Wing Like Museum and East Kong Yick Building, Seattle, WA
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage
 

Text Only Version
 

Please note that this text-only version, provided for ease of printing and reading, includes more than 150 pages and may take up to 30 minutes to print. Printing this page will print the introduction, essay, list of sites, and all of the descriptions for the sites featured in this itinerary. If you would like to print a specific section, click on one of the links below and mark the section you would like to print.

Introduction
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Making of the Nation
List of Sites and Descriptions
Maps (print separately)
Learn More (print separately)
Credits (print separately)


Introduction

The National Park Service and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers invite you to visit units of the National Park System and other places listed in the National Register of Historic Places, most of which are National Historic Landmarks, that bring alive Asian American and Pacific Islander stories. These places illuminate the many diverse ways Asian American and Pacific Islander peoples have contributed to the history and development of the United States. The destinations featured in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary reflect more than a thousand years of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage from early Pacific Islander cultural centers to Chinese and Japanese immigrants who helped settle the West, to struggles for civil rights, to much more.

The itinerary offers several ways to discover and experience these historic places:

  • Descriptions of each featured destination on the List of Sites highlight the significance of the places and their stories, photographs and other illustrations, and information on how to visit.

  • Essays provide background and context for understanding historic places featured in the itinerary and others that are worthy of recognition. The essay on "Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Making of the Nation" and the Find Your Place: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders booklet set the stage.

  • Maps help visitors plan what to see and do and get directions to places to visit.

  • A Learn More section provides links to relevant tourism, history, preservation, general information, and other websites. This section also includes a bibliography.

View the itinerary online or print it as a guide if you plan to visit in person. The Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary, the 59th in this ongoing series, is part of the Department of the Interior, National Park Service's strategy to promote public awareness of history and encourage visits to historic places throughout the nation. The itineraries are created by a partnership of the National Park Service, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and Federal, State, and local governments and private organizations in communities, regions, and heritage areas throughout the United States. The itineraries help people everywhere learn about and plan trips to visit the amazing diversity of this country's historic places that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service and its partners hope you enjoy this itinerary and others in the series. If you have any comments or questions, please just click on "Comments or Questions" at the bottom of each page.

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Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Making of the Nation

"For Native Hawaiians, a place tells us who we are and who is our extended family. A place gives us our history, the history of our clan, and the history of our ancestors. We are able to look at a place and tie in human events that affect us and our loved ones. A place gives us a feeling of stability and of belonging to our family--those living and those who have passed on. A place gives us a sense of well-being, and of acceptance of all who have experienced that place."

Edward Kanahele, Introduction to Ancient Sites of O'ahu: A Guide to Hawaiian Archaeological Places of Interest by Van James (Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1991), ix-xiii.

In the United States of America the sun first rises over the skies of Guam in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and awakens its indigenous people, the Chamorro. Guam was acquired as a spoil of war after the Spanish American War of 1898 and the Chamorro, native to the land, became Americans with no political voice in the matter.

Similarly, Native Hawaiians, who have called the Hawaiian Islands home for almost 2,000 years, became Americans at the turn of the twentieth century without any declaration of war. The Islands became a U.S. protectorate after the Kingdom of Hawai'i was overthrown, principally by Americans. One fascinating reminder is 'Iolani Palace, the home and symbol of the former sovereign of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and the only royal residence in the United States. In addition, other Pacific Islands such as the Federated States of Micronesia have long cultural histories and historic and strategic ties to the United States.

There are now over one million people of Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian descent in the U.S. Together, Asian and Pacific Americans make up approximately 6 percent of the U.S. population-more than 20 million people-and those numbers are growing rapidly. Their ancestral roots represent more than 50 percent of the world, extending from East Asia to Southeast Asia, and from South Asia to the Pacific Islands. Their stories are noteworthy and. as part of the nation's heritage, the historic sites that reflect them are worthy of preservation and inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places; some qualify for National Historic Landmark designation and inclusion in the National Park system.

Indigenous peoples have been joined in the American journey by intrepid explorers, maritime workers on ships plying the oceans in the British Empire, and Filipino seamen landing in Mexico and the Mexican Gulf when the Spanish Empire sent Manila Galleons between the Philippines and Mexico, beginning in the 16th century. Filipinos have lived in the New Orleans region since at least the 1800s. Chinese men were marrying Irish women in New York City before that city had an established Chinatown while others were working for the Hudson Bay Company in Washington and Oregon, sending furs to China in exchange for tea and porcelain. This early to mid-19th century trade with China created unprecedented wealth for entrepreneurial ship owners and traders in Boston, New York City, and Newport, Rhode Island. Chinese were recruited as strikebreakers in Lowell, Massachusetts and one of them, Lue Gim Gong, eventually went to Florida and developed the orange that revolutionized the juice industry. Native Hawaiians sent by Christian missionaries in Hawai'i to be educated on the mainland went to universities including Yale in Connecticut.

Asians and Pacific Islanders have also served in the U.S. armed forces since the War of 1812 when America went to war against Great Britain. They served throughout the 19th century at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, in the American Civil War in some of its most critical and memorable battles, and in the Spanish American War. In the 20th century, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders served in World War I, and during World War II thousands of Japanese Americans volunteered for and were drafted into segregated units, earning praise and over 20 Congressional Medals of Honor for their heroism. Also during the war, Filipino Americans fought to expel Japanese invaders from the Philippines and both Chinese Americans and Korean Americans served with great distinction. And Asians and Pacific Islanders continue to serve in the military today – including Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth from Illinois who lost both legs in Iraq. Some, however, fought in different ways. First Lieutenant Ehren Watada protested American actions in the Middle East and was court-martialed for his act of conscience, refusing to deploy to Iraq when ordered to do so in 2007. The proceedings eventually ended in a mistrial. Since almost the beginning, even when denied citizenship and facing discrimination, Asians and Pacific Islanders have been part of America's journey.

Major waves of immigration from Asia began shortly after the discovery of gold in California in 1849. Soon thereafter the Taiping Rebellion in China created massive death and dislocation; emigration to earn money became an important element of survival for many Chinese who arrived in the U.S. by the thousands in the 1850s and 1860s. About 20,000 Chinese comprised most of the labor force for the Central Pacific Railroad's portion of the first Transcontinental Railroad, which began construction in Sacramento, California and blasted its way over and through the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the dead of winter and over the desert until it reached Promontory Summit in Utah where it joined the Union Pacific Railroad to connect the two coasts in 1869. When the celebratory photograph of the symbolic joining of the railroads with the "golden spike" was taken at what is now the National Park Service-administered Golden Spike National Historic Site, the Chinese workers were deliberately kept out of the picture.

This anti-Chinese gesture was part of a major racial movement which grew with the Depression of 1873-1879, giving rise to vicious mob actions involving lynchings and expulsions. In short order, the U.S. Congress was moved to pass the nation's first racial exclusion law, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, marking a specific group as undesirable, unable to enter the country and, if already there, ineligible to become naturalized citizens. That Act was made permanent in 1904. To fill the need for cheap labor, several hundred thousand Japanese immigrated to Hawai'i largely as sugar plantation workers and to the mainland as migrant agricultural workers, railroad laborers, fishermen, and miners. When anti-Japanese sentiment resulted in the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907-8, restricting laborers from immigrating to the U.S., a new wave of Japanese women began arriving as "picture brides" whose families had arranged marriages with Japanese bachelors in the U.S. This practice took advantage of a section of the Agreement which allowed direct family members to enter the country. By 1920, Japan faced increasing pressure from the U.S. and agreed to prohibit these arrangements.

The Immigration Act of 1917, also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, designated much of Asia and the Pacific Islands as areas from which people could not enter the U.S. – except Filipinos who, from 1906, were being recruited as cheap labor both in Hawai'i and on the mainland. Employers could do so because the Philippines had been "acquired" from Spain in 1898 after the Spanish American War and subdued as a U.S. territory after nearly a decade of vicious fighting known as the Philippine American War. As American nationals, Filipinos were free to be recruited and to enter the U.S – until Congress voted, in 1936, to make the Philippines a Commonwealth for a period of ten years and then grant independence. This action came, however, with the proviso that only 50 Filipinos per year could enter the U.S. and ended the ability of cheaper Philippine goods and labor from freely entering the U.S. market. So, with modest revisions, the exclusion of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders remained official American policy until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Because of the severity and length, nearly a century, of the exclusion period, the immigration processing center on the West Coast was very different from Ellis Island on the East Coast in New York City. Where tens of millions of immigrants, most from Europe, passed under the welcoming visage of the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island in California was in place from 1910 to 1940 largely to detain people and discourage immigration. The Chinese were a particular target especially once the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 had been passed, extended, and then made permanent. One response by Chinese immigrants was the invention of citizenship through assertion of birth. Any Chinese immigrant who had been born in China to a father who was a U.S. citizen could claim citizen status and would be allowed to enter the country. Immigrants whose fathers were not U.S. citizens would buy papers identifying them as children of male Chinese American citizens. Because official records were almost non-existent, largely due to the disastrous earthquake and fire in San Francisco in 1906, these "paper sons" and "paper daughters" would go through an interrogation process at the U.S. Immigration Station and, if they passed, would be allowed to enter the country as citizens. But the practice soon alerted officials to suspect all entering Chinese and to devise devilishly intricate questions to trick them into revealing the alleged fraud. This, in turn, led to a substantial cottage industry of "coaching books" to be memorized by those seeking entry. Would-be immigrants memorized such trivial details as the number of windows in the rear bedroom facing east or the number of stone steps in the walkway between the front door and the peach tree in the yard. As a result, well-prepared paper sons and daughters succeeded in duping immigration officials while some genuine children of real citizens were deported. Indeed, while a wide variety of national groups entered the U.S. via Angel Island, including Russians, Mexicans, Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese, the most distinctive stories are of Chinese immigrants and the days, weeks, or months of grueling interrogation they endured. Some of these experiences remain as poems rendered in classical Chinese carved into the walls of Angel Island's barracks. The national refusal to admit Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on an equal basis with peoples from other regions of the globe lasted until passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which ended nearly a full century of exclusion and restriction.

Early Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities included the dwindling numbers of Chinese and Chinese Americans who famously created Chinatowns in cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York City as well as in a few rural towns such as Walnut Grove, California, and in one instance they created a whole town – Locke, California. There were Filipino groups as well, including those who established communities largely comprised of bachelors. Much later, retired Filipino farm workers created Paolo Agbayani Village in what is now The Forty Acres National Historic Landmark, honoring Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union.

Japanese immigrants experienced a different path in the first decades of the 20th century largely because they were under the protection of a growing military power. The Meiji regime in Japan, established in 1868, soon extended its sphere of influence through territorial expansion – Okinawa and Taiwan in the late 19th century; Korea and China in the 20th century, until the fateful clash with the U.S. in 1941. Japan's "concern" for her subjects overseas included demands that Japanese women be allowed to immigrate, so that families would develop and communities would be formed. One result was the emergence of Japanese Americans as the single largest ethnic group in Hawai'i as early as 1900. They were significantly present on many of the sugar and pineapple plantations that dotted the islands and were increasingly important urban dwellers in the capital, Honolulu, as well as significant towns on neighbor islands.

Because most of the early Asian immigrants arrived to join the labor force, issues dealing with the use and exploitation of workers quickly rose to critical prominence. Indeed, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act had been instigated by white unions and labor organizations which alleged that the Chinese were undercutting white workers struggling for better pay and working conditions. But in most cases, Asian Americans and Pacific Islander workers themselves sought better wages and conditions through organization, negotiation, public relations, legal action, and work stoppage or sabotage. The case of Asian workers on Hawaii's sugar and pineapple plantations was a classic example.

The sugar industry took off in Hawai'i after the American Civil War disrupted the shipment of Southern sugar to the more industrialized North. A burgeoning pineapple sector added to the plantation work force in the 1900s. Japanese immigrant labor formed the majority of the plantation labor force, joined by small numbers of Koreans [along with immigrants from Portugal, Puerto Rico, and a few, including European Americans and African Americans, from the American mainland] and larger groups of Filipinos. Until the arrival of organizers from the California-based International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union [ILWU] in the 1930s, the spontaneous uprisings and organized strikes on the plantations were largely based on single ethnic/nationality bonds. These strikes were broken by planters who temporarily hired workers from other groups until the perpetrators surrendered.

Partly as a result of organizing work during World War II, the ILWU began a series of successful negotiations and strikes immediately after the war. By the end of the 1950s, Hawaii's plantation labor was the highest paid agriculture work force in the world. Not coincidentally, Hawaii's political order was fundamentally altered as workers streamed into the Democratic Party ranks. This coalition of organized labor and Democratic Party control extended from about 1960 and only began to dissipate in the 21st century, a period of fifty years.

Asian Americans, particularly Filipinos, were also active on the mainland in fighting for the rights of workers. The Cannery Worker's and Farm Laborer's Union was formed in Seattle in the 1930s to protect the rights of Filipinos working in the Alaskan salmon canneries. In the late 1950s the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) was created to fight for farm workers' rights in California. Led by and primarily made up of Filipinos, the AWOC went on strike in 1965, against California grape growers. They were eventually joined by Cesar Chavez and the National Farm Workers Association in the famous Delano Grape Strike. The five-year strike was a major victory for farm laborers and resulted in the merging of the two organizations into the United Farm Workers, which became a major force in politics and civil and labor rights in the U.S.

World War II was a turning point in global history; it certainly marked vastly different social and political terrains for Hawai'i and the U.S. One of the war's distinguishing ironies or contradictions was the international crusade to liberate oppressed peoples and the domestic imposition of concentration camp conditions on Japanese Americans. Approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them American citizens, were forcibly removed from their homes and businesses on the West Coast and incarcerated in ten War Relocation Centers as well as dozens of other prisons, internment camps, military prisons, and holding pens, including livestock areas. In Hawai'i, only about 1,000 people of a total of nearly 160,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated after individual hearings, but none of them, in Hawai'i or on the mainland, was ever accused or charged with any wrongdoing or tried or convicted of any crime against the U.S. On August 10, 1988, nearly one-half century later, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation to apologize for this unconstitutional action and to provide $20,000 in reparations to more than 80,000 surviving Japanese Americans who had been incarcerated during the war.

World War II also witnessed the formal end of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. In 1943, Congress allowed current Chinese residents to apply for naturalization and permitted an annual total of 105 Chinese to enter the country – although unlike other "nationality" groups, that quota was applied to all Chinese entering from any country, not just from China. Shortly after the war ended, Filipinos and Asian Indians were allowed to naturalize as well. Later, in 1952, after the Treaty of Peace with Japan was signed by the U.S., Japan, and other Allied nations, Japanese Americans could also become naturalized. But it was the momentous Immigration Act of 1965 which forever changed the immigration dynamic, allowing Asians and Pacific Islanders to immigrate under the same conditions as aspirants from other parts of the globe. Today, the Asian American population in the U.S. is rising at a faster rate than any other "racial" group in the country.

America's war in Southeast Asia, notably in Vietnam but also in Laos and Cambodia stretching from the early 1960s until defeat and withdrawal in 1975, produced a long stream of refugees – including many who had fought for the U.S. or who had supported the effort and others who had been impoverished by the cruelties of that devastating conflict. Some were multi-lingual scholars who had been trained under French colonial regimes, others were doctors and other professionals who fled Communist rule. From Laos came not only Laotians like General Vang Pao who had commanded his troops under illegal CIA instructions but also the Hmong peoples, largely illiterate, who had assisted the war from beyond the Vietnamese borders.

In today's America, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders occupy a set of widely diverse and deeply complex niches. There are pockets of intense poverty and social dislocation, but there are successive Asian Indian American winners of national spelling contests and wildly successful entrepreneurs like Amar Bose, founder of the Bose Corporation and Vera Wang, noted American fashion designer. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders influence local and national elections and threaten to overwhelm admissions statistics for elite universities. But they are still subject to racial profiling, sometimes in the form of Sikhs with turbans or dark—skinned South Asians vilified as "terrorists." In this context, it is helpful to recall that the first person of Asian descent to be elected to the U.S. Congress was Dalip Singh Saund, an Asian Indian, from the State of California in 1954. In an age when it is more common to see Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for what they actually are—Americans of all walks of life—it is time to recognize and preserve more historic sites which tell their stories

When the sun finally sets on U.S. territory, its last rays diminish as the horizon darkens over American Samoa in the Pacific Ocean, just on the other side of the International Date Line from Guam. On the American mainland in North America, a host of historic places awaits listing in the National Register of Historic Places and some should be designated as National Historic Landmarks or become National Parks, to educate visitors and others through the rich stories they can tell about the histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their roles in the making of the nation.

Franklin Odo, Ph.D. is the former director of the Asian Pacific American Center at the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Odo has served as a member of the Landmarks Committee of the National Park System Advisory Board and is now assisting the National Park Service in overseeing the development of an Asian American and Pacific Islander Theme Study. Dr. Odo is the author of No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawai'i During World War II and Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai'i.

Select Bibliography

Azuma, Eiichiro. Between Two Empires: Race, History and Transnationalism in Japanese America. NY: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Chan, Sucheng. Asian Americans: An Interpretative History. Boston: Twayne, 1991.

Choy, Catherine Ceniza. Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.

Coffman, Tom. Catch a Wave: A Case Study of Hawaii's New Politics. The University of Hawaii Press, 1972.

Daniels, Roger. Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in America Since 1850. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988.

Fujita-Rony, Dorothy. American Workers, Colonial Power: Philippine Seattle and the Transpacific West. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Hsu, Madeline. Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and Migration between the United States and South China, 1882-1943. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000.

Ichioka, Yuji. The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1885-1924. New York: Free Press, 1988.

Jung, Moon-Ho. Coolies and Cane: Labor and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2006.

Jung, Moon-Kie. Reworking Race: The Making of Hawaii's Interracial Labor Movement. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

Lee, Erika and Judy Yung. Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Lee, Robert. Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999.

Lee, Shelley. A New History of Asian America. London: Routledge, 2014.

Maeda, Daryl. Rethinking the Asian American Movement. London: Routledge, 2011.

McGregor, Davianna. Na Kua'aina: Living Hawaiian Culture. Honolulu: The University of Hawai'i Press, 2007.

Ngai, Mae. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Okihiro, Gary. Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994

Prashad, Vijay. The Karma of Brown Folk. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Robinson, Greg. A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

Shah, Nayan. Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco's Chinatown. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Tchen, John. New York Before Chinatown: Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Yuh, Ji-Yeon. Beyond the Shadow of Camptown: Korean Military Brides in America. New York: New York University Press, 2002.

Zalburg, Sanford. A Spark is Struck: Jack Hall and the ILWU in Hawaii. Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii, 1979.

Zia, Helen. Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People. New York; Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2000.

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List of Sites and Descriptions

Alaska   American Samoa   Arizona   Arkansas   California   Colorado   District of Columbia   Federated States of Micronesia   Guam   Hawaii   Idaho   Michigan   Montana   Nevada   New York   Oregon   Pennsylvania   Utah   Washington   Wyoming  

Alaska   American Samoa   Arizona   Arkansas   California   Colorado   District of Columbia   Federated States of Micronesia   Guam   Hawaii   Idaho   Michigan   Montana   Nevada   New York   Oregon   Pennsylvania   Utah   Washington   Wyoming return to top

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, Island of Hawai'i

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is a 175 mile long trail on the Island of Hawai'i dedicated to preserving the culture and heritage of the Hawaiian people. Ala kaha kai means "shoreline trail" in the Hawaiian Language and the National Historic Trail contains the oldest and best remaining example of the Ala Loa, the major land route connecting the coastal areas of the island's ahupua'a (traditional land divisions). The trail follows the coastline, passing by hundreds of ancient Hawaiian settlement sites and through over 200 ahupua'a. The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is managed by the National Park Service and the State of Hawaii and connects various National Parks on the Island of Hawai'i.

The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail combines three kinds of trails: surviving elements of the ancient long trails, historic post European-contact trails that developed on or parallel to the ancient long trails, and more modern pathways and roads that created links between the ancient and historic trails. The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail was established to preserve, protect, reestablish, and maintain the shoreline trails and provide an understanding of the Ancient Hawaiian land management system (ahupua'a).

Over a period of hundreds of years, Ancient Hawaiians developed a sophisticated system of land and resource management known as ahupua'a. These were divisions of narrow wedge-shaped land that ran from the mountains to the sea. The size of an ahupua`a depended on the resources of the area and was controlled by an ali'i (chief) and administered by a konohiki (land manager). The ahupua'a provided cultivated and natural resources to support the people as well as contribute to the support of the royal community in the islands.

In ancient Hawaii, access to the resources of the ahupua'a was restricted to the residents living in a particular division. Outsiders or visitors were permitted to use the ahupua’a resources as long as they obtained permission. Residents also had rights to use specific field plots and house lots. In communities with long-term royal residents, divisions of labor developed and were strictly adhered to by people living in the ahupua'a.

From the pre-European contact period to the 1800s, canoes and the trail systems were the primary means of getting around the Island of Hawai'i. The trails linked the 600 ahupua'a in the 6 districts of the Island of Hawai'i. These were narrow single-file footpaths that followed the topography of the land and were often paved with water-worn stones. Although the canoe was the principal means of transportation in the islands, extensive cross-island trail networks allowed for the gathering of food and water, religious observances, and the harvesting of materials for shelter, clothing, and medicine. These trails facilitated trade between upland and coastal communities as well as communication between the residents of an ahupua'a and their extended families. Chiefs used them to send messengers, to summon warriors for battle, and as a way to travel in times of war. Tax collectors also used the trails during the Makahiki, a ritual spanning four months, from October or November to January or February depending on the seasons. During this period, a procession of priests would carry a wooden statue of Lono (God of Agriculture) around the island for a period of 23 days to collect taxes and tribute.

After Captain James Cook became the first European explorer to establish western contact with the Hawaiian Islands in 1778, horses were introduced to the islands. By the 1840s, horses, mules, and bullocks had become the main form of transportation in the islands and many of the ancient trails had their stones removed to keep the animals from slipping. Eventually, wider, straighter trails were built to accommodate horse-drawn carts. These later trails often bypassed the older trails as more remote coastal villages became depopulated due to disease and changing economic and social systems. In some cases the new trails overlapped or realigned the older trails. Trails were also relocated as a result of natural events such as lava flows and tsunamis.

The Ala Kahakai was very significant to Hawaii’s first king, Kamehameha I, who was born near the trail at Kohala on the northern tip of the island. Seeking to unite the Hawaiian Islands, Kamehameha began by consolidating his rule of the Island of Hawai'i along the trail in 1791. He eventually united all of the Hawaiian Islands and established the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1810.

In 1819, Kamehameha I was succeeded by his son Kamehameha II who is best remembered for abolishing the kapu system. Kapu was the Hawaiian system of religious, political, and social laws that governed every aspect of daily life and was particularly restrictive. Six months after his father’s death, Kamehameha II sat down at the women’s table during a feast at Kamakahonu and ate with them, an act strictly forbidden under kapu. Messengers were then sent to the other islands announcing that the kapu system was at an end. This event came to be called 'Ai Noa (free eating) and shook Hawaiian culture to its foundations, prompting resistance from other chiefs.

Kamehameha I's nephew Kekuaokalani, himself a chief, was a traditionalist who wanted to keep the kapu system in place. He was asked by several other chiefs to lead their armies in an armed rebellion to restore kapu. In December 1819, they marched from Ka'awaloa at Kealakekua Bay along the Ala Kahakai and met the royal army in an area known as Lekeleke in the ahupua'a of Kuamo'o. The Battle at Kuamo'o was decisive, with over 300 warriors killed including Kekuaokalani and his wife Manono, who were buried under lava rock cairns on the battlefield. Today the site, known as the Kuamo'o Burials, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

In the 1820s, Governor Kuakini and Chiefess Kapi'olani instituted a program of public works on the Island of Hawai'i. The development of existing trails and new western-style roads was initiated to facilitate access to mission stations, landings, and key areas of resource collection. Trails were widened to accommodate a single horse and many were lined with curbstones. In the 1830s, island-wide improvements were made to the Ala Kahakai and beginning in the 1840s, a formal program established government roads. Eventually criteria were developed for widening the trails to accommodate two horses, realigning the trails with an emphasis on areas with larger populations, and building newer straighter trails located inland. Population decline led to the abandonment of many of the ancient trails.

In the 1890s, steps were taken to protect the ancient trails in support of citizens who lived in remote locations. Queen Lili'uokalani enacted what is known as the Highways Act of 1892, one of the last bills she signed into law before the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. Through the Act, all roads, alleys, streets, ways, lanes, courts, places, trails, and bridges in the Hawaiian Islands, whether laid out or built by the Government or by private parties, were declared to be public highways and were owned by the Government. This protected the ancient trails and ensured their survival. The Act is still in place today in the State of Hawaii.

The Ala Kahakai became a part of the National Trails system in 2000. The National Historic Trail preserves the portion of the Ala Kahakai extending from Upolu Point on the northern tip of the Island of Hawai'i, down the west coast of the island to Kae Lae (South Point) and east to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail reflects a Hawaiian concept of trails as a network connecting ahupua`a, settlements, and places of importance to the Hawaiian people.

Plan your visit

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is located on the Island of Hawai'i and is managed by the National Park Service and the State of Hawaii. The trail can be accessed through sections within the four National Parks on the island: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Pu'uhonua National Historical Park, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, and Pu'ukohola National Historic Park and through the state trail managed by Na Ala Hele (State of Hawaii Trail and Access Program). For more information visit the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail website or call 808-326-6012

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Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Bainbridge Island, Washington

The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, a unit of Minidoka National Historic Site, commemorates the first instance in the United States where people of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from their homes during World War II,and sent to relocation centers in remote areas of the country. This memorial serves to honor those who were removed and the neighbors who stood by them. It also serves as a reminding hope that this dark moment in our nation’s history not be repeated – Nidoto Nai Yoni (Let It Not Happen Again).

Bainbridge Island, located in eastern Washington's Puget Sound near the city of Seattle, was first inhabited by the Suquamish Tribe who lived and hunted on the island. The area was "discovered" by Europeans when Captain George Vancouver anchored off the island in 1792. Its rich old-growth forests and deep-water harbors eventually attracted entrepreneurs who developed a thriving lumber industry during the mid-19th century. Japanese immigrants first began arriving on the island in the 1880's to work in the lumber mills, forming the village of Yama near the Port Blakely Mill.

