Photo Gallery: Honolulu in 1888

all photos from the hawaii state archives and bishop museum

King David Kalakaua and Queen Esther Kapiolani with their retainers, on the lawn of Iolani Palace.

The city of Honolulu as it appeared from the top of Punchbowl in 1883. Iolani Palace and Aliiolani Hale appear at top center.

In the 1880s, the Honolulu Harbor waterfront still featured cannons.

A view of Merchant Street looking east. The Kamehameha V Post Office on the corner is today the Kumu Kahua Theatre.

Nuuanu Stream in its original, natural state. Unfortunately, the stream was the city's toilet; outhouses lined its banks.

Waikiki in the 1880s was a marshy place. Here, a lagoon sits in the area that would become the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Oahu Prison inmates took their lunch out in the courtyard, sharing from communal poi buckets.

In the 1880s, upper Kapalama seemed quite a distance from the city of Honolulu, making it suitable for tucking away the insane asylum.

Honolulu Harbor in 1888 was still a forest of masts, but steam power would soon replace the age of sailing vessels.

Kalakaua stands on the steps of Iolani Palace with the members of his royal staff.

Hale pili were still in active use, but were steadily being replaced by more Western structures.

Horses were the main form of transport on land.

An 1890s family relaxes in the front yard.

A group of young Honolulu debutantes at the Nuuanu home of John Strayer McGrew, many of the women sporting modified bustles.

The view from the roof of Iolani Palace, looking makai, circa 1887.

Chinatown was a smoldering wreck in the wake of an 1886 fire that swept through the neighborhood.

Another view of the Chinatown fire's aftermath.

In the 1880s, Honolulu was a small town, with no buildings over three stories. Here, the view from Honolulu Harbor.

Steam power was beginning to take hold in the 1880s, but, as this forest of masts in Honolulu Harbor shows, sailing ships still ruled the ocean.

Agriculture was still a matter of livestock and manual labour. Here, Kaneohe workers load sugar onto a boat.

Fewer people were living in traditional hale pili by the end of the 1800s, but they remained a common sight in Honolulu.

Hawaii tourism existed in the 1880s, but it was still in its infancy. Here, a view of Diamondhead before Waikiki became Waikiki.

The Honolulu of the 1880s was very small, and centered in what we now call Downtown. Other neighborhoods, such as Makiki and McCully, were empty enough to support agriculture such as banana farms.

A view from the roof of Iolani Palace.

Iolani Palace, circa 1889.