-dunking and human pyramids.





An experimental geothermal drilling site in Puna, on the Big Island, from an article on alternative energy that covered solar power, wind power, biomass and OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion). Notes HONOLULU, “Hawaii is in an unenviable position energywise, relying on imported oil for 92 percent of its energy needs—yet at the same time, Hawaii is considered a global leader in alternative energy research.”

As of 2011 … Hawaii is “90-percent dependent on imported oil,” according to a recent KHON2 news report. But hope is right around the corner, said an administrator from the state Energy Department: “Hawaii is so blessed with many, many renewable resources. We have wind, solar, [and] geothermal is one thing that we should probably pursue in the future.”



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Honolulu Magazine April 2018
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