Strawberry farming was introduced to the island in 1908 by the Moritani family. In fact, most of the early berry farms were operated by Japanese immigrants, who leased their farm land as a way to circumvent prohibitive alien land laws. In time, Nissei (second generation, American-born citizens) were able to buy and own land either for themselves or on behalf of their families. By 1940, the island's largest industry was strawberry farming, which produced two million pounds of fruit a year.

Bainbridge Island was dotted with small communities made up of fishermen, farmers, businessmen, and wealthy families from Seattle who had their summer homes on the island. The various European and Asian immigrant groups on the island had become more integrated, and the Bainbridge High School, the only secondary school on the island, taught all of the island's children between 7th and 12th grades.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Empire attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A day later, the United States declared war on Japan. Within the weeks and months following the bombing, , the government began arresting people of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast of the United States.

During the 1930s, the FBI and the Department of Justice began compiling lists of names focusing primarily on people involved with Nazi, Communist, and Fascist organizations in the U.S. The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), concerned both about the rise of Japan as a military power and the safety of U.S. naval bases on the West also began to compile lists of individuals and organizations they considered a threat. The majority of people on the ONI list were Japanese Americans living near U.S. naval facilities. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, authorities began ordering the arrest of all persons named on these lists.

On February 4, 1942, the FBI, along with Washington State Police, and the Kitsap County sheriff's office, entered and searched every Japanese home on Bainbridge Island. Thirty-four men and one woman were arrested and questioned. Most were let go; however, 13 men were incarcerated in Department of Justice camps, and were not released until the end of the war.

In the weeks following the attack, General John L. DeWitt, commander of the Western Defense Command, had become concerned that people of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast were conspiring against the U.S. He recommended that they be removed from western coastal areas. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed, issuing Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, which authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the U.S. "from which any or all persons [of Japanese ancestry] may be excluded."

On March 24, 1942, General DeWitt issued Proclamation No.1 designating the western portions of Washington, Oregon, and California, and the southern half of Arizona as Military Area No. 1. Under Executive Order 9066, he ordered the removal of people of Japanese ancestry from those areas. Because of Bainbridge Island's close proximity to U.S. naval facilities on Puget Sound, General DeWitt also ordered the immediate removal of all Japanese Americans living on the island. The island's residents were the first people of Japanese ancestry to be forcibly removed from their homes and were given six days to sell or lease their farms and businesses, pack their personal belongings, and make arrangements to house their pets and store any other items of value.

On March 30, 1942, 227 men, women, and children, two-thirds of them American citizens, were taken by Army transport to the Eagledale ferry dock on Bainbridge Island. Many of the island's non-Japanese residents came to say good-bye to their neighbors and watch as they boarded a ferry for Seattle. Once on the mainland, the Bainbridge Islanders boarded a train for the Owens Valley Reception Center, an assembly center in California eventually renamed Manzanar Relocation Center. A year later, most of the Bainbridge Islanders requested transfers from Manzanar to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho to join other incarcerees from Seattle and other areas of the Pacific Northwest.

While the Island's Japanese residents were incarcerated in the relocation centers, the local island newspaper, The Bainbridge Review, which was owned and edited by island residents Milly and Walt Woodward, wrote articles questioning the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066 and in support of the island's Japanese community. The paper also published reports from its Japanese American field reporters, Bainbridge Island high school students incarcerated in Manzanar and Minidoka. The Woodwards worked to support their Japanese American friends and neighbors, and to ensure that they would have a smooth transition back into their island community at the end of the war.

After the war, over 65 percent of the Japanese residents of Bainbridge Island returned to their homes on the island to resume their lives, a higher percentage than in many other pre-war Japanese American communities in the U.S.

In 1982, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians found that the U.S. government's contention during World War II that the forced removal of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast was necessary for military reasons was false. The Commission's report, Personal Justice Denied, stated that rather than military necessity, "The broad historical causes which shaped these decisions were race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act and apologized to people of Japanese ancestry, saying, "here, we admit a wrong." The Act authorized redress of $20,000 to any Japanese American who had been incarcerated during WWII.

Today, the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is situated near the water on the former location of the Eagledale ferry dock. The memorial commemorates the internment during World War II of Japanese Americans from Bainbridge. Visitors enter the Memorial through a traditional Japanese gate and walk along a path to view the outdoor Story Wall made of local cedar. The wall has survivor quotes, name plaques of those who were removed from the island, panels, and a series of terra cotta friezes depicting the story of the exclusion. In addition, visitors can walk through the landscape around the memorial, which was designed with native plants.

Plan your visit

The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, a unit of Minidoka National Historic Site, is located at Pritchard Park, 4192 Eagle Harbor Dr., Bainbridge Island, WA. The site is open year round and there is no admission fee. Special arrangements can be made 3-4 weeks in advance for a guided tour of the memorial through the Bainbridge Island Historical Society. Also on the island is the Haiku No Niwa, a Japanese garden at the Bainbridge Public Library designed and planted by the island's Japanese American community as a tribute to their ancestors. For more information about the Memorial, visit the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community website or call 206-842-2773.

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Bodie Historic District, Bodie, California

Bodie Historic District, the best-preserved ghost town from the California Gold Rush, is located 7 miles south of Bridgeport, California at an elevation of 8,379 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Now in a state of arrested decay, Bodie is an excellent example of an American West boomtown and the accompanying lifestyle that developed in the western mining towns. As part of the California Gold Rush, many Chinese came to live and work in Bodie during its early years. More than 100 historic buildings remain in the district to convey what life in Bodie was like between its founding in 1859 and its end in 1942, when mining was suspended and the last Bodie residents left the town.

Gold was discovered in the Mono Lake region of California in 1852, and placer gold was discovered at the future site of Bodie in the Mono Basin in July 1859. William S. Bodey and E.S. Taylor discovered the gold, staked their claim in the harsh high desert environment, and established camp. Bodey died during a snowstorm in the winter of 1859-1860 on a supply trip, and the Bodie Mining District organized in 1860 in his honor. The town remained relatively small with fewer than 20 buildings until the Bunker Hill Mine discovered large deposits of gold and silver at Bodie in 1876. This bonanza resulted in a population boom as people streamed into Bodie in search of riches. By 1879, the town had grown to over 250 buildings and 10,000 residents, encompassing houses, a school, a Wells Fargo bank, four volunteer fire companies, hotels, a jail, cemeteries, stores, churches, newspapers, a mortuary, and other structures that supported the large community. Main Street lengthened to over a mile of densely populated one and two story buildings. The total estimated output of the Bodie mines between 1876 and 1941 was $70 million, with the high point being 1879. Shortly thereafter the promises of riches from newer mines started to lure Bodie's residents away.

By the 1880's, the city had developed a tough reputation, even spawning a popular expression "a bad man from Bodie," which meant someone who was unusually unpleasant. With the boom came breweries, saloons, brothels, a popular red light district, and gambling dens, which led to an increase in nightly shootings, stabbings, and brawls. The city developed a special notoriety for its overly violent residents. It was even infamous with children, one of whom wrote in their diary, "Goodbye God, I'm going to Bodie."

Many Chinese immigrants came to Bodie from Southern China as contract laborers in 1878. They settled on the outskirts of the town in a Chinese community, or "Chinatown," northwest of Main and King Streets. The Chinese residents of Bodie faced discrimination in the local mines, which forced them to turn to service occupations for employment. They operated laundries, peddled vegetables (shipped in by express), supplied charcoal, and provided most of the wood used in the town. Bodie's Chinatown was made up of two and three story wooden buildings and included general stores, homes, laundries, boarding houses, a restaurant, opium dens, a Taoist temple, saloons, and gambling establishments. Newspaper accounts depicted a thriving community and mentioned Chinese New Year's celebrations and large funerals. At its peak in 1880, several hundred Chinese lived in Bodie's Chinatown.

Bodie's slow decline began in 1879 and, as was typical in 19th century mining communities, continued with a series of booms and busts for the next several decades. As the supply of mineable material became scarce, people began to leave the area. By 1886, Bodie's population had fallen to approximately 1,500 residents. A fire in July 1892, destroyed a large section of Main Street, but a rebuilt business district on a smaller scale adapted to the needs of the city. Several of the surviving buildings still located on Main Street were probably moved from another part of Bodie to their present location after the 1892 fire. Another fire destroyed parts of the Main Street business district downtown in June 1932. The War Production Board suspended mining operations in 1942, and the last residents of Bodie left shortly thereafter.

After its abandonment, its location and isolation from the outside world helped preserve Bodie as one of the best examples of mining ghost towns in the West. Bodie became a National Historic Landmark District in 1961 and a State Historic Park in 1962. Today, 110 buildings still stand in and around the town and building interiors remain as they were left, still stocked with goods and furniture. Bodie Historic District is in a state of arrested decay, with its buildings and other aspects of the community left as they were when residents abandoned the community to its past.

Plan your visit

Bodie Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Bodie, CA and the Bodie State Historic Park. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. Bodie State Historic Park, administered by the Bodie Foundation, is open daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm from May 15 to October 31. From November 1 to May 14, the site is open from 9:00am to 3:00pm. The site is closed during periods of inclement weather. Park hours can vary seasonally depending on the weather, so call the Park when planning your visit. Park closure hours are strictly enforced to protect the historic structures and artifacts. For more information, visit the Bodie State Historic Park website, the Bodie Foundation website, or call the Park at 760-647-6445.

Bodie Historic District is featured in the National Park Service publication Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California and has been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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Butte-Anaconda Historic District, Anaconda, Butte, and Walkerville, Montana

The Butte-Anaconda Historic District in Montana includes the communities of Butte, Anaconda, and Walkerville as well as the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railroad. This was one of the most productive mining regions in the United States, and the source of nearly one third of the entire world's copper in the early 1900s. Known as the "Gibraltar of Unionism," Butte was also one of the centers of the U.S. labor movement. The Butte-Anaconda Historic District showcases the industrialization of the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the response of organized labor to this rapid growth.

Butte was founded as a mining town after the discovery of silver in the region in 1872, but was known primarily for its copper production - the highest output in the U.S. - giving it the nickname the "Richest Hill on Earth." In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, demand for copper grew rapidly due to the development of new technologies such as electricity. This demand reached a high point during World War I, when copper was used for the manufacture of ammunition. Mining areas historically pass through an evolution of boom, dramatic growth, and then decline or "bust." Copper continued to be mined in and around Butte through the 20th century, declining during the Great Depression in the 1930s, picking up during World War II, and declining again until it ceased in the 1980s when the largest mining company in the area, ARCO, closed its entire Montana operation including the mines in Butte and the smelting facility in Anaconda.

While many mining companies operated in the Butte area throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the largest and most powerful was the Anaconda Mining Company. Marcus Daly, one of the famed "Copper Kings," formed the Amalgamated Copper Mining Company in 1899. Daly's battles with Montana's other Copper Kings resulted in his company acquiring most of the mines in the area, giving "The Company" a virtual monopoly over mining in and around Butte and dominance over copper production in the U.S. By the 1900s the Anaconda Mining Company was one of the largest mining companies in the world, and retained that position until 1977 when it was sold to Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO).

A strong counterforce to the company's monopoly was organized labor. Mining underground paid well, but was hard dangerous work. Between 1906 and 1925, 685 miners in the Butte area died and hundreds more were injured or disabled in accidents. In addition, whenever money was needed for new equipment or profits dropped, management either cut wages or refused to pay workers. The first labor strike in the Butte area took place in Walkerville in 1878, when workers at two mines refused to accept a pay cut. They formed the Butte Workingmen's Union, based on the miners unions in the Comstock mining district in Nevada. In 1893, the Western Federation of Miners was formed in Butte, followed in 1905, by the Industrial Workers of the World and later the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). By the early 20th century, 34 different unions represented over 18,000 workers including miners, construction workers, brewers, mill workers, carpenters, teamsters, restaurant workers, bartenders, musicians, and newsboys. Butte's industries and businesses were effectively a closed shop and would stay that way, on and off, until the 1980s.

Chinese immigrants began coming to the Butte area in 1868, with the establishment of the first placer gold mines. Eventually forced out of mining, the Chinese settled on the perimeter of Butte and began to open various businesses to support the local community. In the early 1880s, a Chinese immigrant named Ing Pong constructed a log cabin just west of Main Street next to the "red light" district, and a centralized Chinatown began to form. Over time Butte's Chinatown expanded to include the area between South Colorado, West Galena, South Main, and West Mercury Streets. The heart of Chinatown, known as China Alley, was a narrow passageway that ran through the middle of the block from West Galena Street to West Mercury Street. Chinese businesses such as herb shops, noodle parlors, laundries, and mercantiles were in a central location in and around China Alley.

Economic depressions in the 1870s and 1890s heightened anti-Chinese tensions across the U.S. Labor unions became the primary force behind anti-Chinese sentiments in both Butte and Anaconda. Fears of economic competition and cultural differences along with racial prejudice helped to create an unwritten understanding between organized labor and company owners that Chinese laborers would not work in the underground mines, the smelters, or join local unions. In 1884, the unions ordered Chinese immigrants to leave Butte with little success, and a boycott of Chinese-owned businesses in 1891-92 failed due to lack of public support. Another boycott in 1893 also failed in Butte, but was a relative success in Anaconda, as many of the town's Chinese residents left for friendlier locations.

In 1896, the labor unions and the Butte Chamber of Commerce called for a boycott of both Chinese and Japanese-owned businesses and businesses employing Chinese or Japanese immigrants. A group of 130 businessmen led by Hum Fay, owner of the Palace Restaurant, Dr. Huie Pock, and merchant Quon Loy sued the labor unions in Federal court. In Hum Fay, et al. v. Baldwin, also known as the Chinese Boycott Case, the plaintiffs asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for an injunction to stop the boycott. The court found in favor of the Chinese plaintiffs and ordered the unions to end the boycott and pay $1,750 in legal fees and expenses. While Chinese and Japanese-owned businesses did not recoup any of the estimated $500,000 in lost revenue caused by the boycott, the ruling did ensure that there were no further organized actions against Chinese and Japanese businesses or workers.

In the early 1890s, the Wah Chong Tai Company, Seattle's oldest mercantile, opened a franchise in Butte on West Galena Street, eventually moving, in 1898, to a new multi-story brick building on the corner of West Mercury Street and China Alley. The mercantile was on the ground floor with an herbal shop at the back and a restaurant on the second floor. The Wah Chong Tai Company helped to anchor Butte's Chinatown and played an important role in the Chinese community. It was a meeting place where people would go for social interaction, to complete financial transactions, and to find lodgings, translators, and jobs.

In 1909, the Wah Chong Tai Company constructed a two-story brick building next door. The new building contained two storefronts on the first floor separated by an entrance to the new Mai Wah Noodle Parlor on the second floor. The building also had a "cheater story," a floor between the first and second stories that was divided into small rooms with six foot ceilings. These were commonly used as retail shops and lodgings.

Another prominent business in Chinatown, the Pekin Noodle Parlor owned by Hum Yow, a well-known businessman, was moved in 1911, from its previous location on West Mercury Street to the second floor of a new brick building on South Main Street. The first floor of the building had two storefronts, one of which housed Hum Yow's Chinese Goods and Silks store and the basement, which was made up of multiple small rooms, at one time had a Keno parlor. Hum Yow and his wife Bessie Wong, both California-born first-generation Americans, occupied the living quarters in the back of the building, eventually raising three children in Chinatown. The Pekin Noodle Parlor building was also the home of the Chinese Mason's lodge as well as a gathering place for newly arriving Chinese immigrants.

Similar to Butte, Anaconda had a Chinatown that provided goods and services to its small Chinese community. The town of Anaconda, located west of Butte along the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railroad, was formed in 1883 as a company-owned town to support the nearby copper smelting/refinery facility Marcus Daly, owner of the Anaconda Mining Company, opened. The location of Chinatown was along Birch Street, between Front Street and East Park Avenue, on the edge of the commercial district. Two of the first businesses in Chinatown were the Sing Lee Laundry on Birch Street and the Tri Yeun Company grocery on East Park Avenue. There were also small log cabin residences on Front Street, communal gardens east of Birch Street, and, just as in Butte, noodle parlors, laundries, restaurants, produce stores, and various shops.

Early 20th century Progressive movements in Butte helped contribute to the decline of its Chinatown. Citing health and safety concerns, the city tore down many of the old wood frame buildings in Chinatown and the neighboring "red light" district. The newly cleared lots were rebuilt with automobile showrooms, service stations, and parking garages. By 1940, between 70 and 80 Chinese remained in Butte, down from an estimated high of 2,500. During World War II, many Chinese residents left for war-related jobs in cities on the west coast. As people sold their Chinatown property, the neighborhood lost its Chinese characteristics.

Today, the Butte-Anaconda Historic District is a well preserved reminder of the town's mining prosperity. Many of the buildings and mining structures in the district retain their historic integrity and show the architecture associated with the development of a western mining economy. The Mai Wah Noodle Parlor and Wah Chung Tai buildings are preserved and house a museum that interprets the Asian experience in Montana. The Pekin Noodle Parlor is still located in its original building on South Main Street and is considered one of the oldest continuously operating Chinese restaurants in the U.S. Walking tours and self-guided tours of the Butte-Anaconda Historic District are available and give visitors the opportunity to see not only the historic architecture in Butte and Anaconda, but also inactive copper mines, remnants of one of the most successful mining towns in America.

Plan your visit

The Butte-Anaconda Historic District, a National Historic Landmark District, is located in the communities of Walkerville, Butte, and Anaconda in Montana. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. The city of Butte is the largest of the three communities in the district, with Walkerville located directly to the north of Butte and Anaconda 24 miles to the west off of Interstate 90. The District encompasses 9,774 acres and includes 6,015 buildings, sites, structures, and the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railroad (BA & P). Butte's Chinatown is represented by the Mai Wah Noodle Parlor building (Mai Wah Society Museum) and the Wah Chung Tai Mercantile at 17 W Mercury St., and the Pekin Noodle Parlor at 117 S Main St. For more information, visit the Butte Montana Convention & Visitors Bureau website or call 406-723-3177. To see buildings and sites within the District, visit the Butte-Anaconda National Historic Landmark District website.

Many components of the Butte-Anaconda Historic District have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey and Historic American Engineering Record, including: the Mai Wah Noodle Parlor and Wah Chung Tai Company, Pekin Noodle Parlor, Anaconda Historic District, Butte Historic District, Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway: General Offices, Butte Mineyards, Butte Mineyards: Stewart Mine, and the Butte Mineyards: Anselmo Mine.

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Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) Site, Delta, Utah

The Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) Site, also referred to as the Topaz Relocation Center or Topaz, was located in west central Utah just north of the town of Delta and 140 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Topaz was one of 10 relocation centers constructed in the United States during World War II for the purpose of detaining Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent. More than 11,000 people passed through the center and, at its peak, it housed over 8,000 internees. Today, the Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) Site consists of two monuments, building foundations, roads, gravel walkways, agricultural buildings, portions of the perimeter fence, and landscaping.

After Japan's devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, led to the United States' entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from these areas of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry, out of fear that these individuals might support Japan in the war. In March 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority (WRA), the federal agency responsible for the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese Americans and the construction and administration of relocation centers throughout the United States. The U.S. military supported Executive Order 9066 by assembling and transporting the evacuees. Through Executive Order 9066 came Proclamation No.1, initially a policy of voluntary participation to relocate that soon became mandatory forcing some 120,000 Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry to move to 10 inland relocation centers across the nation.

Construction of the 19,800-acre Central Utah Relocation Center began in July of 1942, continuing through January of 1943. The center was built in the Sevier Desert in central Utah, a dry, windy environment with harsh winters that was entirely new to the internees, most of whom were from the San Francisco, California area. The relocation center was initially named the Central Utah Relocation Center and then the Abraham Relocation Center before finally becoming the Topaz War Relocation Center, named after nearby Topaz Mountain.

The Central Utah Relocation Center officially opened on September 11, 1942. The camp had a one square mile central area consisting of 42 blocks with 12 barracks in each, housing 250 to 300 internees. Each block also had a recreation room, combination washroom-toilet-laundry building, a central dining hall, and an office for the block manager. The barracks were constructed of pine planks covered with tarpaper with sheetrock on the inside walls for insulation. Each barrack unit was simply furnished with pot-bellied stoves, army cots, blankets, and mattress covers. The barracks were barely ready when the evacuees moved into the center and many of them helped to finish the construction and built their own furniture. Thousands of trees and shrubs were planted throughout the developed area of the camp and internees engaged in extensive landscaping of the barracks areas. The relocation center eventually consisted of 623 buildings including two elementary schools, one junior/senior high school, a hospital, a church, seven watch towers, a perimeter fence, and a sentry post.

Of the 10 relocation centers, Topaz was considered a "quieter" center. The greatest unrest, including organized protests, happened in April 1943 as a result of the shooting death of 63-year-old internee James Hatsuki Wakasa by a military guard. Wakasa was walking near the perimeter fence and was either distracted or unable to hear or understand the guard's warnings. After this and another incident a month later, when a guard fired at a couple strolling too close to the fence, security regulations at Topaz were reevaluated. The center administration restricted the military's use of weapons and access to Topaz and security was relaxed. Internees were able to get permission to leave the camp for recreational activities and jobs in the nearby town of Delta.

Two internees held at Topaz, Fred C. Korematsu and Mitsuye Endo, were involved in landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases during the war. The cases challenged the constitutionality of the exclusion, relocation, and incarceration of Japanese Americans. At the beginning of the war Fred Korematsu, a native-born U.S. citizen of Japanese descent, refused to follow Executive Order 9066 and continued to live and work in California, which was within a military exclusion zone. Korematsu was arrested, tried, and convicted for violating Public Law No. 503, which criminalized violations of military orders issued under Executive Order 9066. Fred Korematsu appealed the conviction stating that the Executive Order was unconstitutional and a violation of the Fifth Amendment. In Korematsu v. United States (1944), the Supreme Court ruled against Korematsu finding that, while the constitutionality of compulsory exclusion as stated in the Executive Order was suspect, the government's need to protect against espionage during time of war outweighed Korematsu's individual rights, and the rights of Americans of Japanese descent.

Unlike Korematsu's case, Mitsuye Endo's dealt only with the incarceration of Japanese Americans. In 1943, Mitsuye Endo, a native-born U.S. citizen of Japanese descent, was contacted by civil liberties lawyer James Purcell about serving as a test case to challenge incarceration in relocation centers. Endo, who had worked for the State of California, had been dismissed from her job and sent to Tule Lake Relocation Center and then to Topaz. She agreed to serve as a test case and Purcell filed a writ of habeas corpus on her behalf stating that "she is a loyal and law-abiding citizen of the United States, that no charge has been made against her, that she is being unlawfully detained, and that she is confined in the Relocation Center under armed guard and held there against her will." Purcell asked that Endo be either charged with a crime or released from incarceration. The U.S. Government agreed that Endo was loyal and law-abiding and also that she was not being detained on any charge or suspected of disloyalty. Because they were concerned that the courts would find the detention of Japanese Americans unconstitutional and also to keep the case from proceeding any further, the government offered to release Mitsuye Endo as long as she agreed not to return to the West Coast. Endo refused and her case proceeded to the Supreme Court. In Ex Parte Mitsuye Endo (1944), the Supreme Court held that "admittedly loyal" citizens could not be deprived of their liberty and held in relocation centers. The decision effectively ended the incarceration of Japanese Americans.

After the Ex Parte Mitsuye Endo decision, many internees were eligible to leave Topaz freely and when the war ended in August 1945, internees began returning to their homes in California. The Central Utah Relocation Center was closed on October 31, 1945. Following the closing of the camp, many of the structures were sold or taken away to nearby educational facilities and most of what remained was torn down. In 1976, the Japanese-American Citizens League erected a stone monument near the camp site. In 1991, the Topaz Museum Board was formed and began to work to preserve the relocation center site. The preservation process included purchasing part of the site and maintaining the existing guard towers, utility poles, water towers, and agricultural buildings. Today, there are two monuments located at the site. One of the monuments was dedicated in August 2002, replacing the stone monument that was installed in 1976. The other monument was installed in 2005, in memory of the Japanese Americans incarcerated at Topaz who served in World War II.

Plan your visit

The Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) Site, a National Historic Landmark, is located on West 4500 North, 15 miles northwest of Delta, UT. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. The Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) Site is open year round for self-guided tours. In addition, a self-guided tour is available of camp buildings that were moved to the town of Delta, UT after World War II. Guided tours of the Relocation Center site are offered by appointment only through the Topaz Museum. Visitors may contact the museum directly to schedule a tour. For more information, visit the Topaz Museum website.

The Central Utah Relocation Center/Topaz Relocation Center is featured in the National Historic Landmark Theme Study Japanese Americans in World War II.

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Chinatown and Little Italy Historic District, New York, New York

The Chinatown and Little Italy Historic District is located in downtown New York City. The Chinatown neighborhood was formed from the mid-19th to the early 20th century, a dynamic period in American history when waves of immigrants from all corners of the world came to New York seeking opportunity. Immigration to New York City far outweighed that in any other city in the United States and New York City’s Chinatown eventually became the largest Chinatown in the U.S.

Before the 1800s, immigration from Asia to the U.S. was minimal. During the 19th century, however, the U.S. experienced mass migrations of immigrants from several Asian countries, particularly China. Multiple factors triggered this large-scale immigration. In 1848, gold was discovered in California and throughout the 1850s Chinese were recruited as a major source of labor for the mines. Many Chinese also immigrated during this period to escape the Taiping Rebellion, a large-scale civil war that encompassed most of Southern China. In the 1860s, Chinese were recruited in large numbers from both China and the U.S. western mining industry to help build the Central Pacific Railroad's portion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

By the 1870s, the U.S. economy was in a post-Civil War decline. The country experienced a series of economic crises starting with the Panic of 1873. The deflation and depression that followed caused wage levels to fall and many Americans to lose their jobs. In the West, white laborers found themselves competing for scarce jobs with Chinese immigrants who would work for lower wages. This led to rising resentment among the white population. Political and labor leaders began to use Chinese immigrants as scapegoats, blaming them for declining wages and high unemployment, and accusing them of being morally corrupt. Mob violence and rampant discrimination began to drive many Chinese immigrants east to larger cities such as New York, where there were more job opportunities and the population was more diverse.

During the 1870s, the Chinese in New York City began to concentrate around Mott Street south of Canal Street. Many Chinese men left wives to come to America, hoping to get rich and return later. As the Chinese quarter started growing the residents, almost exclusively men, began to form various social societies. These societies along with native place and family associations became an important lifeline for the residents of Chinatown.

By 1880, Chinatown was home to between 700 and 1,100 Chinese immigrants. The passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which restricted Chinese immigration, slowed Chinatown’s growth. The U.S. Congress passed other exclusionary laws aimed at Chinese immigrants between 1888 and 1902, effectively reducing the number of Chinese entering the country.

By the 1890s, Mott and Pell streets were lined with Chinese restaurants, which became popular with the non-Chinese residents of New York City. Joss houses, an American name for incense-filled Taoist shrines, were a fixture in Chinatown. In 1893, Actor Chu Fong opened the Chinese Opera House at 5-7 Doyers Street, the first Chinese-language theater east of San Francisco. The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) purchased the building at 16 Mott Street, and this was considered the city hall of Chinatown. The organization meditated disputes, acted as middlemen in business transactions, and advocated for the rights of Chinese and Chinese Americans.

By the 1920s, the Chinese population of New York City was running a substantial food industry, with Chinese farmers on Long island growing traditional produce such as bitter melons, long beans, and mustard greens and trucking the produce into Chinatown daily. By 1930, over 4,000 Chinese were living in Chinatown.

The various Chinese exclusion laws were lifted in the 1940s and China was given a small immigration quota allowing Chinatown to continue to grow. In the early 1950s, an urban renewal project, the China Village Plan, threatened to destroy Chinatown’s historic core, replacing the businesses and residences with a large-scale housing project. Community advocates fought the plan, which would have destroyed the local Chinatown economy, and it was abandoned.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 overturned the immigration quota system, allowing many more immigrants from Asia into the U.S. A new wave of Chinese immigrants began to settle in Chinatown and the population increased dramatically. The influx of new residents helped Chinatown expand its boundaries from its historic seven-block area around Mott and Mulberry Streets to an estimated 55-block area from the East River to City Hall and from St. James Place to north of Canal Street, eradicating the traditional “dividing line” between Little Italy and Chinatown. Buildings in Little Italy were turned into garment factories and offices and the rents in Chinatown became some of the highest in New York City.

The rapidly growing Chinese community continued to expand well beyond its historical boundaries, and by 1980 the Chinese community in New York City (including neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Flushing, Queens) was the largest in the country, surpassing the one in San Francisco. The Italian population of Little Italy contracted dramatically starting in the 1950s, when, like so many Americans, large numbers of the middle and upper classes moved to the growing suburbs. Little Italy has contracted in size, having been overtaken by Chinatown from the South, and today its core is centered around Mulberry Street, with its numerous cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and annual festivals.

The predominant building type in Chinatown is the mid-19th through early 20th century tenement. There are also Federal and Greek Revival townhouses, factories, loft buildings, utility buildings, club houses, former stables, churches, and schools. From the early 1820s until 1837, a frenzy of bank lending and real estate investment coincided with a steadily growing immigrant population in need of housing. Tenement buildings became the dominant form of housing in New York City from the 1820s to the 1920s. These buildings are predominantly flat-roofed and square with small often windowless apartments. The buildings had fire escapes which the residents would sleep on during the hot summer months.

New York's Chinatown was built by modifying the buildings that existed there to conform to Chinese uses and tastes. From the 1880s a number of older tenement buildings were altered using Chinese ornaments and architectural design. One example is the CCBA building at 16 Mott Street, considered to be the first genuine Chinese building in New York. The building is a renovated Federal style townhouse, enlarged to accommodate the CCBA in 1888. A new wave of Chinese modifications to tenements took place from 1920-1950. The most common feature of these modifications was a second-story porch carved out of the building as a retrofitted terrace. Bold plaques in Chinese are affixed to the front of important buildings such as mutual aid societies and benevolent associations. Scaled-down Chinese pagoda-style porch roofs were also common in this period.

Today’s Chinatown is a tightly packed sprawling neighborhood that continues to grow. It is both a tourist attraction and home to a majority of New York City’s Chinese population. Visitors today will experience a living Chinese-American community bustling with restaurants, booming fruit and fish markets, residences, and various businesses and shops, a testament to an historic and still thriving immigrant community.

Plan your visit

The Chinatown and Little Italy Historic District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is located in New York, NY. The district is roughly bounded by Baxter Street, Center Street, Cleveland Place and Lafayette Street to the west, Jersey Street and East Hudson to the north; Elizabeth Street to the east and Worth Street to the south. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. For more information, visit the New York Chinatown website.

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Chinatown Historic District, Honolulu, Hawaii

Chinatown Historic District is a commercial and residential district in the heart of downtown Honolulu, on the Island of Oahu. With a few exceptions, the majority of the buildings in Chinatown date from after 1900, when a large fire destroyed most of the district. The Chinatown Historic District is the largest area in the city that still recalls a historic sense of time and place. The neighborhood has retained its historic buildings and its identity as a community over the years while the population has evolved to reflect a colorful blend of cultures.

Chinatown was established during the 1840s and 1850s, in an area along Honolulu Harbor southwest of the freshwater Nu'uanu Stream. Whaling ships arrived in Honolulu every Spring and Fall and the harbor was one of the busiest areas of the growing city. As whaling began to decline, the sugar plantations became the main industry in the islands recruiting Chinese laborers in large numbers starting in the early 1850s and signing them to 5-year contracts. After their work contracts expired, many Chinese immigrants moved to Honolulu's Chinatown to work for existing businesses or open ones of their own. As Honolulu grew, Ancient Hawaiian fishponds along the harbor area were filled in and Nu'uanu Stream was channeled at its mouth, allowing the harbor area to expand and with it Chinatown, which eventually covered 35 acres.

By 1882, Chinatown was a thriving commercial district serving its own population as well as the larger Honolulu community. Because Chinatown was close to the harbor, many newly arriving immigrants used the stores and restaurants in the district as gathering places to find friends and relatives, establish contacts, and learn where to find jobs. The businesses in Chinatown eventually became the second-largest employer of Chinese immigrants after the sugar plantations. In 1886, a fire began at a restaurant in the district and quickly spread. The fire burned for three days and by the time it was put out it had destroyed eight building blocks. Chinatown was quickly rebuilt, but the new construction ignored regulations designed to prevent future fires.

By the late 1890s, many of the buildings in Chinatown were crowded wooden commercial, residential, and mixed use structures with little sanitation and rat infestations from the nearby harbor. In early December of 1899, an outbreak of bubonic plague in the district was exacerbated by the close living conditions. Schools were closed and Chinatown's 7000 residents were placed under quarantine. On December 31st, after 13 people had died of the plague, the Honolulu Board of Health ordered the destruction of any building in which a person had contracted the disease. Residents were evacuated and the Honolulu Fire Department began a series of controlled fires. Starting on January 1, 1900, 41 fires were set, each one successfully destroying infected buildings. On January 20th, however, the winds shifted during one of the controlled burns and burning embers were carried onto the Kaumakapili Church steeple, setting the wooden building on fire. The pumps that the fire fighters used at the time were unable to spray water as high as the steeple, and the flames quickly spread, moving from building to building and overwhelming the district. The fire burned for 17 days, destroying 38 acres of Honolulu including almost all of Chinatown. No lives were lost, however over 4,000 people were left homeless. The refugees were housed in emergency camps set up in the city, including the grounds of Kawaiaha'o Church and the area behind 'Iolani Palace.

After the fire, Chinatown was encircled by a high wooden fence and access into the district was restricted. The Fire Department continued to set controlled burns, all without incident. The area was resurveyed and new building permits were issued after May 17, 1900. By June, Honolulu was declared plague-free. Today, most of the oldest buildings in Chinatown date to the early 1900s, with a few notable 19th century buildings that survived the fire.

By the 1920s, Chinatown was again a thriving commercial district. While the district was growing, however, the Chinese population had been shrinking. In the mid-1880s, a majority of Chinese living in the Hawaiian Islands resided in Honolulu's Chinatown. After the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 slowed immigration from China, sugar plantations turned to Japanese immigrants as a source of labor. Many of these Japanese laborers moved to Honolulu and Chinatown after their contracts were finished. Chinatown's Japanese residents opened theaters, hotels, cafes, and bars that served the Japanese population. Japanese immigrants were followed by Filipinos and Portuguese, making Chinatown one of the most ethnically diverse areas in Honolulu.

By the late 1930s, Chinatown had begun to decline as many of the Chinese residents moved to other areas of Honolulu to live while still keeping their businesses in the district. With America's entry into World War II, however, Chinatown enjoyed a new vitality when its nightclubs, restaurants, brothels along Hotel Street, and gambling parlors became a popular destination for the large military population on the islands. After the war, Chinatown fell into a long slow decline, becoming known as a hotspot for illegal activities.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the number of people living in Chinatown continued to drop and businesses began to suffer. The opening of the Ala Moana Shopping Center in 1959, located two miles to the southeast, meant that shoppers no longer frequented the stores in downtown Honolulu or Chinatown. Also that year, Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state, setting off a tourism boom from the U.S. mainland. By 1960, tourism had overtaken sugar and pineapple as the main industry in the islands, and as areas such as Waikiki, three miles down the coast from Chinatown, became popular tourist destinations fewer and fewer people frequented Chinatown.

In 1973, Honolulu's Chinatown was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. As a result, the area began to revitalize and the city started to invest in Chinatown and its unique history. Government spending re-energized the local economy and encouraged private investors to return to the district. In the 1980s, Maunakea Marketplace, which incorporates the front of an older theater, and Kekaulike Mall were built to help bring commerce back to Chinatown. The residents and business owners of Chinatown were instrumental in the district's rebirth, setting up nonprofits and corporations, and working with the city to preserve and grow Chinatown. Today, Honolulu's Chinatown is once again a vibrant commercial district with smaller traditional businesses such as restaurants, shops, and bars existing alongside a growing number of art galleries and artists' studios.

Chinatown Historic District is the largest area in Honolulu that reflects an architectural and historic character with a distinctive sense of time and place. Most of the buildings in the district were built between 1900 and 1920, with only a very few predating the Chinatown fire of 1900.

The Royal Saloon Building, constructed in 1890, is one of a handful of buildings in Chinatown to have survived the 1900 fire. Located at 901 Nu'uanu Street at the corner of Nu'uanu and Merchant Streets, it was built by local barkeeper and investor Walter C. Peacock. The design of the one-story Royal Saloon Building is a blend of Florentine Gothic and Renaissance Revival Styles with cast iron decorations and white stucco pilasters, balustrade, and cornice.

Another survivor of the 1900 fire, the T. R. Foster Building, was constructed in 1891 by Thomas R. Foster, one of the founders of the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company which, in 1941, became Hawaiian Airlines. Located at 902 Nu'uanu Avenue, the Italianate-style building has white stucco pilasters, balustrade, and cornice that are similar to the Royal Saloon Building across the street.

The Irwin Block Building, at 928 Nu'uanu Avenue, dates from 1897. Owned by William G. Irwin, a sugarcane entrepreneur, the two-story building was designed by architects C. B. Ripley and Charles William Dickey in the Richardsonian Romanesque style and built out of rough-hewn volcanic stone and brick. In 1923, Nippu Jiji, a Japanese-language newspaper, purchased the building and added its name and the date "1895" to the top of the structure to mark the paper's founding.

Constructed in 1901, the Italianate-style brick and stucco Mendoca Block Building covers one entire block at North Hotel and Maunakea Streets. Architect Oliver Green Traphagen designed the building for businessman Joseph Mendoca, nephew of the Portuguese consul Jason Perry. Mendoca was a member of the Annexation Party's Committee on Public Safety, which helped to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy and the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893, forming the Republic of Hawaii in 1894. The Mendoca Block Building was one of the first buildings constructed in Chinatown after the 1900 fire.

Built in 1904 by Anin Young, a Chinese businessman, the O'ahu Market is located at North King and Kekaulike Streets. Owned by the Young family for 80 years, it was sold in 1984 to the Oahu Market Corporation, founded by 24 of the market’s tenants with the support of the Historic Hawaii Foundation. The market still operates from its original building which is made of bricks and coral blocks, with a stone foundation and a wooden roof. The interior is divided into stalls that are open to the street, as they have been since 1904.

The Perry Block Building, on the corner of Nu'uanu Avenue and Hotel Street, dates from 1889 and is another of the several buildings in Chinatown that survived the 1900 fire. Anna Perry, the widow of the Portuguese consul Jason Perry, had the building designed and built in the Renaissance Revival and Neo-Greco styles. A design in the window keystones was taken from the Portuguese coat of arms. The sidewalk in front of the building is covered with stone pavers that came to Hawaii from China as ballast on ships.

Constructed in 1938, the Wo Fat Restaurant Building, at the corner of North Hotel and Maunakea Streets, was built in the Italianate style and features a windowed octagonal tower and architectural references to Chinese temple motifs. The original Wo Fat Restaurant opened in 1882, burned down in the fire of 1886, and was rebuilt and burned again in the fire of 1900. It was relocated in 1906 to North Hotel Street. The current building was constructed in 1938 specifically for the Wo Fat Restaurant which, until it closed in 2009, was the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Honolulu. Today the building houses the Hong Kong Supermarket, an Asian grocery store.

The simple Italianate-style Club Hubba Hubba building, at 25 North Hotel Street, dates from 1899 and a survivor of the Chinatown Fire of 1900. Developer Lincoln L. McCandless constructed the two-story commercial building, which has housed several businesses over the years including the popular World War II-era Aloha Cafe. Club Hubba Hubba opened in the building in 1947, becoming one of the most famous jazz and burlesque clubs in Chinatown before its closure in 1997.

Designed for retail with residences on the second floor, the Armstrong Building is located at 175 N King Street. Built in 1905, by James Armstrong, the building was sold to Lincoln L. McCandless in 1922 and is still owned by the McCandless family. The bluestone lava rock building housed the well-known Musashiya Fabric Store, one of the largest fabric stores in Honolulu. It was in this building that Koichiro Miyamoto, the son of Musashiya's founder, created the first Hawaiian "aloha" shirt.

Today, the Chinatown Historic District is a thriving area with an eclectic blend of Southeast Asian cultures including Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Japanese, Thai, Filipino, and Korean peoples as well as Native Hawaiians and Caucasians. Visitors to the district can immerse themselves in the mix of various cultures and experiences while visiting the District's restaurants, stores, and Asian produce markets. In addition, part of the Honolulu Arts District, with its art galleries, performing arts spaces, and First Friday Art Walk, is in the Chinatown Historic District helping to make this area one of the most interesting and vibrant places to visit in Honolulu.

Plan your visit

The Chinatown Historic District, located in Honolulu on the Island of Oahu, HI, is roughly bounded by Nu'uanu Stream, Beretania St., Nuuanu Ave., and the Honolulu Harbor. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. Chinatown Historic District is an active commercial and residential district and is open to the public. For more information, visit the Chinatown Honolulu website.

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Cook Landing Site, Island of Kaua'i, Hawai'i

The Island of Kauai's historic Waimea River is famous as the initial landing site of Captain James Cook, the first European explorer to establish western contact with the Hawaiian Islands. While many visitors come to Waimea to swim and surf in the waters of Waimea Bay at the mouth of the Waimea River, others come to ponder its important history. Prior to Captain Cook's discovery, the Hawaiian Islands existed in virtual isolation, which allowed the native population to develop a unique culture. Once exposed to European influences, the population of the Hawaiian Islands underwent rapid social and economic change. Captain Cook's Landing Site at the mouth of the Waimea River serves as a reminder of the explorer's lasting impact on the Hawaiian Islands.

In 1776, Captain Cook and his crew departed England for his third and final voyage of Pacific exploration. Tasked with finding the Northwest Passage, Cook and his crew sailed on two ships - HMS Resolution and HMS Discovery - around the Horn of Africa and through the Indian Ocean south of Australia before turning north towards the Northwest Coast of America. On January 18, 1778, the crew sighted an unknown mountainous island in the distance, later identified as the Island of Oahu. Shortly thereafter, crew-members spotted another island toward the north, later identified as the Island of Kauai. Owing to the strength of the prevailing winds, Cook decided to head toward Kauai.

On January 20, 1778, near the mouth of the Waimea River, Cook spotted a potential anchoring site. He sent Lieutenant John Williamson ashore with three smaller boats to find a landing place and fresh water. Several hours later, Williamson returned with a report of an anchorage area on a beach located near a native village next to a lagoon of fresh water. Cook anchored a mile off the beach and went ashore with three armed boats. After establishing friendly relations with the villagers and local ali'i (chiefs), Cook visited the fresh water lagoon and determined that the water was acceptable for drinking. The next day, he made an excursion up the Island's valley, taking note of the village, native peoples, temples, cultivated trees, and crops. Cook eventually left the island to continue his search for the Northwest Passage.

Roughly a year later in early January of 1779, Cook returned to the Hawaiian Islands (then called the Sandwich Islands), this time visiting the Island of Hawai'i's Kealakekua Bay. His arrival coincided with the four-month religious festival known as Makahiki, which marked the return of the Hawaiian god Lono. Once again the islanders welcomed Cook and his crew, gifting the men with food and other offerings. Within a short time, several disputes, along with the exhaustion of native resources due to both the ships' needs and the Makahiki, strained relations between Cook and the islanders, forcing Cook to leave the island on February 4, 1779.

Shortly after departing, the ships ran into rough seas and swells, which damaged the foremast of HMS Resolution, forcing them to return to Kealakekua Bay a week later. This time, however, the islanders did not welcome the crew's return. They began to steal from the ships, including pieces of iron and a longboat from HMS Discovery. Cook had experience dealing with this, as the practice of stealing from ships was common in Tahiti and other islands across the Pacific. On February 14, Cook went ashore with nine Marines to force the return of the stolen items. They attempted to take one of the Island's most powerful ali'i, Kalaniopu'u, hostage until the stolen items were returned. Several thousand outraged natives prevented this, forcing Cook and his men to retreat to the beach. Cook and four Marines were killed while trying to launch the boats off the beach and the remaining crew-members retreated to the waiting ships.

Captain Charles Clerke, commander of HMS Discovery, took over the expedition after Cook's death. Clerke died after launching a failed attempt to pass the Bering Strait, leaving the ships under the command of Captain James King, a Royal Navy officer, and John Gore, a veteran of Cook's first voyage. King and Gore oversaw the end of the voyage in October of 1780, as the HMS Resolution and the HMS Discovery returned home to England.

The Cook Landing Site at the mouth of the Waimea River across from Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park, recognizes Captain Cook's achievements as an integral part of Hawaiian history. As the first European to have extensive contact with the native Hawaiian people, Cook was responsible for opening up the Hawaiian Islands to external social, economic, political, and cultural influences. At the same time, his extensive records regarding the ecology of the Hawaiian Islands and the cultural features of its native population helped preserve important Hawaiian history. Due to the tides, sand deposits, and ever-changing environmental conditions, the precise spot of Cook's landing is unknown. A stone wall and a breakwater at the west entrance of the site also contribute to the changed appearance of the beach. While these physical changes are important to acknowledge, they do not detract from the significance of the historical event that occurred at the site.

Plan your visit

Cook Landing Site, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Lucy Wright Beach Park near the mouth of the Waimea River just south of the town of Waimea on the Island of Kauai, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. Lucy Wright Beach Park is accessible to the public at no charge and is open daily from sunrise to sunset. A plaque at the park commemorates Cook's landing on the island. A larger monument dedicated to Captain Cook is located in Hofgaard Park in Waimea Town. For more information, visit the Kauai County website. For camping reservations, call Kauai's Department of Parks and Recreation at 808-241-6660.

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Downtown Historic District (Chinatown), Washington, D.C.

Chinatown is part of the the National Register of Historic Places-listed Downtown Historic District, which encompasses Washington, D.C.'s original downtown - one of the oldest mixed use areas in the city. In the 1930's, Chinatown moved from another part of the downtown district to where it is located today. The neighborhood is a mix of commercial, residential, religious, and governmental buildings. Vibrant and interesting to visit, it teems with people, some of Chinese descent and others with a rich variety of Asian and other cultural roots.

The city's primary public market (Center Market) was built in 1802 on Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, a point midway between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, now the site of the National Archives. Seventh Street was the main route to the downtown market from farms north of the city. Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue became the principal commercial streets in D.C. with residences mingling with businesses and government and private office buildings.

D.C.'s first Chinatown was established in the 1880s along the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue between 4 1/2 Street (John Marshall Way) and 7th Street, NW. Chinatown was comprised mostly of men who had immigrated to the western United States and had then migrated east. Many of these men had left wives to come to America, hoping to make their fortunes and return to China. As Chinatown began to grow, mutual aid societies and native place and family associations were formed which became an important lifeline for the residents of Chinatown.

In the mid-1880s, there were approximately 100 residents in Chinatown and the first Chinese grocery store opened in 1892. While Chinese restaurants and laundries were scattered all over the city, Chinatown was the only area that had Chinese stores. As was common in Chinese immigrant communities in the U.S., the Chinese in D.C. organized tongs (voluntary associations) formed around shared interests such as home districts in China, family names, and native dialects. The first tong was formed in 1894 and other tongs soon began to appear. The various tongs were in constant competition for influence within Chinatown, providing support and protection to both residents and newly arriving Chinese immigrants.

By 1898, Chinatown had expanded to include parts of 3rd Street NW and by 1903, the neighborhood was bustling with drugstores, restaurants, barbershops, tailor shops, laundries, residences, and community organizations.

In the late 1920s, D.C began plans to redevelop the area between 4th and 6th Streets, tearing down Center Market, displacing Chinatown, and building government and private office buildings. At that time, there were two active tongs in Chinatown: On Leong Tong, formed in 1912, with 200 members, and Hip Sing Tong, formed in 1925, with 50 members. On Leong Tong appointed a committee to look for new buildings for their members. In October 1931, they announced that they had acquired the necessary land on H Street, NW between 6th and 7th Streets (the northern end of the Downtown Historic District), had bought a double building, and had leased additional space to accommodate the eleven businesses that were members of their tong. The Hip Sing Tong, which at one point threatened to move away from their rival tong, eventually moved with them to H Street. Once they moved to the new Chinatown, both groups dropped tong from their names and became prominent merchant associations. This new Chinatown soon spread from 2nd Street to 8th Street, NW along H Street and became a bustling neighborhood with stores, restaurants, churches, temples, and residences.

As an anchor for the new Chinatown, the On Leong Tong immediately renovated the buildings it purchased at 618 and 620 H Street, NW, remodeling the two buildings into one, adding a tile roof over the first floor and a tile roof above the third floor. Similar Chinese-ization of existing buildings occurred throughout Chinatown, giving the area a distinctive appearance and character. The area that formed the new Chinatown had been occupied by earlier German and Jewish immigrants and some of the city's oldest pre-Civil War buildings, with flat roofs and sloped roofs, can still be seen beneath the building's Chinese facades.

By 1936, 800 people - including 32 families - were living in Chinatown. They established Chinese schools, clubs, and entertainment facilities. Chinatown also had a number of community organizations, including family associations to provide social services and support, district associations to settle disputes, and civic or merchant associations

Attempts to preserve Chinese culture centered on the Chinese School, which was established in 1931 to teach Chinese language and customs. In addition, several religious institutions also worked to preserve the Chinese culture of Chinatown. Foremost among these was the Chinese Community Church, which was founded in 1935 and is located at 500 I Street, NW. The Chinese Community Church building was designed by Thomas Ustick Walter, Architect of the Capitol from 1851-1865, who also designed the U.S. Capitol dome. The Church was built in 1852 and was a Presbyterian Church before serving Jewish and later Baptist congregations. Calvary Baptist Church, located at 755 8th Street NW, had a Chinese Sunday School as early as 1889 as part of a missionary effort aimed at teaching English and the Bible to Chinese immigrants. St. Mary's Catholic Church, located at 727 5th Street NW, also reflected the changing neighborhood. In the early 1950s, the church hired a Chinese priest and a Chinese Mass is still celebrated there every Sunday.

Chinatown remained a strong community into the 1960's, but the riots that followed Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968, and the ensuing decline of D.C's downtown area led many of the Chinese residents of Chinatown to move to suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.

In the early 1980s, the D.C. government built a new convention center between 9th and 11th streets, displacing many Chinese residents living in the area. To provide housing for the displaced residents, Chinese community groups worked together to build the Wah Luck House apartment building at the corner of 6th and H Streets NW. Designed by noted Chinese American architect Alfred Liu, the apartment building uses modern Chinese design motifs and also features a Chinese garden with pathways and seating.

In 1986, the District of Columbia dedicated the Friendship Archway, a traditional Chinese structure designed by architect Alfred H. Liu in the style of Ming and Qing Dynasties gates. The archway, located on H between 7th and 6th Streets, has seven cantilevered roofs put together without nails in the ancient Chinese tradition of Dougong. This technique uses interlocking wooden brackets and is one of the most important elements in traditional Chinese architecture. The gate is 60 feet high with over 7000 glazed tiles and 280 painted dragons. Built to celebrate the friendship between Washington, D.C. and its sister city of Beijing, China, it is the largest single-span archway of its type in the world.

Today, the Chinatown Community Cultural Center, at 616 H Street, works to preserve and promote Chinatown’s identity as a cultural destination and offers walking tours and other programs that celebrate Chinese culture, history, language, and heritage. Chinatown's signs, street lights, banners, and building ornamentations reflect the neighborhood's Chinese heritage and several restaurants located along and around H Street NW, between 7th and 6th Streets are owned by Asian American families. Chinatown is a thriving and vibrant area with residences, restaurants, theaters, office buildings and stores that continue to draw people to the historic downtown heart of Washington D.C.

Plan your visit

Chinatown is located in Washington, D.C's Downtown Historic District and is roughly bounded by Massachusetts Avenue NW, 5th Street NW, G Street NW, and K Street, NW (Mount Vernon Square). Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. For information about its walking tours of Chinatown and other programs visit the Chinatown Community Cultural Center website or call 202-628-1688. For more information about Chinatown visit the Washington D.C. tourism or the Cultural Tourism DC websites.

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George Nakashima Woodworker Complex, New Hope, Pennsylvania

The George Nakashima Woodworker Complex, located in New Hope, Pennsylvania, was the home of the internationally renowned furniture designer and architect George Nakashima. The 12 acre complex has 21 buildings, all designed by Nakashima. The assortment of buildings, scattered across a wooded forest and open lawns, served as Nakashima's home and workspace until his death in 1990. Nakashima is recognized as one of America's most eminent furniture designer-craftsman and his style of "organic naturalism" can be seen in the buildings, landscape, and furniture located in the George Nakashima Woodworker Complex.

George Nakashima was born in 1905, in Spokane Washington, to Japanese immigrants Katsuharu and Suzu Thoma Nakashima. Both of his parents came from samurai families and this heritage influenced Nakashima's work ethic. He was accepted to the University of Washington and was given a one-year scholarship in 1928, to study architecture in Paris at the École Americaine des Beaux-Arts in Fountainebleu. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in architecture from Washington in 1929, and a Master's Degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston in 1930. After graduating from MIT, Nakashima was hired by the Richard Brooks Studio in New York to paint murals for the New York state capitol building in Albany. A year later, the Long Island State Park Commission hired him to paint murals and design buildings.

After losing his job due to the Great Depression, Nakashima purchased an around-the-world steamship ticket and made his way to Paris, where he lived for the next year. While there, he made weekly visits to observe the construction of renowned Modernist architect Le Corbusier's highly influential Pavillion Suisse, built in the new International Style. The International Style had developed in Europe and the U.S. in the 1920s and 1930s and was characterized by a clean, rectilinear architectural style that had no ornamentation or decoration and emphasized geometric shapes. The Pavillion Suisse and the International Style would have a profound impact on Nakashima's design aesthetic.

Nakashima spent a year in Paris before going on to North Africa and Japan. In Japan, he worked for Antonin Raymond, who had collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and had set up an architectural office in Tokyo after completion of the project. While in Japan, Nakashima traveled with his coworker Junzo Yoshimura visiting architectural monuments, shrines, and temples, and attending tea ceremonies and festivals. These experiences gave Nakashima a deep appreciation for Japanese cultural and architectural traditions which was evident in his later work.

In 1936, Raymond sent Nakashima to be the onsite architect for the construction of a dormitory at the ashram of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry, India. The dormitory was constructed in the International Style and was the first reinforced concrete building in the country. It was during this time that Nakashima began to explore furniture design and craftsmanship which would eventually become the focus of his life's work.

With the world on the verge of war, Raymond closed his offices in Japan and moved back to the U.S. Nakashima and his fiancée Marion Okajima, an American he had met while she was teaching English in Japan, returned soon after, marrying in 1941 and settling in Seattle, Washington. Nakashima started working for architect Ray Morin and also began to make furniture, setting up a small studio in the basement of the Maryknoll Boys' Club. His first privately-commissioned collection of handcrafted furniture was for cosmetics executive Andre Ligne.

The start of World War II cut short Nakashima's forays into furniture making. Shortly after the U.S. entered the war, American citizens of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast were evacuated and moved to relocation centers around the country. George and Marion, along with their infant daughter Mira, were relocated in 1942, to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. While at Minidoka, Nakashima met Japanese carpenter Gentauro Hikogawa, who taught him the techniques of traditional Japanese woodworking. In 1943, William Emerson, the former Dean of the MIT School of Architecture, contacted Antonin Raymond, and asked if he would petition for the release of the Nakashima family from Minidoka. Raymond vouched for the Nakashima family and brought them to live on his farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Because the War Relocation Authority would only allow Nakashima's release from Minidoka for agricultural farm work, he worked on his furniture designs in the evenings. He was encouraged and actively facilitated in this by Antonin and his wife Noemi who gave him the former milk house on the farm to use as his workshop.

After being released from supervised sponsorship on the Raymond's farm, George and Marion rented a house nearby, eventually purchasing three acres of land from their landlord where, in 1946, Nakashima designed and built a workshop and house. From 1946 to 1954, the workshop and the family home were the only buildings on the property. As both Nakashima's family and his company grew, so did the Complex. The Showroom, Finishing Department, Chair Department, and the Conoid Studio were built in the 1950s, with Japanese motifs integrated into their designs. After the birth of his son Kevin in 1958, Nakashima continued to expand the Complex, acquiring more land and designing and constructing more buildings. In the 1960s and 1970s he added, among other buildings, the Reception House, the Pool House, the Cloister, and the Arts Building. Nakashima designed all of the buildings on the property and supervised their construction.

The buildings that comprise the George Nakashima Woodworker Complex are in the International Style infused with elements of traditional Japanese architecture. The buildings combine natural materials including local stone, white stucco walls, and simple wood trim to create asymmetrical designs that feature exposed framing, ribbon windows, glass walls in the living area, and an open floor plan. Just like George Nakashima's juxtaposition of family and manufacturing, his designing vision juxtaposed "architecture, furniture, and landscape" all within a natural environment. All of the buildings and structures in the complex are examples of Nakashima's unique legacy of craftsmanship and design excellence.

George Nakashima was one of the preeminent furniture designer-craftsmen in the U.S., and a significant force within the American Craft movement of the mid-20th century. This movement rejected the mass-production of industrialization while at the same time embracing Modern styles and ideas that were international in scope. Influenced by spirituality and nature, Nakashima's signature features incorporated techniques intended to enhance the impact of wood's natural beauty. George Nakashima passed away in 1990, and today the complex is owned and operated by the Nakashima family. The George Nakashima Studio continues to produce his furniture designs while extending his traditions and aesthetics and preserving his methods and techniques through new designs created by his daughter Mira.

Plan your visit

The George Nakashima Woodworker Complex, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 1847 Aquetong Rd., New Hope, PA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The George Nakashima Woodworker Complex is open to visitors on Saturdays from 1:00pm-4:30pm and is closed for all major holidays. Visitors may see examples work in the Showroom and Conoid Studio and take a self-guided tour of three of the buildings. Admission is free. Guided group tours are offered at 10:00am on the first Saturday of each month from April to August and October. Eight buildings are open to group tours. A minimum donation of $25 is requested for group tours. Space is limited to 30 people. For more information, visit the George Nakashima Woodworker website or call 215-862-2272.

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Golden Spike National Historic Site, Box Elder County, Utah

On May 10, 1869, Andrew J. Russell captured one of the more captivating images of America's history in the photograph most commonly known as the "Champagne Photo." Taken during a ceremony in Promontory Summit, Utah, the photograph captures the moment when the last spike was driven in to the joining point of the tracks of the Central Pacific Railroad of California and the Union Pacific Railroad, completing the nation's first transcontinental railroad. Known as the Golden Spike Ceremony, this historic event not only celebrated the completion of the railroad, named the Pacific Railroad, but also recognized the significance of the immigrant workforce that helped the nation accomplish what many believed was impossible.

Today, Golden Spike National Historic Site in northern Utah commemorates the joining of the western and eastern tracks at Promontory Summit and the history of the workers who built the first transcontinental railroad. Constructed between 1863 and 1869, the railroad created a revolutionary transportation network connecting the West Coast with the rest of the U.S. and was one of the great technological feats of the 19th century.

An article published by The Emigrant in 1832 was the first call for the construction of a railroad from the Eastern U.S. to the Pacific Ocean. The United States government did not officially begin contemplating the idea until the 1850s, after the Mexican-American War and the acquisition of territories in the far western part of the continent. By this time, major cities around the nation had begun hosting conventions to promote the idea of a transcontinental railroad. As a result, public officials from both political parties began voicing their support. Among them were John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, and Stephen A. Douglas, who with other prominent politicians began including a transcontinental railroad in their political platforms.

The failure to agree on whether the Transcontinental Railroad would follow a southern or northern route and the imminent threat of the Civil War delayed the construction of the nation's first transcontinental railway. Despite these concerns, Theodore D. Judah, the chief engineer of the Central Pacific Railroad Company, and a group of railroad advocates from California continued to lobby Congress to fund a transcontinental railway. Numerous visits to Washington, D.C. and a lack of southern opposition to a northern route helped Judah garner enough support to obtain passage of the Railroad Act of 1862.

President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law and construction began the following year with the groundbreaking ceremonies of the Central Pacific Railroad in Sacramento, California on January 8, 1863, and the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska on December 2, 1863. The Civil War greatly affected the progress of the Transcontinental Railroad, since labor was scarce and the price of materials continued to rise. Unable to continue financing the construction, representatives of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads requested that Congress provide further financial aid, which resulted in the enactment of the Railroad Act of 1864. This increased the two railroad corporation's resources and doubled each of their land grants.

Although the Railroad Act of 1864 solved the financial problem, labor shortages during the Civil War continued to delay the construction of the Transcontinental Railway. Fortunately, with the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, the Union Pacific was able to employ veterans of the Union Army, many of them Irish immigrants. For the Central Pacific in California, the situation was different. The railroad had trouble attracting workers in the far West as people felt they could make money more quickly with less danger by working in the mines like those on the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, Nevada. To overcome this shortage, the railroad began to recruit Chinese workers from the Chinese communities within the U.S. and eventually directly from China.

The Central Pacific faced many difficult tasks in building their portion of the railroad. Chief among them was laying tracks through narrow canyons and over mountainous terrain. Chinese workers were able to overcome these difficulties by using skills they had brought with them from China, such as the technique of being lowered in baskets from the top of cliffs to plant explosives in sheer rock faces in order blast the rock and create tunnels. The work was dangerous and hard and while Chinese workers were paid roughly the same amount as non-Chinese workers, they had to pay for food, housing, and clothes out of their own wages. Chinese work gangs had cooks who prepared daily meals which allowed the workers to have a healthy diet of dried vegetables, seafood, and variety of meats as well as boiled water for their tea. Chinese workers also washed their clothing frequently and took daily baths, helping them to avoid the frequent illnesses that affected non-Chinese workforce.

Over 11,000 Chinese immigrants were eventually employed by the Central Pacific Railroad, accounting for ninety percent of its workforce. In a letter to President Andrew Jackson, the Central Pacific Railroad's president Governor Leland Stanford wrote that "Without the Chinese, it would have been impossible to complete the western portion of this great national highway."

The last rail of the Transcontinental Railroad was laid at the Golden Spike Ceremony on May 10, 1869. Held in Promontory Summit, the ceremony began with the presentation of four special spikes: the Nevada Silver Spike, Arizona's Golden and Silver Spikes, and the Last or Golden Spike. Receiving these ceremonial spikes were Governor Stanford of the Central Pacific Railroad and Thomas Durant of the Union Pacific Railroad. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Stanford, Durant, and a regular rail worker drove the Last Spike in to the tracks.

At Golden Spike National Historic Site, visitors may begin their tour at the visitor center, where they can see replicas of No. 119 and the Jupiter steam locomotives that, at the conclusion of the Golden Spike Ceremony, rolled in from the east and west tracks until they nearly touched. Beyond the visitor center, visitors can hike the mile and a half long Big Fill Loop Trail to see the site of the Union Pacific's trestle and walk through the cuts and drill marks made by the workers who blasted the rock formations to make way for the Transcontinental Railroad. Visitors can also follow the West and East auto tours along the Central and Union Pacific grades to see evidence of the construction methods used to build the railroad and the spot in the Central Pacific Grade where workers laid 10 miles of track in one day. Other activities at Golden Spike National Historic Site include guided tours and reenactments of the Last Spike Ceremony during the summer season.

Plan your visit

Golden Spike National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System, is located off of Hwy. 83, 32 miles west of Brigham City, UT. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. There is an entrance fee for the Site. The visitor center is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Outside attractions are open during daylight hours. Locomotive runs are held from May through mid-October and Engine House Tours are available 5 times a day during the winter season. For more information, visit the National Park Service Golden Spike National Historic Site website or call 435-471-2209.

Golden Spike National Historic Site is featured in the National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary. Many components of the Golden Spike National Historic Site have been documented by the National Park Service Historic American Buildings Survey, including: Golden Spike Monument, Visitor Center, Promontory Route Railroad, and Southern Pacific Mole & Pier.

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Granada Relocation Center (Amache), Granada, Colorado

The Granada Relocation Center is located near the town of Granada, Colorado. The relocation center, known more commonly as Camp Amache or Amache was one of 10 centers constructed in the United States during World War II for the purpose of interning Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent. More than 10,000 people passed through Camp Amache and, at its peak, it housed over 7,300 internees, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens. Today, the Granada Relocation Center site consists of a cemetery, a monument, building foundations, and landscaping.

After Japan's devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, led to the United States' entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from these areas of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry, out of fear that they might support Japan in the war. In March 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority (WRA), the federal agency responsible for the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese Americans and the construction and administration of relocation centers throughout the United States. The U.S. military supported Executive Order 9066 by assembling and transporting the evacuees. Through Executive Order 9066 came Proclamation No.1, initially a policy of voluntary participation to relocate that soon became mandatory, forcing some 120,000 Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry to move to 10 inland relocation centers across the nation.

In 1942, an area in southeastern Colorado was selected as a relocation center camp site by the WRA. Governor Ralph L. Carr of Colorado had been the only western governor to welcome evacuees in his state, volunteering Colorado for a relocation center and urging acceptance and understanding for Japanese Americans. Land for the relocation center was acquired by the U.S. Army through a mix of purchase from private owners and condemnation. This made Camp Amache unique, as the other relocation centers were generally situated on existing federal land. In addition water rights for the existing irrigation system were purchased for the center's planned agricultural program. Camp Amache covered approximately 10,500 acres south of the Arkansas River, and extended three miles west and four miles east of the small town of Granada, Colorado.

Camp Amache had been under construction for only two months when it received its first 212 evacuees on August 27, 1942. Even though the center was not complete, 15 groups of evacuees moved into Amache over a three month period. By the end of October, Camp Amache had over 7,300 internees. The first winter at the center was particularly hard as most of the internees were from California and had no heavy clothing. A family consisting of seven or fewer members was assigned to one cramped room measuring 20 by 24 feet. The internees were allowed to decorate the rooms and attempted to make them as homelike as possible with shelves, partitions, and crude furniture made from scrap wood. While Camp Amache was the smallest of the 10 relocation centers, it was the tenth largest city in Colorado, and more than 10,000 people eventually passed through the center before it closed in 1945.

The central section of Camp Amache was 640 acres (one square mile), made up primarily of 29 blocks of Army-style barracks. Each block had a mess hall, laundry, toilets, and a shower room. There were also shared administrative facilities such as a hospital, school, recreation buildings, a public library, dry goods store, barber shop, sewage plant, and post office. The internees were encouraged to make improvements to the center and responded by constructing three koi ponds and gardens, and planting trees between rows of barracks. A barbed wire fence surrounded the central section of the center with six watch towers along the perimeter. As in most of the relocation centers, armed military police manned the towers.

The remaining 9,360 acres of Camp Amache were set aside for agriculture, which was its main industry. A majority of the center's internees came from California's central valleys and were seasoned farm workers. They turned Camp Amache into a productive agricultural center, raising beef and dairy cattle, poultry, and hogs and growing potatoes, onions, corn, alfalfa, and wheat. In 1943 and 1944, Amache had such good growing seasons that it produced a surplus of crops which were sold to the other relocation centers.

Camp Amache managed to avoid the conflict and violence typical of many other relocation centers, largely through the efforts of James G. Lindley, the project director from 1942 to 1945. Lindley oversaw the construction of the center, directed its agricultural program, and improved the internees' living conditions. In many ways, life at Amache was as difficult as at the other nine relocation centers; however, Lindley established programs and policies that eased some of the hardships for the internees. Because of Lindley's policies, by 1943 Amache was far ahead of the other relocation centers in releasing internees on temporary or indefinite leave, allowing them to pursue higher education, employment, or permanent resettlement away from the West Coast.

In August 1944, 2,700 internees were given indefinite leave and in December the Exclusion Orders were lifted and the WRA began to urge internees to leave the relocation centers. Some families chose to remain at Camp Amache until the end of the school year in June 1945. For others, reverting back to outside life was a concern, especially after the hostility they had encountered during the war. Furthermore, many had been forced to give up almost all of their property and belongings when they were evacuated and they were now concerned about leaving the relocation center with little savings on which to live. In March 1945, 6,000 internees still remained at the center. Officials began urging the internees to return to California and parts of the center were sold or leased to local farmers. Camp Amache was closed on October 15, 1945.

After the war, Camp Amache's agricultural lands reverted to private farming and ranching while its buildings were demolished or removed. Today, the cemetery, a reservoir, a water well and tank, the road network, concrete foundations, watch towers, the military police compound, and trees planted by the internees still remain. In addition, the original security perimeter fence surrounds the site. Camp Amache is maintained by the Friends of Amache, which operates in partnership with the Amache Preservation Society, the Amache Club, the Amache Historical Society, and the Town of Granada.

Plan your visit

The Granada Relocation Center (Camp Amache), a National Historic Landmark, is located on CO-Rd 23 5/10, two miles west of Granada, CO, and is open to the public. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. The Amache Museum is open in the summer months, generally five days a week. Visitors may pick up a map and brochure at the museum or download a self-guided driving tour from the museum website. Visitors may also arrange private tours of the site through the Amache Preservation Society by contacting the Society at amache@usa.com. The Granada Relocation Center has three interpretive kiosk panels located at the main entry gate to the site as well as a walking trail. Some of the artifacts from the Center can be found at the Amache Museum, located in the old Granada Town Hall in Granada, CO. For more information, visit the Amache Museum website or contact the Granada Town Hall at 719-734-5411 or 719-734-5492.

The Granada Relocation Center is featured in the National Historic Landmark Theme Study Japanese Americans in World War II.

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Hakone Historic District, Saratoga, California

Hakone Historic District (Hakone) is located approximately a half mile west of the City of Saratoga, just south of the San Francisco Bay area in California. Established in 1915, Hakone occupies 18 acres of land and contains a series of gardens and buildings that make up the oldest Japanese-style country villa in the Western Hemisphere. Hakone is unique in that it was built as a private and modest summer retreat, rather than part of a large, expansive estate, as was more common at the time.

In 1915, prominent San Francisco philanthropists and patrons of the arts Oliver and Isabel Stine purchased land west of the small town of Saratoga for a summer family retreat. Inspired by the Japanese gardens and cultural exhibits at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, Mrs. Stine traveled to Japan in 1916 and toured numerous estate and temple gardens, becoming especially enamored of those in the Fuji-Hakone region west of Tokyo. After returning from her travels, Mrs. Stine began plans to build a Japanese country-style villa on the Saratoga property. She chose the name "Hakone" to honor one of her favorite areas in Japan.

In 1917, Mrs. Stine hired architect Tsunematsu Shintani, a native of the Japanese prefecture of Wakayama, to design Hakone's buildings. For the landscape and gardens, Mrs. Stine hired landscape architect Naoharu Aihara, who was from a long line of Imperial Gardeners based in Koyobashi, Tokyo. Hakone was built into a steep hillside with views of the "Valley of the Heart's Delight" (modern Silicon Valley) and was designed in the style of a Japanese Edo Period country villa with gardens. Plant specimens, garden features, and building materials were imported from Japan, and Japanese craftsmen were employed to construct the villa and install the gardens.

The Stines used Hakone extensively as both a summer residence and for entertaining. Mrs. Stine returned from her travels in Japan with numerous Kabuki theater costumes and wigs. She taught her children to reenact scenes from samurai plays performing the scenes for guests on the grounds at Hakone. In 1923, Mrs. Stine, a co-founder and patron of the San Francisco Opera, hosted the West Coast premiere of Puccini's opera, "Madame Butterfly," in the gardens at Hakone. Guests traveled from as far away as Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York to see the production which won rave reviews for the San Francisco Opera.

In 1932, the Stine family sold Hakone to financier Major Charles Lee Tilden who hired Japanese-trained landscape gardener James Sasaki to make improvements to the gardens and build several additional structures such as a mon gate, moon bridge, upper pavilion, and wisteria arbor. After Tilden died, Hakone passed to his sister, Mrs. Walter Gregory. Upon her death in 1959, her son, Michael Gregory, put the property up for sale.

Hakone was bought in 1961 by a partnership of Saratoga residents: Joseph and Clara Gresham, their son Eldon and his wife Deon, and four Chinese American couples: John and Helen Kan, Dan and June Lee, George and Marie Hall, and John and Mary Young. The partners maintained the gardens and property using Hakone as a private retreat. In 1966, the City of Saratoga purchased Hakone to save it from potential subdivision and development.

After the purchase, the City hired Tanso Ishihara, a Kyoto-trained landscape gardener, who worked with architect Kiyoshi Yasui, a 14th generation architect to the Japanese Imperial Household, to develop a master plan for expanding the gardens across the 18-acre site. Ishihara restored and refurbished the original main gardens, constructed a series of trails on the hillside south and west of the garden area, and restored the ponds, waterfalls, and pathways.

In 1984, a group of Saratoga citizens, in cooperation with the City, organized a municipal commission to provide financial relief to Hakone. Since 2000, the Hakone Foundation, a non-profit formed to preserve and enhance the Hakone Estate and Gardens, has maintained the site.

Hakone contains 18 acres of woodlands, chaparral, and four Japanese gardens, three of which are historic and original to the site - the Hill and Pond Garden, the Zen Garden, and the Tea Garden. The fourth one, the Bamboo Garden, was built in 1987. The gardens were designed and installed following traditional Japanese landscaping principles and encompass four garden types that are viewed in Japan as being the most "Japanese" in terms of their design and materials. These are Chisen-shuyu (Pond Garden), Chisen-kaiyu (Stroll Garden), Karesansui (Dry Landscape Garden), and Roji (Tea House Garden). Each garden also contains unique species of plants that are typical of traditional gardens found throughout Japan

The Hill and Pond Garden, a Chisen-shuyu garden, has a large koi pond with a central island, a small waterfall, and a lily pond. The garden contains a wisteria pavilion and paths enclosed by a wisteria arbor. The hillside that makes up part of the garden contains native plants such as California Holly, California Lilac, buckeye, and elderberry and includes redwood trees which were planted as part of the original garden design. The Hill and Pond Garden also has elements of a Chisen-kaiyu style garden with paths designed for strolling while looking at the changing views.

The Zen Garden is a classic Karesansui. The garden consists of raked gravel and several large stones contained within an enclosure. Throughout the small garden there are original plant and tree specimens along with more delicate shrubs, mosses, and flowers. The garden is primarily for meditative viewing and is never entered. The Zen Garden is the most private of the gardens at Hakone.

The Tea Garden is modeled on a Roji, and is made up of many quiet and serene views. The garden contains a tsukubai (water basin), stepping stone paths, and mature plants and trees, including Japanese maples, hinoki cypress, wisteria vines, and black pine that were imported from Japan.

The Bamboo Garden (Kizuna-en), while not historic, complements the character and design of Hakone and represents the friendship between Saratoga and its sister city, Muko-shi, a suburb of Kyoto, Japan. Built in 1987, the garden is cared for by the Bamboo Society and contains prized bamboos from Yasui, Japan as well as from throughout California, and various location in Japan and other countries.

The historic buildings and structures at Hakone were built using traditional Japanese architectural designs and carpentry methods and follow shoin-zukuri and sukiya-zukuri design principles. These are based on 16th and 17th century residential architecture favored by the Japanese samurai warrior class and later associated with the tea ceremony. The three oldest buildings on the site are the Upper House built in 1918, the Lower House built in 1922, and the Tea Waiting Pavilion built in 1927.

Designed to resemble a rustic-style Japanese residence, the Upper House was constructed to accommodate sleeping, eating, reading, and performance of the tea ceremony. The house was also situated to facilitate "moon viewing," a centuries-old activity in Japan. The Upper House has an engawa (veranda) on two sides with glassed panels which can be opened or closed to provide access to the one-room building. The interior contains the four main elements associated with the shoin-zukuri architectural style: a tokonoma (decorative alcove), chigaidana (staggered shelves), tsukeshoin (desk alcove), and chodaigamae (decorative doors), as well as sliding shoji screens and tatami mats.

The Lower House (Zen Garden House) is a blending of traditional Japanese construction with the California bungalow style and served as the Stine family's summer residence until 1929. The house incorporates many Japanese features such as post and beam construction, sliding doors, and windows as well as western-style bedrooms, a bathroom, and a fireplace. The Lower House is an example of the Organic Architecture movement which emphasized harmony between human habitations and the natural world.

The Tea Waiting Pavilion is a small, square building constructed in 1927 which was used to prepare for the tea ceremony. The Pavilion is an open air wood building with no windows or screens that is simply furnished with wood benches. The interior and exterior are unpainted and have been allowed to weather naturally.

During the 1940s, several structures were added to Hakone including the Main Gate or Mon, a temple-style gateway that provides a dramatic entrance to the gardens, and the Wisteria Pavilion modeled after typical Japanese garden pavilions. Additional structures include the Moon Bridge (a small arched foot bridge), the Upper Pavilion holding views of both the gardens and the natural terrain, and the Wisteria Arbor (Fuji-dana), typical of the long arbors that found in traditional Japanese gardens.

In addition to the gardens and structures, symbolic and ritual objects are important elements of the landscape at Hakone. These include a metal crane sculpture, stone and metal lanterns based on traditional Japanese designs, stone and wood basins, two carved stone images representative of Buddhist beliefs, and three large stones – Master Stone, Worshiping Stone, and Stone Washing Basin (Chozubach). Stones such as these are symbolically important in Japanese culture and are often found in traditional gardens.

Hakone Historic District is a significant designed landscape as well as an example of traditional Japanese garden and building designs imported to the U.S. and California during the late 19th and early 20th century. The site was designed and constructed as a fully integrated environment with the gardens, buildings, and objects all combining to emphasize a harmony between humans and the natural world.

Plan your visit

Hakone Historic District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is located at 21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. Hakone Estate and Gardens (Hakone Historic District) is open Monday through Friday 10:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday and Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm. The property is closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Admission fees vary based on age and student status; children 4 years old and under are admitted free of charge. Because paths and walkways are covered with either fine gravel or rock, the gardens have limited wheelchair access. For more information, visit the Hakone Estate and Gardens website or call 408-741-4994.

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Haleakala National Park, Island of Maui, Hawaii

Located on Maui, Hawaii's second largest island, Haleakala National Park preserves the outstanding volcanic landscape of the upper slopes of Haleakala ("house of the sun") and protects the unique and fragile ecosystems of Kipahulu Valley, the scenic pools along Oheo Gulch, the coastal areas with their hundreds of years of habitation, and many rare and endangered plants and animals. From the stark landscape of the crater of Haleakala to the lush coast of Kipahulu, Haleakala National Park preserves and interprets a land of diverse environments and cultural uses.

To Native Hawaiians, Haleakala – at 10,023 feet high – is one of Maui's most sacred places, historically visited for only short periods of time. Along the coast at the bottom of Kipahulu Valley, however, archeological sites tell of a more "everyday" place, where Native Hawaiians grew taro and fished, built houses and canoes, and traveled to neighboring Hawaii Island to visit relatives and trade basalt stone tools.

The coastal Kipahulu area of the park likely supported a large population prior to European contact. Life on the coast was based on farming and fishing, and settlements were located in areas best suited for these activities. The Kipahulu area offered fertile soil and abundant water, as well as coastal access – all within a relatively small area. Based on descriptions by early explorers and visitors, as well as archeological evidence, Kipahulu was a well-populated and intensively cultivated land. Here, archeologists have discovered the stuff of everyday life— house foundations, taro fields, animal pens and family shrines. Intermingled with these ruins are often similar-looking stone structures built during the time of European contact and early settlement of the Hawaiian Islands (1778 to 1850), a time of significant change to traditional Hawaiian culture.

As you walk along the trails near the Kipahulu Visitor Center, imagine shifting from life in traditional Hawaiian society to life after European contact. Imagine sugarcane fields replacing irrigated taro ponds, and canoes being made more and more frequently with metal tools and less with those of stone. Traditional Hawaiian agricultural practices can also be seen at the Kapahu Living Farm, which is managed by the Kipahulu 'Ohana, a non-profit organization that demonstrates Native Hawaiian culture though hands-on activities.

Probably not long after the first settlers came to Maui, Native Hawaiians, needing certain material resources, made trips to the summit and crater of Haleakala. Archeological sites in the park confirm that Native Hawaiians made such trips to hunt birds for colorful feathers and food and to procure basalt stone for adzes (an axe-like tool) used in canoe making and woodcarving. With no permanent water and harsh, inhospitable weather, the summit and crater were only visited seasonally. The summit region was also considered a wao akua, a place where "the gods dwell," and not to be lived in by ordinary mortals. People visiting the area only stayed for short periods of time before heading back down to the coast.

The summit of Haleakala is the place where the demi-god Maui, who is believed to have created the Hawaiian Islands, snared the sun in order to slow its passage through the sky and allow his mother to dry her kapa (cloth made from pounded bark). The place of such a scene is understandably important, and continues to be treated as a sacred site by Native Hawaiians. Visits to this wao akua required prescribed ritual practices to ensure welcome into the area and success for the journey. Park visitors are encouraged to enjoy this splendid place with an understanding of its deep cultural meaning and with respect to its sacredness to the Native Hawaiian community, who continue to conduct traditional practices within the park.

Between the heights of the Haleakala summit and crater and the lower elevations of the Kipahulu Valley and coastal region lies the park's Wilderness Area, encompassing 24,719 acres and numerous microclimates. Multiple hiking trails in this back country area take visitors from brown and red cinder cones, towering hundreds of feet tall in dry, cold desert air to cloud forests dripping with red and green native ferns. Nene (Hawaiian goose) and small, brightly colored Hawaiian Honeycreeper birds can be seen in the lower, wetter parts of the Wilderness area during the day. Seabirds can be heard (in season) at night and stars saturate the sky. Visitors can experience the diverse ecosystems of Maui through day hikes in the Wilderness Area or by camping overnight at one of the Area's campgrounds or historic cabins.

Haleakala National Park is filled with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture and protects the bond between the land and its people. The park also cares for endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else and provides visitors a glimpse into the ancient Hawaiian past, from the sacred to the everyday.

Plan your visit

Haleakala National Park, a unit of the National Park Service, is located on the Island of Maui in HI. The park has three Visitor Centers: Park Headquarters at 7,000 feet, the Haleakala Visitor Center at 9,740 feet (both are on the road to the crater and summit), and Kipahulu Visitor Center, located on the coast 12 miles past the town of Hana on the Hana Highway. Haleakala National Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except during severe weather closures. All visitors are required to purchase a recreational use pass upon entering the park. The pass is valid for 3 days including the date of purchase. The park offers guided and unguided hikes, star watching, camping, ranger-led tours, nature talks, cultural demonstrations, bird watching, and overlooks along the Haleakala Highway. For more information, visit the Haleakala National Park website or call 808-572-4400. For information about the Kapahu Living Farm visit the Kipahulu 'Ohana website.

The Haleakala Highway (Haleakala Park Road) was designed and built by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Public Roads between 1933 and 1935 and has been documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Engineering Record.

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Harada House, Riverside, California

The Harada House on Lemon Street in Riverside, California was the focus of a landmark court case brought by the State of California against Jukichi Harada, a Japanese immigrant living in Riverside. The case tested the constitutionality of laws preventing immigrants, primarily from Japan, from owning property in California.

Around 1900, Jukichi Harada emigrated from Japan to the U.S. and in 1903, was joined by his wife, Ken, and their son, Masa Atsu. The family settled in Riverside, California, eventually having several more children and leasing and operating a rooming house and a restaurant. After his five year old son Tadao died of diphtheria while they were living in the rooming house, Harada began to look for a single-family home in a nice neighborhood near the children's school and the family's church. In 1915, he bought a house on Lemon Street five blocks from the family restaurant. The purchase of the house paved the way for the landmark court case The People of State of California vs. Jukichi Harada, Mine Harada, Sumi Harada, and Yoshizo Harada.

At the time that Harada bought the house, California's Webb-Haney Act (also known as the Alien Land Law of 1913) barred "aliens ineligible for [U.S.] citizenship" from owning property in the state. The Webb-Haney Act drew, in part, on the Naturalization Act of 1870, which had expanded naturalization (the ability to become a citizen) to people of African descent or those originally from Africa, but not to other non-white immigrants. These other immigrants, primarily from Asia, were considered ineligible for U.S. citizenship and could not become U.S. citizens. This meant that Jukichi Harada, a Japanese immigrant, could not legally own the house on Lemon Street.

Knowing that he was barred from owning property, Harada placed ownership of the house in the names of his three American-born children – Mine, Sumi, and Yoshizo – who were all U.S. citizens. He had bought a small piece of land in Mine's name a few months before and there had been no issues with the ownership, so Harada probably felt safe placing the house in his three children's names. In addition, he wanted to ensure that the children would always have a home.

After the purchase, several of Harada's neighbors in the predominantly white community formed a committee to persuade him to sell the house. Harada refused, saying that it was owned by his American-born children and that he had no legal interest in the property. The committee then approached the California Attorney General's office and asked that Harada be charged with violating the Webb-Haney Act. Although the house had been purchased in the names of Harada's three American-born children, the committee argued that the real purchaser was Jukichi Harada, who had provided the money to buy the property.

The State's first complaint was filed in Riverside Superior Court in October 1916, and the first hearings in the case were held in December 1916. The case attracted local, national, and international attention. This was due in part to the relationship between the U.S. and Japan, an emerging international power. In 1907, the two countries had entered in to a formal "Gentleman's Agreement" which said that Japan would not issue any passports to Japanese laborers trying to enter the U.S., and the U.S. would not restrict other Japanese immigration. The Agreement was a result of rising anti-Japanese laws and sentiments in California and was meant to reduce tensions between the two countries. The immigration provisions in the Agreement were formalized in a 1911 treaty between the U.S. and Japan. Because of the treaty and the fact that the U.S. had entered World War I in 1917, with Japan as one of its allies, the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. followed the trial closely, feeling that it should not be ignored by the Japanese government.

The trial lasted for two years, with numerous hearings, continuances, and postponements. On September 14, 1918, Judge Hugh Craig of the Riverside Superior Court ruled in favor of the Harada children. Judge Craig upheld the Alien Land Law of 1913, reiterating that aliens ineligible for citizenship could not own land, but ruled that American-born children of aliens were entitled to all the constitutional guarantees of citizenship under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, including land ownership. This meant that the Harada children were the legal owners of the house on Lemon Street. In his opinion Judge Craig stated that "They [Mine, Sumi, and Yoshizo] are American citizens, of somewhat humble station, it may be, but still entitled to equal protection of the laws of our land...The political rights of American citizens are the same, no matter what their heritage."

After the conclusion of the court case, the Harada family continued to own and live in the house until May 23, 1942 when, because of their Japanese ancestry, they were evacuated and relocated to three different U.S. government relocation centers - Tule Lake (California), Poston (Arizona), and Central Utah (Topaz) (Utah). The family had six adult children at the time – Masa Atsu, Sumi, Yoshizo, Mine, Harold, Clark, and adopted son Roy Hashimura. While the family members were interned in the relocation centers Jess Stebler, a family friend, lived in the Lemon Street house, cared for the property, and managed all of the Harada's business affairs. In 1943, Harold, Sumi, and Roy successfully petitioned for a transfer to join their parents at the Central Utah Relocation Center. Ken Harada passed away in 1943, a few days after her three children were transferred, and Jukichi Harada passed away in 1944. Also during the war, Harold and Yoshizo served in the U.S. Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of the most decorated units of World War II.

After the war only Sumi, the youngest daughter, returned to the house in Riverside. She opened it to displaced Japanese American families and provided a place for the internees to rebuild their lives. Sumi continued to live in the house until 1998, when she moved to a nursing home. She owned the house until her death in 2000, at the age of 90. After Sumi's death, her brother Harold inherited the house. Following his death, his heirs transferred the Harada House in 2004, to the City of Riverside under the stewardship of the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.

The house that Jukichi Harada bought in 1915 was a single-story "saltbox" cottage with a front and back yard. Harada remodeled the house in 1916, adding a second story with four bedrooms, a bathroom, an open front porch, a small garden with vegetables and water plants, and a small concrete fishpond. In the 1940s, the dining room was modified, resulting in a lowered ceiling. Today, the Harada House looks much the same as it did when it was remodeled in 1916. Some of the interior features remain in place including the note Harold Harada wrote on a bedroom wall when the family was forced to leave the house for the relocation centers – "Evacuated on May 23, 1942 Sat. 7am." In addition, artifacts from the house and collections of papers and articles have been inventoried and preserved by the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. The Museum is in the process of preserving the house and plans to open it to the public.

Plan your visit

The Harada House, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 3356 Lemon St. Riverside, CA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The building that housed Jukichi Harada's restaurant is located at 3643 University Ave., Riverside, CA. The Harada House is managed by the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, but is currently closed to the public while the museum works to preserve the site. The museum also holds the Harada Family Archival Collection which is open to the public by appointment. The Riverside Metropolitan Museum is located at 3580 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA and is open Tuesday through Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm, Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm. The museum is closed on Monday. For more information on the Harada House, visit the Riverside Metropolitan Museum website or call 951-826-5273.

The Harada House is featured in the National Park Service publication Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California.

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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawai'i

Located on the Island of Hawai'i, in one of the most unique and naturally diverse places on earth, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park preserves and interprets the region's exceptional volcanic features, its early human history, and its native plants and animals. The park is so significant that it has also earned designations as an International Biosphere Reserve (1980) and a World Heritage Site (1987). By protecting Kilauea and Mauna Loa, two of the world's most active volcanoes, and their natural setting, the park provides visitors with a front row seat to view the new land that volcanic eruptions create and to see ancient Hawaiian structures, culture, life, and landscapes.

Unlike the explosive eruptions of continental volcanoes, the more fluid and less gaseous eruptions of Mauna Loa and Kilauea produce fiery fountains and rivers of molten lava. As layer upon layer of lava erupted, flowed, and cooled over millions of years, the Island of Hawai'i was formed, laying the foundation for life. Seeds and other organisms found their way across the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the island via air currents, through the water, and on the wings of birds. During 70 million years of isolation, plants and animals survived, adapted, and evolved new forms better suited to life on Hawaii.

Over 1,600 years ago, Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands migrated 2,400 miles to Hawaii in double-hulled canoes using the sun and stars as navigational guides. They brought various items including pua'a (pigs), moa (chickens), roots of kalo (taro), uala (sweet potatoes), and ko (sugar cane). About 800 years ago, Polynesians from the Society Islands arrived in Hawaii. These Polynesians claimed descent from the highest gods and became the new rulers of Hawaii. For a time, the Polynesians traveled back and forth between the Society Islands and Hawaii until contact with southern Polynesia ceased. Just as the millions of years of isolation allowed development of unique flora and fauna on the island, the next 400 years of isolation for the Polynesians resulted in a unique Hawaiian culture.

During this period, a highly stratified society developed that used a kapu (restrictive religious, political, and social laws) system to maintain law and order throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Under the kapu system, the ali'i (chiefs) imposed religious and practical beliefs on all of the population. The ali'i ruled the land, while the kahunas (priests) directed religious and spiritual guidance and the maka'ainana (commoners) farmed, fished, built structures and fishponds, and paid taxes. Throughout their island villages, Native Hawaiians fished; collected shellfish, seaweed, and salt; raised pigs, dogs, and chicken; and harvested sweet potatoes and taro. The people worshipped akua (gods) and `aumakua (guardian spirits), and passed their cultural traditions on to future generations through oli (chant), mele (song), and hula (dance).

The many archeological sites and historic districts within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park pay tribute and attest to the unique Hawaiian culture that developed during this time. Sites include petroglyphs, historic trails, fossilized footprints, historic buildings, shelter caves, scattered remains of heiau (places of worship), house platforms, and stone walls of canoe sheds, pens, and corrals. Many of these sites are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Pu'u Loa Petroglyph Field, which is located in the Puna-Ka'u Historic District near the ocean on the Pu'u Loa (Puna Coast) trail, is the largest concentration of rock carvings in the Park. The area contains over 23,000 petroglyphs and a boardwalk provides visitors an easily accessible way to view the engravings. Many of the petroglyph carvings are ancient with forms that include dots with rings, human figures, sails, and circles with attached lines.

The 'Ainahou Ranch House and Gardens, located within the Park, is a rich and varied cultural landscape. Owned by the Shipman family, descendants of American missionaries, Welsh businessmen, and Hawaiian ali'i (chiefs), the cattle ranch encompassed 6,324 acres of land on the south slope of Kilauea. The Shipmans purchased the land in 1937 and named the property 'Ainahou (new land) Ranch. In 1940, Herbert C. Shipman, manager of W. H. Shipman, Ltd., built the Craftsman-style 'Ainahou Ranch House, its outbuildings, and gardens on 13 acres of the ranch property. The house was planned as a remote mountain retreat for Shipman's family in the event of a Japanese military invasion of Hawaii. Shipman raised orchids at the Ranch House compound, some of the first commercially-grown on the island, and extensively landscaped the grounds around the house with flowering beds, ornamentals, a citrus orchard, a cork oak grove, and several types of pine trees. During World War II, 'Ainahou Ranch supplied beef to the U.S. military and after the war the ranch continued to supply beef to multiple retailers in Hilo. After a tsunami (tidal wave) in 1946 killed more than half of Shipman's nene (Hawaiian goose) flock at his coastal property near Hilo, he established a nene breeding program and conservation area at the ranch. Shipman's breeding and conservation efforts have been credited with saving the nene from extinction.

In 1971, the Shipman family reached an agreement with the National Park Service to purchase the land and house as part of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Today, the Ainahou Ranch House and Gardens are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and are considered an architectural and horticultural showcase as well as an important part of nene breeding and conservation in Hawaii.

Other sites in the park are evidence of the thriving ohana (family) communities and Hawaiian culture that developed on this lava landscape. Visitors will find remnants of house platforms, caves, livestock enclosures, temporary shelter sites, and the intricate trail systems that Native Hawaiians used to navigate this unique, sometimes unforgiving landscape. The trail system, including trails like Pu'u Loa (Puna Coast Trail), part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, and the Keauhou Trail, a backcountry hike, connected the families living and fishing along the coast with farmers who resided and worked further inland. The trails also provided people with access to materials such as volcanic glass and basalt and with paths for specific spiritual pursuits. The Ainopio Trail (Menzies Trail), part of the Na Ala Hele (State of Hawaii Trail and Access Program), is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was the first well known trail to go up to the summit of Mauna Loa. Native Hawaiians originally used this trail to bring offerings to Pele, the Hawaiian fire goddess. Visitors can still use portions of the trail to hike to the summit of the 13,677 foot Mauna Loa volcano.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is sure to leave visitors in awe and provide them with a unique experience unlike any other place on earth. For those exploring the park, it is easy to imagine the Native Hawaiians living there – building villages and temples and making offerings to Pele - traversing a landscape that is continually scarred, transformed, and reborn by lava.

Plan your visit

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, a unit of the National Park System, is located off of Highway 11 on the Island of Hawai'i. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places files: Puna-Ka'u Historic District: text and photos; 1790 Footprints: text and photos. The park is open 24 hours a day year-round. The Kilauea Visitor Center is located on Crater Rim Drive off of Highway 11 between the 28 and 29 mile marker south of Hilo and is open daily from 7:45am to 5:00pm. The Jaggar Museum is open daily from 8:30am to 8:00pm. The Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs may be accessed from the Pu'u Loa parking area at mile marker 16 on Chain of Craters Road. The 'Ainahou Ranch House and Gardens are located four and a half miles down the Chain of Craters Road and are accessed from a right turn onto a service road. The service road is closed to traffic but the Ranch House and Gardens may be reached via a hike along a trail from the road. For more information about the park, visit the National Park Service Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park website or call 808-985-6000.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is featured in the National Park Service Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary. Many components of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey and Historic American Engineering Record, including: Chain of Craters Road, Crater Rim Drive, Hawaii Volcano National Park Roads, Hilina Pali Road, Mauna Loa Road, and Namakani Paio Campground.

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Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Park County, Wyoming

Heart Mountain Relocation Center, located in Park County, Wyoming between Powell and Cody, was one of 10 relocation camps built to house people of Japanese descent forcibly relocated from the West Coast of the United States during World War II. Also known as the Heart Mountain World War II Japanese American Confinement Site, the Heart Mountain Relocation Center is one of the few relocation centers with buildings still standing today as well as a number of other remains. The camp was also the site of the largest single draft resistance movement in American history, which was a reflection of the resistance of the people confined there who had lost their civil liberties during the war because of the fear and prejudice against them.  At the same time, a number of those confined served in the military from Heart Mountain and received many awards and honors for their service, including the two who received the Medal of Honor.

After Japan's devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, led to the United States' entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from these areas of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry, out of fear that they might support Japan in the war. In March 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority, the federal agency responsible for the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese Americans and the construction and administration of internment camps throughout the United States. The U.S. military supported Executive Order 9066 by assembling and transporting the evacuees. Through Executive Order 9066 came Proclamation No.1, initially a policy of voluntary participation to relocate that soon became mandatory forcing some 120,000 Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry to move to 10 inland war relocation centers across the nation.

Evacuees came to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center by train from California, Washington, and Oregon. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers directed the construction of the 650 buildings and structures at the center. Construction began on June 15, 1942, and the first evacuees arrived on August 11, 1942. Heart Mountain was located on two terraces of the Shoshone River on a flat, treeless landscape covered in buffalo grass and sagebrush. The dry desert environment received only a small amount of precipitation annually, was hot in the summer, and cold and windy in the winter. The relocation center was named after the Heart Mountain Butte, standing 8 miles to the west. The fourth largest relocation center in the U.S., Heart Mountain contained 46,000 acres most of which was used for farming. Approximately 740 acres of the site was set aside to house up to 10,767 evacuees. At its population peak, the camp was the third largest city in Wyoming. Nine guard towers surrounded the residential portion of the camp as well as a barbed wire fence perimeter.

Heart Mountain Relocation Center was a self-contained facility with residential and administrative buildings. A 30-block grid subdivided the residential section of the center. Twenty of the blocks contained residential buildings and the other 10 consisted of open space, vegetable gardens, and a cemetery. Each block held 450 barracks measuring 120 feet long by 20 feet wide and arranged in 24 block clusters. The hastily constructed barracks had wood frames and black tar paper exteriors. Apartments ranging from 16 feet by 20 feet up to 24 feet by 20 feet divided each barrack. The larger apartments were designed to accommodate families of up to six. Each section also had a mess hall, recreation facility, and two toilet/laundry facilities – one for each gender.

Barracks assignments were based on family size and apartments contained an army cot with two blankets and pillow each member of a family, one light, and a wood-burning stove. The internees quickly began began making improvements to their apartments - hanging bed sheets to create extra "rooms," and stuffing newspaper and rags into cracks in the poorly-constructed walls and floors to keep out the dust and cold. Some inmates ordered tools from Sears and Roebuck catalogs in order to make repairs to their barracks.

Heart Mountain was run like a small town with Caucasian administrators and Nisei (American-born second generation) and Issei (first generation) block managers and councilmen elected by the internees. The center had a hospital, schools, a garment factory, cabinet shop, sawmill, and silk screen shop staffed primarily by internees who earned a small salary of $12–$19 a month for their work. In addition, internees also worked on the unfinished Heart Mountain Canal for the Bureau of Reclamation, or did agricultural work outside the camp.

After President Roosevelt reinstated the draft for Japanese Americans on January 20, 1944, male residents of Heart Mountain were drafted into military service. Many internees protested this as unfair and unconstitutional because of their confinement during the war. A draft resistance movement began at Heart Mountain with the formation of the Fair Play Committee, a membership organization of draft-age Nisei men who advocated for a restoration of their civil rights as a precondition for compliance with the military draft. The draft resistance movement at Heart Mountain resulted in 85 convictions and imprisonments. Some of the resistance leaders and older men involved in the movement received sentences of three to four years in the maximum-security penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Ironically, the remaining resisters served three-year sentences in the penitentiary at McNeil Island, Washington in the military zone from which many were originally evacuated. Despite the draft resistance movement, 385 residents of Heart Mountain served in the military, many becoming members of the famed all-Japanese 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of the most decorated units in the U.S. military. Eleven of the soldiers from Heart Mountain were killed, 52 were wounded in combat, and two received the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor.

Today, the Heart Mountain Relocation Center and the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center are open to the public. The Heart Mountain Interpretative Center offers photographs, artifacts, oral histories, and interactive exhibits that help visitors understand what confinement was like for the internees and what led to their confinement. The defining feature of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center is the multi-building hospital complex constructed for the relocation center's inmates. Four historic buildings remain at the complex: a hospital boiler house and its associated smokestack, a hospital warehouse, a hospital mess hall, and an administrative staff-housing unit. The administrative site, southwest of the hospital complex includes a reconstruction of the Honor Roll memorial that is part of the Heart Mountain Memorial Park and commemorates servicemen from the Heart Mountain Relocation Center. Original road patterns, building foundations, and historic artifacts dating to World War II are also visible.

Plan your visit

Heart Mountain Relocation Center, a National Historic Landmark, is located in the State of Wyoming, 14 miles northeast of Cody, WY and 11 miles southwest of Powell, WY. The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center is at 1539 Road 19, Powell, WY, partway between the communities of Powell and Cody at the intersection of Highway 14a and Road 19. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. The Interpretive Center is open daily 10:00am to 5pm from May 15 to October 1 and Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm from October 2 to May 14. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for children under 12. For more information, visit the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center website or call 307-754-8000.

Heart Mountain Relocation Center is featured in the National Historic Landmark Theme Study Japanese Americans in World War II.

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Hokukano-Ualapue Complex, Island of Molokai, Hawaii

Hokukano-Ualapue Complex, located in the District of Kona on the Island of Molokai, is one of the most important archeological and architectural areas in the Hawaiian Islands. The complex consists of seven heiau (places of worship) – Kukui, Pu'u 'Olelo, Kaluakapi'ioho, Kahokukano, Pakui, Kalauonakukui, and Iliiliopae, and two fishponds; Keawanui and Ualapue. The heiau and fishponds at Hokukano-Ualapue offer spectacular views of the southeast coast of Molokai as well as the neighboring islands of Maui, Lanai, and Kaho'olawe. The District of Kona contains more heiau and fishponds than any other comparable area in the Hawaiian Islands, and the engineering advancements, religious and political power structures, and economic control that developed on Molokai are well represented at this site.

Early Hawaiian shrines were simple and constructed by families and small communities. With expansion, population growth, and changes in religion, social organizations became more complex and large heiau were constructed for public ceremonies. In general, the ali'i (chiefs) worshiped four major gods in these ceremonies: Lono (peace, agriculture, fertility), Kane (the creator and ancestral deities), Kanaloa (the ocean, healing and general well-being), and Ku (war). Commoners worshipped individual family gods at private family shrines and worshipped the four major gods under the direction of high priests.

Ancient Hawaiians had many types of heiau, each with their own distinct function and use by particular segments of society. Heiau ranged in size from single upright stones to massive and complex structures. Larger heiau were built by ali'i, but the largest and most complex, the luakini heiau (sacrificial temple), could only be constructed and dedicated by an ali'i 'ai moku (paramount chief of an independent chiefdom or island). Luakini heiau were reserved for rituals involving human or animal sacrifice and were generally dedicated to Ku. Rituals performed at aluakini heiau highlighted the ali'i 'ai moku's spiritual, economic, political, and social control over his lands and his authority over the life and death of his people.

Kukui Heiau (20,400 square feet) and Kalauonakukui Heiau (9,600 to 10,625 square feet) are thought to have been agricultural heiau possibly dedicated to Lono. Pu'u 'Olelo Heiau is approximately 10,730 square feet in size, has an enclosed courtyard, and was most likely a luakini. Kaluakapi'ioho Heiau, at approximately 4,464 square feet, is believed to have been associated with Kumuko'a, an important chief of the district where the heiau is located. Kahokukano Heiau (16,800 square feet), thought to be a fish heiau, is associated with Kaohele, a famous warrior and athlete, and Kumuko'a, a Molokai chief. Pakui Heiau (15,725 square feet) appears to have been a luakini. In addition, Pakui Heiau is thought to have been a pu'uhonua (place of refuge) used by people seeking asylum in times of war or fleeing punishment for violating kapu (religious, political, and social laws). Iliiliopae Heiau is possibly the oldest religious site on Molokai and is the second largest heiau in the Hawaiian Islands. Built sometime in the 1300s, this large structure was a fortress school for kahuna (priests, sorcerers, magicians, ministers, and master craftsmen). Over time, Iliiliopae Heiau served various functions based on changing religious practices and political regimes and at various times was aluakini heiau dedicated to Ku and a heiau dedicated to Lono. It probably remained in use until the early 1800s.

The earliest date for the construction of fishponds in Hawaii is estimated to be sometime around 1200 AD. Hawaiians were the only ancient Polynesian people to move beyond the simple catching of fish in traps to more intensive fish production and cultivation. Fishponds were the property of ali'i and were symbols of the chiefly right to conspicuous consumption and ownership of coastal marine resources. Fishponds generally consisted of two major types: shore and inland. Both Keawanui and Ualapue are examples of shore ponds, built at natural curvatures of the ocean's shoreline. They each contain a seawall that, with the shoreline, creates a pond enclosure. Hawaiian fishponds were primarily feeding areas in which algae was cultivated. Fish, predominantly mullet, would enter a pond through a mäkähä (sluice gate), feed on algae, and eventually grow too large to swim back through the small gaps of the mäkähä. The large fish would gather near the gate allowing the Hawaiians to easily catch and harvest them by hand or with nets. Fishponds generally had a hale kia'i or guard house, used as a shelter by the kia'i loko (pond keeper) while on poaching patrol. Fishing shrines and net houses were also located near the ponds. Prior to 1830, there were over 440 fishponds in the Hawaiian Islands, most located on Molokai, Kauai, and Oahu.

Keawanui fishpond is the largest and probably the oldest extant fishpond on Molokai, at one time encompassing 73 acres with a seawall averaging 6 to 7 feet in width. Constructed around 1575, by ali'i 'ai moku Lohelohe, it remained in operation until the early 1960s. In recent years Keawanui has been restored and is used as a site to teach schoolchildren about native Hawaiian culture and fishpond technology.

Ualapue fishpond originally consisted of 22 acres with a seawall 8-19 feet wide constructed of coral and basalt. The date the pond was built is unknown, but it was in continuous use until the tsunami (tidal wave) of 1960 damaged the wall and destroyed the two mäkähä. Historically, Ualapue was noted for the fatness of its mullets and was considered one of the best fishponds on Molokai.

Plan your visit

Hokukano-Ualapue Complex, a National Historic Landmark, is located off of Hawaii Route 450 (Kamehameha V Highway) in Ualapue on Molokai, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos.

Of the seven heiau and two fishponds that make up the Hokukano-Ualapue Complex, Kukui Heiau, Iliiliopae Heiau, Keawanui fishpond, and Ualapue fishpond are the most easily accessible. In some cases, however, visitors must cross private property and will need landowner permission to visit a site. Ualapue fishpond, owned by the State of Hawaii, is just west of the town of Ualapue and just south of Hawaii Route 450. Keawanui fishpond is one and one-half miles west of Ualapue and also just south of the highway. Kukui Heiau is midway between the two fishponds and north of the highway. Iliiliopae Heiau is located two miles east of Ualapue Fishpond, and one-half mile north of the highway around Mile Marker #16. It is about a 10-minute hike to the site from the road. Iliiliopae Heiau is located on private property, for permission to visit the site call 808-558-8132.

The five upland heiau, Pu'u 'Olelo, Kaluakapi'ioho, Kalauonakukui, Kahokukano, and Pakui, are difficult to locate and reach due to steep terrain and dense vegetation. For more information about the Hokukano-Ualapue Complex, visit the Destination Molokai Visitors Bureau or call 800-553-5221.

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Huilua Fishpond, Island of Oahu, Hawaii

Huilua Fishpond, in Kahana Bay on the Island of Oahu, illustrates the unique aquafarming practices of the Hawaiian people. Out of the estimated 97 fishponds once on the coast of Oahu, Huilua is one of only six that still exists. The Huilua Fishpond had a 500-foot rock seawall attached to the shoreline that encircled 7 acres of Kahana Bay near the mouth of Kahana Stream. The wall was 3 to 4 feet wide and stood 4 feet above high tide, with two gates that allowed smaller fish in and out of the pond, but kept bigger fish from escaping. Hawaiians were the only ancient Polynesian people to progress from tide-dependent fish trapping to controlled artificial fishponds, making their aquafarming the most advanced among the original peoples of the Pacific.

While the exact date of the Huilua Fishpond's construction is unknown, Hawaiians typically built many of their ponds between the years 1200 and 1600. Early Hawaiians carried rocks from nearby streambeds and valleys to line the shoreline in order to control water levels and prevent sand and sediment from entering the fishpond. Huilua Fishpond's rock seawall encircled seven acres of Kahana Bay's ocean saltwater. At two points along the seawall, mäkähäs (sluice gates) were installed to control the flow of water. The gates connected the saltwater fishpond with the nearby freshwater Kahana Stream to allow the waters to mix and create a brackish environment suitable for raising fingerlings and mullets, two species of fish that migrate between fresh and salt water.

The mäkähä consisted of lashed poles with gaps in-between that allowed water and small mullets from the stream to enter the fishpond. Fingerlings were raised in smaller pua ponds before being released into the larger fishpond. The larger pond was primarily a feeding area in which algae was cultivated. Once the fish entered the pond, they would feed and grow too large to swim back through the small gaps of the mäkähä. The large fish would gather near the mäkähä, allowing the Hawaiians to easily catch and harvest them by hand or with nets.

A photograph of Huilua Fishpond taken in 1910 shows two separate structures near the fishpond, both of which are no longer standing. More than likely, these structures served as a shelter for the kia'i loko, or pond keeper. The kia'i loko, who lived nearby, oversaw the cleaning and repair of the fishpond as well as the stocking and harvesting of the fish. Residents in the surrounding Kahana area assisted the kia'i loko with the care of the pond in return for harvested fish.

A great deal of religious significance was attached to Huilua and other fishponds, which played an important role in Hawaiian culture. The people built stone shrines known as ko'a near the ponds, performed various rituals, and placed offerings in order to attract fish and to ensure their procreation. They also believed that mo'o, large, lizard-like water spirits, inhabited and protected the fishponds. The mo'o of Huilua Fishpond lived in the northwest corner and protected the pond from ritual and environmental pollution. Ritual pollution consisted of any violation of kapu (religious, political, and social laws). For example, if a poacher stole a fish from the waters of the fishpond, the Hawaiians believed that the mo'o would ward off any evil resulting from the sacrilegious act. Legend said that whenever dried leaves floated on the top of the fishpond, the mo'o was present.

While the location of Huilua Fishpond in Kahana Bay helped protect it from large waves and harsh currents, it could not withstand the severe flooding and damage caused by recurring tsunamis (tidal waves). Several powerful tsunamis in the 20th century damaged the Huilua Fishpond walls, filling the pond with large amounts of sand and silt. The worst tsunami hit the island in 1946, breaking the fishpond's stone seawall and filling it with sand and debris. Fortunately the Huilua Fishpond hosted a kia'i loko who oversaw repairs and maintenance of the site and supervised workers as they made rebuilt portions of the seawall. Mortar was added to keep the seawall from deteriorating and several features such as metal grates, cement linings to the sluices, and an additional mäkähä gate were included to stabilize the fishpond. Following these extensive repairs, the fishpond suffered permanent damage from another tsunami in 1960 and fell out of use. Lack of upkeep and repairs quickly led to a decline in the fishpond's water quality and structural integrity. Sand began to fill the pond and mangrove trees, hau bushes, and bulrushes began to grow in the brackish waters.

The Hawaii Division of State Parks began restoration of the fishpond and the seawall in 1993 using archeological surveys and mapping. Today, the Friends of Kahana, an organization of Kahana residents, maintains the Huilua Fishpond and has taken the lead on the fishpond restoration project.

The Huilua Fishpond serves as an ongoing tribute to the technological innovation of the early Hawaiians, who were the first people to develop true aquafarming in the Pacific. Fishponds helped the Hawaiians establish a sustainable food source, which in turn helped them prosper and thrive in their environment.

Plan your visit

Huilua Fishpond, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Ahupua'a 'O Kahana State Park on the island of Oahu. The fishpond is on on the east side of Kahana Bay next to Kahana Bay Beach Park, on the Kamehameha Highway (Highway 83) just outside of the town of Ka'a'awa, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. Ahupua'a 'O Kahana State Park is open to the public daily during daylight hours and has a visitor center, restrooms, picnic tables, outdoor showers, and drinking water available on site. There is no entrance fee to the park. For more information and brochures, visit the Ahupua'a 'O Kahana State Park website or call 808-237-7767.

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'Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii

'Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu on the Island of Oahu is the only royal palace in the United States and is an enduring symbol of Hawaiian independence. It was the official residence and capitol of the last ruling monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawai'i - King Kalakaua and his sister Queen Lili'uokalani. After the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893, the building was used as the capitol for the various Hawaiian governments.

The current 'Iolani Palace was actually the second royal residence on the site. The first, a plantation-style coral block and wood house also called 'Iolani Palace, was selected by King Kamehameha III as his palace when he moved the royal residence from Lahaina, on Maui, to Honolulu in 1845. The building was used mainly for government offices, since smaller buildings on the grounds served as residences for Hawaii's kings. When Kalakaua came to the throne in 1874, the coral block building was in disrepair, so he had it torn down and commissioned a palace modeled after the grand palaces he had seen while on a trip to Europe.

Begun in 1879, 'Iolani Palace was designed in a unique style referred to as "American Florentine." This style is characterized by features found in Italian Renaissance architecture, but with the addition of elements characteristic of Hawaiian architecture. 'Iolani Palace is the only building in the world constructed in the American Florentine style. Three different architects – Thomas J. Baker, Charles J. Wall, and Isaac Moore – worked on the palace with Baker's designs being the ones that were primarily used for the building. The large palace was built of brick with concrete facing and had four corner towers and two center towers with double lanais (roofed, open-sided verandas) encircling the building on the first and second floors. Considered one of the finest palaces in the world at the time, 'Iolani Palace had indoor plumbing, electric lighting, and an early telephone, as well as elaborate decorations and furnishings. The palace was both the monarch's official residence and the capitol, where the official business of the kingdom took place and dignitaries were received and entertained. The first floor contained public reception areas such as the State Dining Room, Blue Room, and the Throne Room while the second floor was made up of private suites and rooms used by the monarchs.

King Kalakaua and Queen Kapi‘olani moved into their new palace in 1882 and it served as the official residence of the Hawaiian monarch until the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. King Kalakaua passed away in 1891, and his sister and heir Lili'uokalani became the sovereign ruler of the Hawaiian Kingdom. As Queen, Lili'uokalani proposed a new Constitution that would return more authority to the monarchy and replace a Constitution passed in 1887, which had given considerable power to the Euro-American dominated legislature. This proposal followed on the heels of passage by the U.S. Congress of the Tariff Act of 1890, which ended the favored status of sugar imported from Hawaii, raised import rates on foreign sugar, and crippled the Hawaiian sugar industry. Facing economic hardship and potential loss of power, American missionaries, business entrepreneurs, and European and American politicians began to seriously consider the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and annexation of the islands by the U.S. If the Hawaiian Islands became a U.S. territory, Hawaiian sugar producers would be provided with the same economic and monetary benefits as those enjoyed by U.S. domestic producers. In 1893, a group of European and American citizens and native-born subjects of the Kingdom of Hawai'i staged a coup d'état to overthrow the monarchy. Backed by the U.S. government and with the aid of the U.S. military they were successful and the Queen was forced to yield her authority.

In 1895, Queen Lili'uokalani, who had been made to give up her throne and was living at her personal residence, Washington Place, was arrested and tried for purportedly aiding in the short-lived attempt to restore the monarchy, which was known as the "1895 Counter-Revolution in Hawaii." At her trial, which took place in the Throne Room at 'Iolani Palace, she denied having any knowledge of the Counter-Revolution, but nonetheless was found guilty, fined $5,000 dollars, and sentenced to five years hard labor. The sentence was commuted and she was placed under house arrest at 'Iolani Palace. She was made to live in one bedroom on the second floor and was allowed one lady-in-waiting during the day, but no visitors. After a year she was allowed to return to Washington Place.

After the overthrow of the monarchy, 'Iolani Palace became the Executive Building for the new provisional government which inventoried the buildings contents, returned private property, and auctioned off whatever furniture deemed unsuitable for government use. 'Iolani Palace was the government headquarters for the Provisional Government (1893-1894), Republic of Hawaii (1894-1898), Territory of Hawaii (1898-1959), and the State of Hawaii. During World War II, it served as the temporary headquarters for the military governor of the islands.

In the 1960s after years of neglect, the Palace had fallen into disrepair. In 1969, the State government moved to a newly constructed capitol building adjacent to the Palace grounds and, after 87 years of continuous use, 'Iolani Palace ceased to be the capitol of the Hawaiian Islands. The Friends of 'Iolani Palace oversaw an extensive restoration of the building in the 1970's, bringing the palace back to its 19th century splendor based on research conducted and funded by the Junior League of Honolulu. When the restoration was complete in 1978, 'Iolani Palace was opened to the public as a museum.

The grounds around the Palace are thought to have been the site of an ancient heiau (place of worship). Today, they contain lovely native plants as well as several structures including The Coronation Pavilion, built for the 1883 coronation of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani; The Royal Tomb built in 1825 and used for forty years to house the remains of Hawaii's monarchs, consorts, and important ali'i (chiefs); The Kanaina (Old Archive) Building, built in 1906 as the first building in the U.S. intended solely for the custody and preservation of public archive materials; and the 'Iolani Barracks, completed in 1871 to house the Royal Guard. The barracks have been used at various times as temporary shelter for refugees of the 1899 Chinatown fire, a service club, a headquarters for the National Guard of Hawaii, a government office building, and a storage facility.

Today, the first and second floors of the palace are fully restored and open to the public. The Grand Hall, State Dining Room, reception rooms, and the Throne Room are on the first floor and the Grand Hall features a large koa wood staircase and portraits of the 10 Hawaiian kings and queens. The royal family used the Throne Room for formal events and diplomatic receptions and it was also the site of Queen Lili'uokalani's trial. On the second floor are the King's and Queen's suites, the Music Room, and the room where Queen Lili'uokalani stayed while under house arrest. Visitors also have access to the basement gallery exhibits, with artifacts such as the Hawaiian crown jewels, historic photographs, and an exhibit about the restoration project as well as the restored Kitchen and Chamberlain's Office.

Plan your visit

'Iolani Palace, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 365 S. King St. in Honolulu, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Palace is open daily, Monday to Saturday, from 9:00am to 4:00pm. 'Iolani Palace is closed on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Docent-lead tours and guided audio tours are available at the palace. Japanese language guided tours are offered Monday-Saturday at 11:30am, subject to docent availability. Children under four are not allowed inside the main palace. For more information, visit the 'Iolani Palace website or call 808-522-0822.

'Iolani Palace has been documented by the National's Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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Isleton Chinese and Japanese Commercial Districts, Isleton, California

The Isleton Chinese and Japanese Commercial Districts are located in Isleton, California in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a large agricultural area in Sacramento County. Also known as the Asian American District, this area was the commercial and social center for both the town's Chinese and Japanese residents. Isleton's Asian American District is the only Asian community that was constructed in the Delta during the 1920s, and the architectural style of the buildings, particularly the use of pressed tin siding, is unique to Delta Asian communities and to the town of Isleton.

Before the 1800s, immigration from Asia to the United States was minimal. During the 19th century, however, the U.S. experienced mass migrations of immigrants from several Asian countries, particularly China. Throughout the 1850s and 1860s Chinese were recruited as a major source of labor for the mining and railroad industries in the western U.S. In the early 1870s thousands of Chinese laborers were hired to work on an extensive levee project in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta constructing a large network of earthen levees that eventually turned 500,000 acres of swamp into some of California's most valuable farm land. The reclaimed land was able to support large farms and the expansion of the sugar beet, pear, and asparagus industries created a demand for cheap manual labor. Many of the Chinese workers stayed in the area and made a living as farm workers and sharecroppers, settling in towns in the region such as Walnut Grove, Rio Vista, Locke, and Courtland.

Founded in 1874 by Josiah Pool, Isleton grew as a result of land reclamation and local agricultural development. Isleton's Chinatown began in 1878 on rented land and consisted of a contract labor office and businesses designed to meet the needs of the Chinese workers who came into town on their days off. In 1880 the census recorded 880 Chinese residents in Isleton working as mostly farmers or farm laborers. By the 1890s the Chinese district of the town, located along the Sacramento River, was well-established with 35 residences, four stores, a laundry, restaurants, boarding houses, and other businesses.

In the early 1880s the U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which restricted Chinese immigration to the U.S. The Act barred Chinese "skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining" from entering the U.S. for 10 years and forbade Chinese immigrants from becoming U.S. citizens. Other exclusionary laws aimed at Chinese immigrants were passed by Congress between 1888 and 1902, effectively reducing the number of Chinese entering the U.S.

After the enactment of the exclusionary laws, Japanese immigrants became increasingly sought after by American businesses. Because of this, the number of Japanese immigrating to the U.S., particularly to the West Coast, increased rapidly. Japanese immigrants came to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region partially in response to the need for laborers to replace the dwindling numbers of Chinese workers and partially because of the asparagus boom that began in the Delta after 1895. Along with the workers came merchants who established businesses in the eastern section of Isleton's Chinatown, located on Delta Avenue, to serve the growing numbers of Japanese workers.

Isleton's Chinese and Japanese sections grew rapidly during the first quarter of the 20th century, aided by the construction of several asparagus canneries and the continued agricultural prosperity in the Delta region. In 1910, there were six asparagus canneries in the area, three located in Isleton, with Japanese and Chinese laborers supplying 90 percent of the workforce. In addition, Chinese and Japanese workers planted, maintained, and harvested the majority of the crops grown in the area.

In 1915, a fire burned down the Chinese and Japanese commercial districts, but the area was rebuilt in a new location to the east of Delta Avenue. The new area was broken into two separate sections with the Chinese settling in the area to the west of F Street and the Japanese to the east of F Street. Both sections included residences, restaurants, grocery stores, soft drink parlors, saloons, and other general businesses, and boarding houses and hotels that housed seasonal laborers. In addition, numerous gambling halls, a "Joss" house, and the Bing Kung Tong building were built in the Chinese section. The Japanese section also had several community bath houses, an Association meeting hall, and a movie theater.

On May 31, 1926, a large fire once again destroyed Isleton's two Asian districts. One hundred and ten buildings were destroyed and 1,500 people lost their homes and belongings. The districts were rebuilt with wood-framed buildings with metal siding for fire prevention. Many of the buildings were constructed by local Dutch and German carpenters hired by the Noah Adams Lumber Yard Company. Other buildings were built by Chinese and Japanese carpenters, laborers, and district residents. From the rebuilding of the town in 1926 until the start of World War II in 1942, Isleton enjoyed a period of prosperity directly related to the asparagus and potato crops that dominated Delta agriculture and to the canneries constructed in the region.

The majority of the population in the two districts was seasonal and weekends and winter months saw the most activity when laborers came to town to gamble and socialize. Rooms were available in both districts and the well known Kumamoto-ya Hotel provided a community dining room for renters at the hotel, as well as a pool hall and saloon. The Japanese Association's hall and movie theater were popular among the Japanese workers, while the Isleton branch building for the Bing Kung Tong was a focal point of the Chinese community, providing social and religious support and employment services to the Chinese population.

Another integral part of both of the districts were the four gambling halls that fronted Main Street. The halls provided patrons with hot tea and two meals a day free of charge which became important during the Depression in the 1930s when wages fell below one dollar a day. Isleton's gambling halls were well known throughout the Delta and were frequented well into the 20th century.

Unlike many of the Asian communities in the Delta region, Isleton's two districts were family oriented. Many of the buildings were owned by families, and Asian schools were established to teach Chinese and Japanese languages and customs. Children attended a segregated "Oriental" school during the day and their own language school in the afternoons. There was also a "migratory" school located just west of E Street that was used by children of migrant workers.

Isleton's Chinese population began to decline in the 1930s and 1940s as younger generations moved to larger urban areas, a trend echoed in other Chinatowns throughout the Delta region. Filipino workers began moving into and frequenting the districts. The success of the canneries ensured that the districts maintained stable and growing populations, helping them to continue to thrive throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s.

With the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan in December 1941, the Asian district underwent a dramatic change. After the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 which authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing all of California and most of Oregon, Washington, and Arizona "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from these areas of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry – citizens and non-citizens alike – to relocation centers. The Japanese in Isleton were evacuated and sent to relocation centers throughout the U.S.

During the war, Filipino and Mexican laborers, who were brought in by local farmers and cannery companies, occupied the Japanese district. Although a few Japanese residents returned to Isleton after the war, they soon left for nearby cities. The majority of the buildings in the Japanese section were occupied by other workers, and the original occupants could not recoup their losses. The heyday of Isleton's Chinese and Japanese districts was at an end.

Today, the Isleton Chinese and Japanese Commercial Districts retain the physical feel of the area's 1920s and 1930s boom period, with the majority of the buildings dating from after the 1926 fire. Most of the buildings are one or two story wood-frame with gable roofs, false fronts, and stepped or peaked parapets. Corrugated metal or pressed tin over horizontal boards was used for the siding on the rear and side walls while front facades were covered with various sidings of pressed tin, stucco, or wood. Many of the buildings in the Chinese section also had second story balconies or porches. Almost all of the two story buildings had businesses on the ground floor and residences on the second. The second stories of the larger buildings were used as boarding houses.

The few brick buildings in the district vary in style from Art Deco to a simple Main Street commercial style. They are generally built of red brick with yellow-face brick facades and traditional commercial false fronts with gabled or slanted roofs.

There are also numerous rear and side gardens in the district. Gardens have traditionally been an integral part of Asian communities and common plantings in the two districts' small gardens include fruit trees (primarily figs), pepper trees, citrus trees, grapes, cactus, flowers, and vegetables.

Plan your visit

The Isleton Chinese and Japanese Commercial Districts are located in Isleton, CA, and are roughly bounded by River Rd., H St., Union St., and E St. The districts are separated by F St. with the Chinese Commercial District located between E and F Sts. and the Japanese Commercial District between F and H Sts. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. For more information, visit the Isleton Chamber of Commerce website or the Isleton Brannan-Andrus Historical Society website.

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Kake Cannery, Kake, Alaska

In a region teeming with salmon, the tall trees of southeastern Alaska shelter numerous salmon streams that fill every year with hundreds of fish as they return from the ocean to spawn in their freshwater birthplaces. Before the arrival of commercial fisheries, the Kake Tlingits and other Alaska Natives fished in the area for their own subsistence. Arriving in the 19th century, Russian entrepreneurs set up salteries along the coastline, hoping to package salted salmon for export. In the mid-1860s, fishermen from the United States began delivering Alaskan fish to West Coast markets. Recognizing the vast abundance and great commercial value of Alaskan salmon, U.S. businesses eventually constructed 134 salmon canneries along the region's southeast coast between 1878 and 1949. Kake Cannery, located on Kupreanof Island in Kake Alaska, is considered the best preserved of these Alaskan compounds.

Kake Cannery's historic significance is recognized by its designation as a National Historic Landmark. Constructed between 1912 and 1940, the Kake Cannery played a key role in the development of the Alaskan salmon-canning industry during the first half of the 20th century. It was notable not only for its reputation as the largest cannery in the region, but for its multi-ethnic workforce. Canneries across the region used foreign contract labor and the Kake Cannery attracted a large number of immigrant workers primarily of Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino descent, with a smaller proportion of Korean, Mexican, and African American laborers. The cannery also employed Alaska Natives from the local Tlingit population, whose fishing skills and knowledge of the region made them one of the cannery's primary salmon providers. Until unions became a dominant force in the U.S., these immigrant and Alaska Native workers provided inexpensive labor and performed tasks that Caucasian employees at the canneries would not tolerate.

The division of labor in the cannery was based largely on race rather than ability and the vast majority of Asian employees worked in less-skilled positions, such as sorting fish, manufacturing and packing cans, and sealing, lacquering, labeling, and placing cans into crates for shipment. By contrast, Caucasian workers were typically placed in positions of responsibility such as foremen and mechanics. Through at least the mid-1930s, immigrant cannery labor was usually hired through a contractor system. This system was open to abuse, and numerous accounts exist of contractors taking advantage of non-English speaking, Asian workers – from skimping on food to charging exorbitant prices for low-quality gear to running off with pay at the end of the season.

In Kake Cannery's early years, Chinese workers were the industry's primary source of labor because of their experience fishing salmon off the California coast in the 1850s and their reputation as skilled butchers in the removal of fish heads, tails, and fins. The enactment of various Chinese Exclusion laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries stopped Chinese immigration to the U.S. and cannery contractors began hiring Japanese and Filipino workers to meet labor demands. Anti-immigration laws passed in the early 1920s limited Japanese and other Asian immigration and the cannery industry saw an influx of Filipino workers due to their status as U.S. nationals.

Although no evidence of the exact racial makeup of Kake Cannery's workers exists, the presence of individual Alaska Native, Caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino bunkhouses in the area indicates that the labor force was not only diverse, but also segregated. Located north of the cannery, Native bunkhouses were isolated from the cannery's main buildings by a wooded area and the Lower Gunnuk Creek. Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino bunkhouses were at the opposite end of the cannery, with what workers referred to as the "White Man's Bunkhouse" centrally located next to the cannery's main building and warehouses. This segregation was supposedly meant to reduce ethnic tensions and conflicts between workers, however, it mainly prevented them from organizing and largely contributed to the slow pace at which unionism spread within the cannery.

The contractor system and on-site segregation meant that cannery workers were subjected to abuses for decades. It was not until the mid-1930s that Filipino cannery workers started an organized movement. Believing that Chinese and Japanese contractors did not represent their interests and also locked them out of the labor contracting business, Filipino workers organized the Filipino Laborers Association in 1930. The National Industry Recovery Act, enacted in 1933, further stimulated unionism by guaranteeing workers the right to organize and collectively bargain. That same year saw the establishment of the first cannery workers' union, the Seattle-based Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers Union, which heavily recruited Filipino laborers.

Due to smaller fish populations and rising production costs in the 1930s, a large number of salmon canneries in Alaska began to close and production at the Kake Cannery ended in 1946. In 1949, the cannery was sold to the Organized Village of Kake (OVK), today a federally recognized tribal government, and was reopened. The cannery shut down operations for good in 1977.

At the time of Kake Cannery's designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1997, many of the facility's original structures and machinery remained intact including the Main Cannery Building, three Warehouses, and the segregated bunkhouses and mess halls. Various pieces of original machinery, some still functional, also remained and reflected the technological changes in the U.S. during the first half of the 20th century.

Today, the Kake Cannery is held in trust by the OVK. It was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list in 2013. Two of the historic cannery's main buildings have collapsed – one from a heavy snow load in 2007, the other from high winds in 2011. Together with the Alaska State Historic Preservation Office and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the OVK has launched the Historic Cannery Restoration and Dock Project which will fully restore the cannery and construct a multi-purpose dock to provide moorings for larger boats and ships. 

Plan your visit

Kake Cannery, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the Keku Road approximately three miles southeast of Kake, AK. The village of Kake, on Kupreanof Island, is 93 miles south of Juneau, AK and is accessible by boat or plane. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The village of Kake lies within the limits of the Tongass National Forest and there are multiple fishing spots and Forest Service hiking trails near the village. The Kake Cannery is currently not open for public visitation. For more information, visit the Kake, Alaska website or call 907-785-6471.

The Kake Cannery has been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Engineering Record.

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Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Island of Moloka'i, Hawaii

Hansen’s disease, or leprosy, affects people all over the world. For centuries, the disease had social stigmas attached to it because of the lack of understanding of this affliction that affects the skin, limbs, nerves, and eyes. Due to their remote location in the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian people did not encounter Hansen’s disease until the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when peoples from outside the islands began to visit and settle in Hawaii. By 1860, an epidemic of Hansen’s disease plagued the Kingdom of Hawai'i. To handle the epidemic and in an attempt to contain the disease, the Hawaiian government carried out a plan of forced isolation. Kalaupapa National Historical Park tells the story of the isolated people with Hansen’s disease on the remote Kalaupapa Peninsula of Moloka'i from 1866 until 1969.

Kalaupapa National Historical Park includes the community of Kalaupapa on the leeward side of the peninsula, which is still home to many surviving Hansen’s disease patients. The Hansen’s disease settlement of Kalawao and the churches of Siloama and Saint Philomena on the windward side of the peninsula are also part of the park.

On January 6, 1866, a year and three days after Kamehameha V approved the Act to Prevent the Spread of Leprosy, the Hawaiian Board of Health sent the first 12 leprosy patients to the remote Kalaupapa Peninsula. Very little was known about the ailment and the Board of Health, fearing the extinction of the Hawaiian people, felt that segregation and isolation of afflicted persons were the most effective ways to fight the spread of the disease.

The Board of Health chose Kalaupapa Peninsula because of its geographical isolation. To the south, a 2,000 foot cliff cuts Kalaupapa off from the rest of Moloka'i. The Pacific Ocean surrounds the east, north, and west sides. The land in Kalaupapa supports the growing of food crops such as fruit, taro, and sweet potatoes, so the Board of Health was hopeful that the settlement could sustain itself without the need for supplies of food being sent to the community.

The history of the isolated settlement on Kalaupapa Peninsula falls into three phases: the Pioneer Kalawao Period, the Kalawao Settlement Period, and the Kalaupapa Settlement Period. During the Pioneer Kalawao Period, the Board of Health expected leprosy patients in the newly formed Kalawao Settlement to be self-supporting, which proved to be unattainable. The patients were too ill, too lonely, or too demoralized to support themselves. After learning of these conditions, many of the healthy family members of the patients moved to the settlement to assist in caring for their loved ones. These people became known as kokua, or helpers. While the Board of Health eventually built hospitals and homes and provided food and clothing, the medical facilities could not keep up with the large number of people sent to Kalaupapa each year.

By 1873, the Kalawao settlement had developed into a mature community, reaching its height in 1890. Many of the changes that occurred in the settlement during this period came about because of Father Damien, a Belgian priest. Father Damien helped build 300 of the 325 buildings that made up the Kalawao settlement, including homes and churches such as the St. Philomena Catholic Church. He constructed water lines, roads, and coffins, dug graves, administered medicine, and performed amputations. Father Damien spoke the Hawaiian language and promoted positive energy. Known as a “Christian Hero,” he gained widespread publicity around the world. After 12 years at the settlement, Father Damien contracted Hansen’s disease. He passed away four years later, on April 15, 1889, and was buried in the cemetery at St. Philomena after serving voluntarily at the Kalawao settlement for 16 more years.

In 1890, shortly after Father Damien’s death, the Board of Health began relocating patients from Kalawao to the Kalaupapa settlement on the leeward side of the peninsula. The climate in the new settlement was warmer and dryer, and the location was more accessible. The Board promoted this move not only because of the better climate, but also because the new area had room to lay out a well-organized settlement. By the 1930s, the Board had built water and power systems, hospitals, service stations, stores, and homes in the new settlement and had paved the roads. Paschoal Hall offered patients entertainment and movies, while other buildings - such as Bayview - provided patients with housing and a dining hall.

The community of Kalaupapa grew rapidly, using a combination of institutional planning and Hawaiian plantation-style architecture. The plan gives the Kalaupapa settlement a feeling of a long-established community and the plantation-style buildings provide an overall Hawaiian and Aloha feeling, which still permeates the community today.

By the late 1940s, new medications brought drastic changes to the treatment of Hansen’s disease. The new medicines reduced patients’ symptoms and made the disease non-contagious, rendering isolation unnecessary. With the abolition of the Isolation law in 1969, patients at Kalaupapa had a choice of either returning to their original homes or staying at the settlement. Many patients chose to stay at Kalaupapa, and a few remain there today. Kalaupapa National Historical Park preserves this place for patients, for visitors, and for future generations. The park provides a place for people to contemplate and understand societal responses to disease and disabilities.

Plan your visit

Kalaupapa National Historical Park, a unit of the National Park System and a National Historic Landmark, is located in Kalaupapa, on Moloka'i Island, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos.

Kalaupapa National Historical Park is open all year with no opening or closing hours due to restricted visitation and the active Kalaupapa community. Commercial tours operate Monday through Saturday, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Damien Tours, owned and operated by a Kalaupapa resident, offers commercial tours of Kalaupapa daily; call 808-567-6171 for tour reservations and information. Mule rides on the Kalaupapa Trail can be arranged and are offered through Moloka'i Mule Rides, Inc., a National Park Service concessionaire. For reservations call 800-567-7550. For more information, visit the National Park Service Kalaupapa National Historical Park website or call 808-567-6802.

*Note: State law requires all individuals to secure a permit from the Hawaii Department of Health prior to visiting Kalaupapa. The Department may be contacted by calling 808-567-6924. Damien Tours, the primary tour company for Kalaupapa, arranges for permits for individuals booking a tour with them. For more information call Damien Tours at 808-567-6171. Visitors who do not secure a permit before visiting Kalaupapa National Historical Park will not be permitted to enter the park.

Kalaupapa National Historical Park is featured in the National Park Service Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary. Many components of the Park have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey, including: the Town of Kalaupapa, St. Francis Catholic Church, McVeigh Home, Dormitory, Bay View Home, Residence No. 1, Bishop Home, Sisters' Convent, Rea's Store and Bar,, Chicken Ranch, Staff Row, Doctor's House, and Moloka'i Light Station, Lighthouse.

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Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Kona Coast, Hawaii

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is located three miles north of Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawai'i. The Park preserves and interprets the site of the ancient Hawaiian Honokohau Settlement and its fishponds (Loko i`a) and fishtrap.

The area within the 1,160 acre Park was, at one time, a thriving ancient Hawaiian settlement that supported a large population of both maka'ainana (commoner) and ali'i (chief). A very active religious-political center, the settlement had an economy based in large part on its fishponds and that was geared toward supporting the social and political status of the Kona ali'i. The maka'ainana in the settlement harvested fish from the sea and from fishponds they constructed along the shore. They grew coconuts, sweet potatoes, and gourds and raised chickens and pigs. Inhabitants of the area created a delicate balance between the sea, the land, and their extended families so that everyone thrived and lived in harmony. Those living closest to the shore harvested fish and other food from the sea, while ohana (extended family) living within the ahupua'a (sea to mountain land division) grew staple resources such as taro, breadfruit, paper mulberry, wood, and fiber for clothing. To ensure everyone's survival, the ohana would trade these items with one another.

The Honokohau ("Bay drawing dew") Settlement is in the southern part of the Park. The site has kahua (ancient house site platforms), papamu (rock game boards), petroglyphs, stone enclosures, ahus (stone mounds that serve as altars, shrines, or security mounds) a hōlua slide, and Pu'uoina Heaiu, a place of worship. The heiau was used not only as a place of worship, but was also the site of the ruling ali'i's residence.

The earliest date for the construction of fishponds in Hawaii is estimated to be sometime around 1200 AD. Hawaiians were the only ancient Polynesian people to move beyond the simple catching of fish in traps to more intensive fish production and cultivation. Fishponds were the property of ali'i and were symbols of the chiefly right to conspicuous consumption and ownership of coastal marine resources. Fishponds generally consisted of two major types: shore and inland. Kaloko Fishpond and Aimakapa Fishpond are examples of shore ponds, built at natural curvatures of the ocean's shoreline. They each contain a seawall or embankment that, with the shoreline, creates a pond enclosure. Hawaiian fishponds were primarily feeding areas in which algae was cultivated. Fish, predominantly mullet, would enter a pond through a mäkähä (sluice gate), feed on the algae, and eventually grow too large to swim back through the small gaps of the mäkähä. The large fish would gather near the mäkähä allowing the Hawaiians to easily catch and harvest them by hand or with nets.

The two primary fishponds at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park – Aimakapa and Kaloko – and the 'Ai'opio Fishtrap illustrate the ways in which native Hawaiians worked with their environment to manage and utilize the abundant resources of the sea.

Ancient Hawaiians created the Kaloko Fishpond, a loko kuapa (fishpond with sluice gates and a rock wall) by constructing a mortarless lava rock seawall that isolated the bay from the sea. To control the flow of water between the pond and the sea, they used mäkähä and designed an angled seawall to diffuse the energy created by ocean waves. Water was able to circulate between the ocean and the pond due to the porous nature of the lava rocks in the fishpond's kuapa (seawall). The Kaloko Fishpond kuapa was originally 30-40 feet wide and 6-12 feet high, stretching for 750 feet. Storms in the 1950s destroyed the wall, but the National Park Service is working to rebuild the structure using archeological evidence, oral histories, kupunas (elders), and the guidance of master masons skilled in traditional stonewall construction.

The Aimakapa Fishpond, a loko pu'uone (fishpond isolated by a mound of sand) consisted of an area of water enclosed behind sand dunes that ran parallel to the sea. Loko pu'uone had a supply of fresh water that entered the fishpond through natural springs or streams. A channel that the ancient Hawaiians dug between the loko pu'uone and the ocean allowed water to circulate between the two areas. This created the brackish water favored by many different types of fish. Studies suggest that ancient Hawaiians used the Aimakapa Fishpond for over 600 years. The Aimakapa Fishpond is also a wetland area and is a critical habitat for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds and other native animal and plant species including the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), 'alae ke'oke'o (Hawaiian coot), ae'o (Hawaiian stilt), and au'ku'u (Black-crowned night heron).

The 'Ai'opio Fishtrap, located in the Kaloko-Honokohau fishpond area, is a 1.7 acre pond with a low stone wall enclosing a section of a small bay. Fishtraps, known as loko 'ume'iki, differed from fishponds in that the fish were trapped and caught, but not raised. The construction of a fishtrap was similar to a fishpond, but it did not contain mäkähä. Instead, its rock walls had openings that formed "lanes" (sluices) which took advantage of the currents and tides and allowed fish to enter the trap by swimming through the openings or over the walls submerged at high tide. Once the tide receded, the fish were trapped and were easily caught with nets.

There are also multiple ancient Hawaiian trails that cross the Park including the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, which circled the island and connected various coastal communities.

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park brings traditional Hawaiian culture alive. Walk along a self-guided foot trail to view Kaloko Fishpond, Aimakapa Fishpond, and the 'Ai'opio Fishtrap. Sit on Honokohau Beach while viewing the ancient heiau that stands at the end of the beach. Hike along the trails taking in the many native plants, stone walls, and house platforms, just as the Ancient Hawaiians did many years ago.

Plan your visit

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, a unit of the National Park System which also includes Honokohau Settlement, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the west (Kona) coast of the Island of Hawai'i, approximately 3 miles south of the Keahole International Airport and 3 miles north of the town of Kailua-Kona, on the ocean side of Highway 19. The visitor center, Hale Ho'okipa, is located half a mile north of the entrance to Honokohau Harbor. The Kaloko road gate is located across the highway from the Kaloko New Industrial Park (across from the big yellow "Kona Trade Center" building). The park is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily. For more information, visit the National Park Service Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park website or call 808-326-9057.

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Kamakahonu, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Kamakahonu, the residence of Kamehameha I, is located at the north end of Kailua Bay in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawai'i. At one time the residential compound included 'Ahu'ena Heiau, the personal heiau (place of worship) of Kamehameha I, thatched houses for ali'i (chiefs) and women, an enclosing wall, Hale Nana Mahina'ai (the personal retreat of Kamehameha I) work sheds, storehouses, and other buildings. After Kamehameha's death, a hale poki (mortuary house) was built next to the heiau to hold his bones. While the original buildings are now gone, the site has several reconstructed structures and is important as not only the last residence of Kamehameha I, who united all of the Hawaiian Islands, but also as the capital of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and the site were the Hawaiian system of kapu was ended and the first Christian missionaries landed on the islands.

In 1813, Kamehameha I moved his capital and residence from Honolulu on the Island of Oahu to Kona on the western side of the Island of Hawai'i. The ali'i who owned the land at Kamakahonu gave it to Kamehameha I as a gift and a residence, thatched houses for ali'i, and a royal compound were built along the shore. In addition, Kamehameha I had the existing heiau, 'Ahu'ena, restored and held secret council meetings with his highest advisors and his son and heir, Liholiho, in the heiau. There was a famine in Kona at the time of Kamehameha I's return and because of this Ahu-ena Heiau was rededicated to Lono, god of agriculture and prosperity.

Kamehameha I died on May 8, 1819. After his death, his heir, Liholiho, followed custom and moved away from Kamakahonu while the site was purified. During this traditional period of mourning, kapu was set aside. Kapu, the Hawaiian system of religious, political, and social laws that governed every aspect of daily life, was particularly restrictive and breaking kapu was a capital offence punishable by death. The only time kapu could be set aside was during the mourning period for an aliʻi ‘ai moku (paramount chief) such as Kamehameha I. During this time, acts such as looking directly at a chief, women eating with men, or women eating foods forbidden to them such as pork, bananas, coconuts, or taro, were allowed. When the period of mourning was over and a new ali'i 'ai moku came to power, kapu was reinstated.

Six months after his father's death, Liholiho was named ali'i 'ai moku and returned to Kamakahonu. He attempted to reinstate kapu, but was opposed by his mother, Keopuolani, and his co-regent Queen Ka'ahumanu. He took refuge with some of his followers in his canoe and sailed around for two days off the west coast of the island before returning to Kamakahonu. A feast had been prepared and he sat down at the women's table and ate with them, an act strictly forbidden under kapu. Messengers were then sent to the other islands announcing that the kapu system was at an end. This event, called 'Ai Noa (free eating), shook Hawaiian culture to its foundations, leading to several battles, the destruction of most heiau on the islands, the relaxing of prohibitions surrounding the ali'i, and the ending of much of the Hawaiian religious system.

Within a year of Kamehameha I's death and only a few months after the 'Ai Noa, the first Christian missionaries in the islands came ashore at Kamakahonu. Several missionary families stayed in Kailua to establish a mission station, while the rest traveled to the other islands. Missionaries continued to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands through the mid-19th century and became a dominant force in Hawaiian social, economic, political, and religious life, heavily influencing changes in Hawaiian society, education, and government.

After Liholiho abolished kapu, Kamakahonu went through several changes. The wall around the compound was enlarged and built up, 'Ahu'ena Heiau was changed from a place of worship to a fort, and the sea wall was widened. In 1820, Liholiho moved the Kingdom's capital from the Island of Hawai'i to Lahaina on the Island of Maui. He appointed Kuakini, who was Queen Ka'ahumanu's brother, governor of the Island of Hawai'i, and Kamakahonu continued to be the capital for the island. Kuakini built a two-story wood frame house and a school for the ali'i in the compound. Kamehameha I's bones were quietly removed from the hale poki in the 1820s and hidden and the hale poki fell into disrepair. In 1837, Kuakini moved to Hulihee House further east along Kailua Bay and Kamakahonu was used for government offices and ceremonies.

In 1855, Ruth Ke'elikolani, the widow of Kuakini's heir, was appointed governor of the Island of Hawai'i. She moved the island's capital from Kamakahonu to Hilo and Kamakahonu was left mostly abandoned. By the late 1880s, a large part of the enclosing walls and all of the thatch houses had been demolished. In 1914, H. Hackfield & Company, one of the largest sugar companies in the islands, purchased Kamakahonu. The company used the two remaining stone houses as store and warehouses.

In the 1950s, American Factors Limited (previously H. Hackfield & Company) used Kamakahonu as a lumberyard and built an open-sided, metal roofed warehouse on the site. In 1960, the King Kamehameha Hotel was constructed at Kamakahonu. The hotel and its entertainment platform, imu (roasting pit), luau dining area, as well as the nearby Kailua wharf, greatly altered the Kamakahonu area. A reconstruction of the 'Ahu'ena Heiau and adjacent building was begun in the early 1960s. From 1975 to 1977, American Factors Limited funded a more accurate reconstruction of the heiau as well as the Hale Nana Mahina'ai under the direction of the Bishop Museum's Department of Anthropology. Today, the Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark is maintained by Ahu'ena Heiau Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on the preservation and maintenance of ancient Hawaiian structures, foundations, and burial sites and the appreciation of Hawaiian history.

Plan your visit

Kamakahonu, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the Island of Hawai'i at the northwest edge of Kailua Bay, in Kailua-Kona, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. Kamakahonu is on property owned by King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel (75-5660 Palani Rd.) and is free and open to the public from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily. Interpretive panels and artifacts are displayed in the hotel lobby and guided tours are available to the public. Check in the hotel lobby for tour times. For more information, visit the King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel website.

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Kam Wah Chung Company Building, John Day, Oregon

The Kam Wah Chung Company Building is located in the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day, Oregon. The building was originally constructed as a trading post near Canyon Creek in the 1860s and was purchased in 1887, by two Chinese businessmen - Lung On and Ing Hay. From the late 1880s to the 1940s, the Kam Wah Chung Company Building served as a commercial, social, and cultural center for the Chinese community in eastern Oregon. Today, the building is the best known example of a Chinese mercantile and herb store in the United States and has one of the best collections of its kind, containing hundreds of artifacts dating from the late 19th through the mid-20th century.

In 1848, gold was discovered in California and throughout the 1850s Chinese immigrants were a major source of labor for the mines in the western U.S. In the 1860s, Chinese laborers were recruited in large numbers from both China and the U.S. western mining industry to help build the western section of the Transcontinental Railroad. By the 1870s, Chinese immigrants were working in the lumber mills in Oregon and Washington and the coastal fishing industries on the West coast as well as in agriculture, construction, and retail.

Because of the large number of Chinese laborers in the West, Chinese communities began to form to support the growing immigrant population. By the late 19th century, the Chinese community in John Day was the largest one of its kind in eastern Oregon. In 1887, two Chinese business men, Lung On and Ing Hay, decided that their combined business and medical skills would benefit their community. They purchased the Kam Wah Chung Company Building and began to sell goods and services from a general store and an herbalist shop located in the front of the building.

Ing Hay, also known as "Doc Hay," was born in Xinning (modern-day Taishan) County in China's Guangdong Province in 1862. He came to the U.S. with his father in the early 1880s after five of his uncles emigrated in the 1870s. Coming from a long line of traditional Chinese herbalists, Ing Hay set up an apothecary and medical practice in the Kam Wah Chung Company Building, practicing his skills as an herbalist and a diagnostician. He was well known in the Chinese and non-Chinese communities for his effective treatments, and patients from as far away as California, Nevada, and Oklahoma sought him out for his expertise. Ing Hay was a master of the traditional Chinese medical technique known as pulsology which measures the pulse to diagnose medical problems. He would see his patients behind a small counter in an area enclosed by an iron cage that divided the front room from his herbal medicinal supplies. After the local Buddhist shrine was moved to the Kam Wah Chung Company Building in 1900, Hay, a Buddhist, would perform rituals for Buddhist immigrants as well as for Chinese seeking other forms of religious guidance.

Lung On, who was considered one of the most prominent leaders of eastern Oregon's Chinese community, was born into a middle–class family in the Guangdong province of China in the 1860s. Trained as a traditional Chinese scholar and educated in the Chinese classics and the English language, in which he was fluent, Lung On left China for the U.S. in 1882, seeking adventure. He was a skilled businessman who managed the general store and Ing Hay's practice, and served as a labor contractor, mediator, and translator for the Chinese community. He also provided assistance to newly arrived Chinese immigrants as well as to those seeking permission to enter the U.S. In addition, he established one of the first automobile dealerships and service stations east of the Cascades and invested in the local cattle industry as well as real estate in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

The Kam Wah Chung Company Building contained not only Ing Hay's treatment room and pharmacy, but also an informal library, a post office, and a general store. The building was expanded over the years to include a second floor and a new wing and was a hub for Chinese immigrants and non-Chinese residents and workers in eastern Oregon. The general store served as a wholesale outlet for other stores in neighboring communities and bulk supplies from the store were sent to isolated ranches and outposts. The store's shelves were stocked with a variety of items including such Chinese imports as sandalwood fans, ginseng, candy, rice, silk cloth, pipe tobacco, firecrackers, beer, incense, soaps, teas, canned goods, sugar, and gambling supplies. Clothing from China was also available through mail order. In addition, the Kam Wah Chung Company Building had a bank, an assay office, and tables for letter-writing.

Ing Hay's and Lung On's businesses continued through the 1940s, surviving and thriving despite the Great Depression and the shrinking of the Chinese community in John Day. Lung On died in the Kam Wah Chung Company Building in 1940, leaving his substantial estate to his business partner and friend Ing Hay. Bob Wah, nephew of Ing Hay, helped his uncle run the general store and the pharmacy until 1948. After falling and breaking his hip, Ing Hay moved to a nursing home in Portland, Oregon and passed away four years later in 1952 at the age of 89. In 1955, Bob Wah donated the Kam Wah Chung Company Building and all of its contents along with the surrounding land to the City of John Day for use as a Chinese history museum.

For 20 years the Kam Wah Chung Company Building remained locked and unopened, preserving the goods and artifacts stored inside. In the 1970s, the building was rediscovered, when the City of John Day began looking for land for a new city park. The building was restored and opened as a museum whose exhibits display collections dating from the 1880s to the 1940s and which interprets the business and daily life of the immigrant Chinese community. Due to the dry air of eastern Oregon and limited light exposure, the furniture, clothing, trading supplies, household items, financial records, over 500 herbal concoctions, and personal letters and documents of Ing Hay and Lung On remained largely intact. The collection of artifacts found in the Kam Wah Chung Company Building is considered one of the most complete records of Chinese herbal medicine and the pioneer life and culture of Chinese immigrants in the U.S.

Plan your visit

The Kam Wah Chung Company Building, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day, OR. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site is open daily 9:00am to 5:00pm from May 1 to October 31. There is no admission fee. Visitors are required to join a guided tour in order to enter the Kam Wah Chung Company Building. Tours start at the top of each hour; with the last tour at 4:00pm. Free tickets for the tour are available at the Interpretive Center located at 125 NW Canton St., John Day, OR. For more information and a brochure, visit the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site website or call 541-575-2800.

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Kaunolu Village Site, Island of Lanai, Hawaii

Kaunolu Village Site is located on the Island of Lanai. This ancient fishing community, occupied since at least the 1400s, consisted of a wide variety of religious structures, residences of priests, and isolated petroglyphs. It was a pu'uhonua (place of refuge) and a place Hawaiian rulers and important leaders visited when the Hawaiian Islands were a unified and independent Kingdom. Today, the Kaunolu Village Site is the largest surviving ruins of a Hawaiian village in the islands. The site is very well preserved and covers almost every phase of Hawaiian culture.

Kaunolu Village Site sits on the southern sea cliffs overlooking Kaunolu Bay, which provided a sheltered landing spot for fishing canoes. The site consists of two historic villages on the ridges of Kaunolu Gulch: the eastern Kealiakapu and the western Kaunolu. The area is very arid and the stream in the gulch is seasonal and prone to flash floods, however, the deep waters offshore are extremely rich fishing grounds and have been fished for hundreds of years.

Roughly 86 house platforms, 35 stone shelters, 9 piles of stones marking graves, and more than 30 detached pens dot the site. The Halulu Heiau, shrines, and the pu'uhonua are located at Kaunolu as well as house sites, terraces, and garden plots. Archeologists have also found 11 additional house complexes that were the residences of ali'i (chiefs). In Kealiakapu, iron scraps and pieces of earthenware pottery help date the site from the Ancient Hawaiian period. House platforms, burial sites, garden plots, stone fireplaces, and stone shelters can all be found in the area. The house platforms range from a single level to three levels, and some house sites have the remains of a terrace, an inner area, and stone papamu "boards" used to play konane, a game resembling checkers.

Beginning in the early part of the 15th century, ali'i and ali'i 'ai moku (paramount chief of an island) had residential complexes in the area. From around 1778 into the 1800s, during Kamehameha I's reign, Kaunolu was a popular fishing village because of its excellent marine resources and spectacular view. Kamehameha I had a passion for deep-water fishing and visited Kaunolu to fish and relax. Today, the site is a popular fishing spot for locals and visitors.

The people of Kaunolu also created petroglyphs, a form of rock art, throughout the village. Petroglyphs depicting abstract symbols, human figures, bird-like human figures, and animals are found in rest areas and places such as caves, overhangs, and depressions, along the trail to and near the heiau (places of worship) grounds, at boundaries, and along the route to the Halulu Heiau. Petroglyphs have special significance in relation to Hawaiian history, events, religion, the kapu system, and the well-being of the people.

The well preserved Halulu Heiau was rebuilt by Kamehameha I after he captured the Island of Lanai in the early 1800's. It was one of the last heiau built in the Hawaiian islands before Kamehameha I's son and successor, Liholiho, brought an end to the kapu system and destroyed most of the heiau on the islands. The Halulu Heiau also had an associated pu'uhonua (place of refuge), a safe haven for anyone who had broken kapu and for noncombatants and vanquished or defeated warriors during times of war. Kapu was the Hawaiian system of religious, political, and social laws that governed every aspect of daily life. The penalty for violating kapu was death. People who broke kapu were pursued by warriors until they were either captured and killed or found refuge in a pu'uhonua. After reaching the pu'uhonua, the person would go to the heiau and ask the gods for forgiveness. The priests would then perform a ceremony of absolution, which allowed the lawbreaker to return home unharmed. The Halulu Heiau compound was the only pu'uhonua on the island of Lanai.

Also located at the site is Kahekili's Leap, a rock ledge on the south shore. Kahekili, ali'i 'ai mokuto of Maui and a rival of Kamehameha's, controlled Lanai in the late 1700s and liked to visit Kaunolu. According to tradition he would make his warriors dive from the spot, a 63 foot leap off a cliff into 12 feet of water with a 15-foot rock shelf at the base, to test their courage.

A lava rock outcropping just offshore, known as Kaneapua Island, is also associated with the Kaunolu Village Site. According to tradition, the Ancient Hawaiian gods Kane, Kanaloa, and Kaneapua lived at Kaunaloa and Kaneapua Island has a small ko'a (fishing shrine) dedicated to Kaneapua on its top.

The village population began to decline in the 1880s and the area was eventually abandoned. Today, the village site is preserved for its historic value. Kaunolu Village site is a sacred place, but guided tours and a 3.5 mile long self-guided interpretive hike are available.

Plan your visit

Kaunolu Village Site, a National Historic Landmark, is located 9 miles southwest of Lanai City, Lanai, HI on the southwestern tip of the island. The village site and heiau are located on the cliffs above the ocean and are open to the public. To reach the site take Hwy. 440 west of Lanai City toward Kaumalapau Harbor; go past the airport turnoff and take the next left on Kaupili Rd. (unmarked dirt road); go 2.5 miles to a yellow standpipe on the right; turn right onto a rough rocky road and descends downhill about 3 miles to Kaunolu Village.

Parking, a small picnic area, and an interpretive trail with signs are at the site. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is required to drive up to the site as the dirt roads are very rough. Be aware that rental cars may be prohibited from driving on the roads to the Kaunolu Village Site, particularly during the rainy season. Check with your car rental company before visiting the site. Alternatively, visitors can hike the 3 miles into the site. Visitors are asked to be respectful and refrain from removing any of the stones on and around the site or climbing on the walls. Visitors should also exercise caution, as some areas may be steep and rocky especially during rainy weather. Kahekili's Leap is a steep drop-off with no fencing or guardrails and visitors are advised to be careful near the edge. For more information and directions, visit the Lanai Visitors Bureau website or call 808-565-7600.

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Kawaiaha'o Church and Mission Houses, Honolulu, Hawaii

Kawaiaha'o Church, in Honolulu on the Island of Oahu, is often referred to variously as the Westminster Abbey of Hawaii and the Protestant Mother Church of Hawaii. The three neighboring Mission Houses served as the most important force in Hawaiian politics, religion, economics, and social customs from 1820 to 1860. Kawaiaha'o Church, the Mission Houses, and the adobe schoolhouse on the grounds collectively symbolize the influence of the missionaries in the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

In 1819, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, a Protestant organization supported by the Congregational, Presbyterian, and several other churches, agreed to expand their work to the Hawaiian Islands. A missionary party landed in Honolulu on April 19, 1820 and was quickly accepted by the Hawaiian ali'i (chiefs). King Kamehameha II assigned the missionaries land near a spring known as Kawaiaha'o and directed Hawaiian laborers to build them thatched houses in which to live. The missionaries resided in the houses and used one room as a meeting place for school during the week. Within four decades of its founding, the school had helped to raise the literacy rate on the island to 80 percent.

In 1821, the growing congregation in Honolulu constructed a thatched-roof wooden church a short distance toward the sea from the site of the present church. This church burned down in 1824, but Chief Kalanimoku, the Prime Minister of the Hawaiian Islands, ordered another erected near the original. In 1825, the first public ceremony of Thanksgiving took place in this chapel. A storm demolished a temporary chapel built in 1825, to accommodate large crowds. A third meetinghouse was erected in 1827, and a fourth in 1829.

Queen Kaʻahumanu, who was co-regent during the reigns of King Kamehameha II and Kamehameha III, commissioned the construction of a stone church in 1836. The church was built in the style known as "Hawaiian Mission," a combination of New England architectural styles and Hawaiian building methods and materials such as coral blocks. It took several years to complete the church, with supplies brought by ship from Boston, Massachusetts and 14,000 coral rocks, timber and lime gathered locally. The cornerstone was laid on June 8, 1839, and the dedication ceremony took place on July 21, 1842. Kawaiaha'o Church is still an active church and is considered the center of worship for the Hawaiian peoples, with services conducted in both English and Hawaiian. Kawaiaha'o Church was used for inaugurations, weddings, funerals, and Thanksgiving ceremonies associated with the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

In 1843, King Kamehameha III held a Thanksgiving ceremony at the church and reportedly spoke the words which became Hawaii's motto "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono" (the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness). Known by several different names—Stone Church, Honolulu First Church, the King's Chapel—the name Kawaiaha'o Church, came into official use in 1862. The church was used not only as a place of worship, but also for state functions such as investiture and funerals of Hawaiian monarchs. In the early 20th century, the church was suffering from severe termite infestation and in 1925 it was almost entirely reconstructed. The reconstruction returned the interior of the building to its original New England design.

The Kawaiaha'o Church grounds are landscaped with plants native to the Hawaii Islands. The Kawaiaha‘o Fountain, built in the 1920s using stones from the nearby ancient sacred Ka Wai a Ha'o spring, is located next to the church. Also located on the grounds is the tomb of King Lunalilo.

The three Mission Houses—the Oldest Frame House, the First Printing House, and the Chamberlain House—played important roles in Hawaiian politics, religion, economics, and social customs from 1820 to 1860. When the American missionaries arrived in 1820, they found the native Hawaiian culture disappearing under the impact of European culture and technology and offered a new set of ideals and standards around which the Hawaiians could orient their lives. The missionaries introduced western medicine and customs and created a dictionary of the Hawaiian language. They were advisers to the government and introduced western-style laws and democracy, assisted in keeping the islands free of European governmental influences, and reinforced political and economic ties with the United States. They also introduced new agricultural methods and crops, allowing individual Hawaiians to become independent freeholders. The Mission Houses were the center for these efforts that shaped modern Hawaii.

The Oldest Frame House was not the first frame house built in the islands, but it was the most impressive. In 1819, when the first group of missionaries planned to leave Boston for Hawaii, a shipping firm donated an entire disassembled Maine white pine frame house for use by women in the islands. The house did not arrive in Honolulu until December 25, 1820, eight months after the missionaries landed. In 1925, the Mission Children's Society inherited the house.

David Chamberlain began building the First Printing House in December of 1822. The missionaries needed a means of printing and brought a second-hand press with them to the island. Completed in December of 1823, the shop, standing at just 28 by 17 feet, is thought to be the first printing house west of the Rocky Mountains. By 1828, due to increased volume and demand, the press moved to a larger space across the street. The First Printing House is the oldest surviving building associated with the Hawaiian Mission press. Today the house serves as a museum; a replica of the first printing press and its print work are on display in the building along with other items from the early mission period.

The Chamberlain House got its name from Levi Chamberlain, who came to Honolulu in 1823 to store food, clothing, furniture, and other supplies needed by the various island mission stations and to distribute supplies as needed. In 1830, Chamberlain started to build a two-story, coral-stone building with a cellar and attic, similar to houses of the same period in New England. The house had a design that suited it to the New England climate, not Hawaii. Upon completion of the building in December of 1831, Chamberlain's family moved into three rooms on the lower level. In 1910, the Mission Children's Society acquired ownership of the house.

Today, Kawaiaha'o Church is still an active place of worship and the Mission Houses, located across the street, are part of the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives. Both sites are open to the public.

Plan your visit

Kawaiaha'o Church, is located at 957 Punchbowl St., Honolulu, HI. The Mission Houses are located at 553 S. King St., behind the church and across the street. The sites together are a National Historic Landmark. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Kawaiaha'o Church grounds are open daily. For more information and for the church hours, visit the Kawaiaha'o Church website or call 808-469-3000. The Mission Houses are open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The houses are closed on Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. There is an admission fee with discounts for students, seniors, and the military. Guided house tours are offered on the hour from 11am to 3pm. For more information, visit the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives website or call 808-447-3910.

Both the Kawaiaha'o Church and the Mission Frame House have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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Keauhou Holua Slide, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

The hōlua slide at Keauhou in Kailua-Kona, on the Island of Hawai'i, is the largest and best preserved slide in the State of Hawaii. He'e hōlua, "sled surfing, or "land sledding," was a popular sport in Hawaii. A hōlua slide was made of rocks that were covered in fresh dirt and reeds making a slick, sloping surface which was then lubricated with kukui (candlenut) oil. Individual riders rode down the slide on a papa hōlua (sled) made from local trees, often reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The Keauhou Holua Slide snakes downward for 1,300 feet, from the top of a hill onto the edge of a modern street. Although the slide now ends at Kaleiopapa Street, archeologists estimate it once spanned 4,000 feet and probably deposited the riders into Keauhou Bay.

He'e hōlua was a prestigious sport in the Hawaiian Islands. It was played mostly during Makahiki, the four-month winter New Year's celebration in honor of the agricultural, rain, and fertility god Lono. During this time, Hawaiians would gather at Keauhou Bay to watch the He'e hōlua races. Only the Hawaiian ali'i (chiefs) were allowed to compete in the races. An ali'i's papa hōlua, which was carved from wood by hand and took several weeks to produce, was treated with pride. A papa hōlua was long and narrow with two runners held apart by crosspieces. Two smaller rails sat on top of the crosspieces and acted as a platform and the whole sled was lashed together with coconut fiber. The sled could be as long as 14 feet and weigh as much as 50 pounds.

The papa hōlua's design allowed riders a choice of different riding techniques on their journey to the bottom of the slide, with two techniques being the most popular. Riders using the first technique would stand sideways on the papa hōlua, kick with one foot to launch themselves, and then put both feet on the sled and extend their arms for balance – much like a modern snowboard rider. Sliders using the second technique would jump onto the papa hōlua chest-down, face forward, and grip the narrow sled tightly for control. Both techniques allowed skilled sliders to steer the papa hōlua by shifting their body weight. Control of the papa hōlua was essential because many he'e hōlua courses, like the one at Keauhou, featured a curving track. A mistake or loss of control meant injury or possible death.

The risk of death only added to the excitement of the sacred sport. Spectators gambled passionately on the races, and the racers themselves would sometimes bet against each other. Ali'i frequently wagered their own papa hōlua. When some ali'i lost they would voluntarily offer "double or nothing" wagers. In their excitement, they sometimes gambled themselves into slavery.

Whatever the outcome, every he'e hōlua race was an intense display of physical fitness and spiritual devotion. According to the reports of Christian missionaries, unmarried racers and spectators often erupted into spontaneous celebration after particularly exciting races. Historians attribute the decline of hōlua sliding, as well as other traditional Hawaiian sports and customs, to Christian missionaries and the replacement of local traditions with European culture. The he'e hōlua slide at Keauhou gradually fell into disuse during the 19th century as interest in traditional sports waned, but today the sport is being rediscovered and reintroduced to the islands. Besides the Keauhou Holua Slide other surviving hōlua slides can be found at Kaloko Honokohau National Historical Park and Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.

Plan your visit

Keauhou Holua Slide, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawai'i, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos . The slide is surrounded by private property and is protected by an enclosure of trees, but can be seen from Ali'i Highway, just past the 6-mile marker, directly across from the entrance to the Kona Country Club parking lot. Visitors are not permitted to walk within the protective tree enclosure or on the slide. The Keauhou Kahalu'u Heritage Center, located in the nearby Keauhou Shopping Center, has a small unstaffed interpretive display and is open daily from 10am to 5pm. For more information, visit the Keauhou Kahalu'u Heritage Center website.

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Lahaina Historic District, Lahaina, Hawaii

Lahaina Historic District, located in the town of Lahaina on the Island of Maui, was once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The town was a favorite site of Hawaiian kings and queens, whaling ships, and missionaries. The historic district covers both land and sea and encompasses the entire old town of Lahaina as well as the waters one mile out from the historic section of the town.

Between 1795 and 1810, Kamehameha, aliʻi ‘ai moku (paramount chief) of the Island of Hawai'i, conquered the smaller independent chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai and Niihau and unified them into a single kingdom. King Kamehameha I established Lahaina as his royal residence and built the "Brick Palace," one of the first Western design buildings in the Hawaiian Islands. Under Kamehameha I's successors, Prince Liholiho (Kamehameha II), and Prince Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), Lahaina was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawai'i from 1820 to 1845.

In 1778, Captain James Cook became the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands and in 1819, the first American whaling ships arrived in Lahaina. The town quickly became one of the main Pacific ports for the North Pacific whaling fleet. Because ships stayed in port for several weeks, immigrants began to flock to Lahaina to open shops, hotels, inns, taverns, and brothels to serve the sailors on shore leave. By 1824, Lahaina was being visited by 100 ships a year and at its peak in the 1850s, more than 400 whaling ships a year were making port in Lahaina.

In 1823, Reverend Charles Stewart and Reverend William Richards settled in Lahaina and established the First Christian Mission at the invitation of Queen Ka'ahumanu, Kamehameha II's co-regent. Three months later, the first church building was constructed, a two-story stone church known as Wainee Church. The adjoining cemetery (Waiola Cemetery) became the burial-ground for later Hawaiian kings and queens and missionary advisors to the Hawaiian monarchy.

While the missionaries had a large influence on the Hawaiian royal family, particularly the women, they eventually came into conflict with the sailors from the whaling ships. The influx of sailors into Lahaina had begun to create problems for the local population. To help curb drunken brawls and prostitution the missionaries attempted to keep sailors out of the taverns and to stop local women from visiting the whaling ships. In 1823, the government, with the encouragement of the missionaries, introduced "blue laws" which enforced curfews on sailors and controlled the sale of spirits and liquors. In 1825, a whaling ship crew attempted to demolish Reverend Richards' house and in 1830, the crew of the whaling ship John Palmer fired cannonballs into Lahaina to protest a law forbidding women from swimming out to greet ships. In response, in 1832, the Royal Governor of Maui built Lahaina Fort on the waterfront. The fort covered one acre and had 20-foot-high walls. Reconstructed remains can still be seen in Banyan Court Park.

In 1834, the Masters Reading Room, a two-story building partly funded by missionaries with donations from ship captains and the public, was built in downtown Lahaina. The building included an observatory, a store room, a resting area for ship masters and officers, and a reading area stocked with periodicals such as hometown newspapers. By 1835, a separate building had been built for sailors with large rooms that were used at all hours of the day and night.

In 1834-1835, Reverend Ephraim Spaulding, a local missionary, built a house made of coral and volcanic stone near the waterfront in Lahaina. In 1838, he left the Hawaiian Islands and Dr. Dwight Baldwin, a missionary and physician, moved into the house with his family. Dr. Baldwin served as the Lahaina pastor of the Hawaiian church, seamen's chaplain, medical doctor, and government physician for Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. The Baldwin House was a center of missionary activity and was owned by the Baldwin family for 129 years. It was given by the family to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation in 1967 and is now the Baldwin House Museum.

In the early 1830's Kamehameha III commissioned the building of a two-story stone structure to be located a mile away from the homes of the missionaries. The King wanted a building that would serve as an inn and store for visiting sailors as well as a place where he could go to relax. In 1844, the U.S. Department of State leased the building to use as a hospital for sick and injured seamen, particularly whalers. The U.S. Seamen's Hospital officially closed in September 1862, as whaling was beginning to decline. The building was used as a boarding school and a private home and was eventually acquired by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation. Today the U.S. Seamen's Hospital is leased out for private offices.

In 1845, the capital of the Kingdom of Hawai'i was relocated to the city of Honolulu on the Island of Oahu and Lahaina became an occasional royal residence. By the 1860s, the whaling industry began to collapse and the prosperity that came with the whaling ships began to decline. In 1861, a sugar mill, later known as the Pioneer Mill Company, was established in Lahaina and sugar production eventually became the primary industry in West Maui. With the growth of large sugar plantations, Lahaina transitioned into a quiet plantation town.

Beginning in the 1850s, Chinese immigrants came to the Hawaiian Islands as contract labor to work on the sugar plantations. When their contracts were finished some of the workers chose to settle permanently on Maui. In 1909, Chinese immigrants living in Lahaina formed the Wo Hing Society, a branch of the Chee Kung Tong, a fraternal society that provided religious and political help, mutual aid, and funerary benefits. In 1910, the Wo Hing Society built a two-story temple in downtown Lahaina, the Wo Hing Society Hall. The new building served as a meeting hall and housed an altar room for religious ceremonies on the second floor. The building has been restored and houses the Wo Hing Museum.

In 1901, the Pioneer Hotel was built on the edge of Lahaina Harbor. The hotel served the plantation communities and occasionally hosted notable guests such as novelist Jack London and the founding father of the Republic of China Sun Yat-Sen. Today, the hotel is known as the Pioneer Inn and is one of the oldest operating hotels in Hawaii.

The Lahaina Historic District, which encompasses downtown Lahaina, Front Street, and its vicinity, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962. Many of the buildings in the historic district have been preserved and are open to the public.

Plan your visit

Lahaina Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Lahaina, Maui, HI directly west of Hawaii Route 30 (Honoapiilani Highway). Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Lahaina Restoration Foundation has produced a free map and brochure for a self-guided walking tour of the historic district. Visitors may pick up a copy of the brochure at the Old Lahaina Courthouse (now the Lahaina Visitor Center) located at 648 Wharf St, Lahaina, HI in Banyan Tree Park. The Old Courthouse is open daily from 9am to 5pm. For more information, visit the Lahaina Visitor Center website or call 808-667-9193.

Many components of the Lahaina Historic District have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey, including: Baldwin House, Chee Kung Tong Society Headquarters [Wo Hing Museum], Hale Pa'ahao (Prison), Hale Pa'i (Printing Shop), Master's Reading Room, Old Maui Courthouse, Pioneer Hotel, and the U.S. Marine Hospital (U.S. Seamen's Hospital).

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Little Tokyo Historic District, Los Angeles, California

Little Tokyo Historic District is a historic Japanese commercial district in downtown Los Angeles, California. Japanese immigrants settled the district in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Before World War II, Little Tokyo was the largest Japanese community in the United States. Today, the Little Tokyo Historic District represents the original commercial heart of the community.

Until the 1880s, the majority of immigrants from Asia to the U.S. were Chinese. This changed with the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred Chinese laborers from immigrating to the U.S. Because of this, Japanese laborers became increasingly sought after by American businesses and the number of Japanese immigrating to the U.S, particularly to the West Coast, increased rapidly.

The area that became known as Little Tokyo was first settled in 1885, when a former sailor, Hamanosuke "Charles Hama" Shigeta, opened the Kame Restaurant on East First Street at what was then the southeastern end of Los Angeles. By the late 1800s, large numbers of Japanese immigrants, nearly all male, were beginning to concentrate in boarding houses in the areas around East First Street. Many had come for short-term stays to work in the local agricultural industry, but as Los Angeles entered a period of growth in the early 1900s, they chose to remain in the U.S.

The rapid increase in Japanese immigration helped to cause a rise in anti-Japanese sentiment and, to avert a crisis, the U.S. and Japan came to a "Gentlemen's Agreement" in 1907. Under the Agreement, Japan denied passports to Japanese citizens who wanted to work in the U.S. and the U.S. permitted the immigration of students, business people, and spouses of Japanese already in the U.S. Starting in 1910, newly arriving Asian immigrants were processed through the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay before continuing on to Los Angeles and other cities on the West Coast.

After the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, many of that city's Japanese residents moved south to Los Angeles causing the Japanese population to grow from 3,000 to almost 10,000. With the adoption of the Gentleman's Agreement, Japanese women began to immigrate to the U.S. in greater numbers, either as new brides or to join their families, and Little Tokyo began to develop into a more stable community with an established commercial district.

Little Tokyo eventually covered three square miles of thriving businesses and residences. Primary and secondary schools as well as trade schools, such as the Rafu Yossai Gakuen (Los Angeles Sewing School), were opened. Newspapers flourished, led by the Rafu Shimpo, the oldest existing Japanese newspaper in the U.S., founded in 1903. Religious institutions were formed, such as the Koyasan Buddhist Temple in 1912, the Japanese Union Church in 1923, and the Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in 1925. Local businessmen formed temporary credit associations, called tanomoshi-ko, to provide capital on a rotating basis for new business ventures. Local leaders established formal organizations such as the Central Japanese Association, the Japanese-American Citizens' League, and the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce to promote community development. There were also multiple kenjinkai (mutual aid societies) organized around various Japanese prefectures, a jurisdiction similar to a U.S. state. Kenjinkai provided social opportunities and aid, and were an important part of Japanese communities in the U.S. By 1940, Little Tokyo had kenjinkai representing 40 of Japan's 46 prefectures.

All of these businesses and organizations provided the basis for the largest and fastest growing Japanese community in the U.S. Between 1920 and 1940, Los Angeles County accounted for the majority of the growth of the Japanese population in the country. By 1942, Little Tokyo was a vibrant community of more than 35,000 people all living and working within three miles of the current Little Tokyo Historic District.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan in 1941, brought Little Tokyo's prosperity to an end. Wartime hysteria – coupled with questions about the loyalty of Japanese living in the U.S. – resulted in Executive Order 9066, which required more than 120,000 Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent to be evacuated from the West Coast. Residents of Little Tokyo were forced to abandon their homes and businesses, and move to relocation centers in isolated areas throughout the U.S. This caused severe financial and emotional hardship as the flourishing community of Little Tokyo virtually shut down.

During World War II, Los Angeles faced a labor shortage and thousands of African Americans, mainly from the Southeast and Midwest, came to the city to fill wartime jobs. They settled around Central Avenue next to Little Tokyo, in what was then the city's black community. This area soon became overcrowded and Little Tokyo, now a ghost town, provided room for growth. Because Japanese immigrants were barred by law from owning property, most of the buildings in Little Tokyo had been leased from their non-Japanese owners. The owners, needing tenants for their vacant buildings, leased them to the newly arriving African Americans. Little Tokyo soon became known as Bronzeville, with hotels, restaurants, stores, residences, a chamber of commerce, and an active nightlife including jazz clubs and breakfast clubs.

For three years, from 1942 through 1945, Bronzeville was a thriving, overcrowded community with close to 80,000 residents. As the war came to an end, however, industries began to shut down their wartime operations and jobs became scarce. Japanese business owners and residents began returning to Little Tokyo to reestablish their community, and many of the residents of Bronzeville left to find jobs in other parts of the country. The transition from Bronzeville back to Little Tokyo was, for the most part, smooth as many of the returning Japanese bought out the Bronzeville business leases. The Common Ground Committee was formed to foster better interracial relations, and many Japanese business owners hired African Americans while remaining Bronzeville businesses hired Japanese Americans.

Eventually, the central commercial core of Little Tokyo along First Street was revived, but the community's size was much smaller than before the war. Many of the returning residents chose to live in outlying areas around Los Angeles, with only one-third of the original residents coming back to Little Tokyo. The physical size of the community also shrank due to the construction of the Los Angeles Police headquarters building, Parker Center, in 1953, which demolished one-fourth of Little Tokyo's commercial area as well as the residences of nearly 1000 people. Urban renewal and community redevelopment in the 1960s and 1970s also reduced the size of the original commercial district.

Little Tokyo started to experience a revival in the 1970's. Japanese businesses began to lobby for expanded redevelopment of the Little Tokyo area as Japanese corporations grew their overseas operations and established headquarters in Los Angeles. In the mid-1980s the Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation began promoting economic revitalization of the district while working to preserve Little Tokyo's history and culture. Also during the 1980s, artists began to move into aging downtown warehouse spaces, forming an arts community next to Little Tokyo. In 1992, the Japanese American National Museum opened in the historic Hompa Hongwangi Buddhist Temple, helping to anchor the historic commercial district.

Today, the Little Tokyo Historic District National Historic Landmark is part of a vibrant Japanese cultural district. The National Historic Landmark preserves two blocks of the original pre-World War II commercial heart of Little Tokyo, anchored at one end by the Union Church and the other end by the Japanese American National Museum. The district is the focal point of one of the largest concentrations of Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) in the U.S and is made up of 13 one to four story buildings from the first half of the 20th century.

The Japanese Union Church at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, a brick building in the Classical Revival style, was built in 1923. The church was designed by Henry M. Patterson, a well-known architect and church designer in Southern California. During World War II, the church building was a "Civil Control Station" and all Japanese-Americans or people of Japanese descent living in Little Tokyo were required to report here for evacuation from the West Coast. Church members were sent to Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming where the Rev. Donald Toriumi, who was the church's minister immediately before the evacuation, continued to lead the congregation while they were interned. The building was purchased by the City of Los Angeles in the mid-1960s as part of its redevelopment plan for Little Tokyo, and today houses the Union Center for the Arts, part of LA Artcore.

The San Pedro Firm Building, at 108-116 Judge John Aiso Street, is a large Classical Revival style building originally owned by the Southern California Flower Growers Inc., a group started by 54 local Japanese flower growers. They opened the Southern California Flower Market in 1913, which today is one of two large markets in the Los Angeles Flower District (700 South Wall Street). The flower market was so successful that the growers commissioned architect William E. Young to design a building in 1925, to provide Japanese growers with living quarters while they were selling their flowers at the market. The building also housed the Pacific Sewing School, one of several schools that taught sewing to Nisei girls. The San Pedro Firm Building has several storefronts, a cast stone first floor, brick second and third floors, and the words "San Pedro Firm Building" carved along the top under the roofline.

The Art Deco building, at 309-313 E. First Street, was owned by the young Nisei daughters of Yasujiro Kawasaki. Kawasaki was unable to own the building himself because California's Alien Land Laws prevented foreign-born Japanese from owning property. Many Japanese immigrant families were able to control property, however, by placing legal ownership in the names of their American-born children. The building was constructed in 1933, by Japanese architect Mieki Hayano from a design by W.C. Cook, who was Kawasaki's engineer. It was the home of the first Nisei Week Festival and Parade in 1934, and is the only building in the district that continued to be owned by Japanese Americans throughout World War II.

Dating from 1914, the 3-story building at 331-335 E. First Street was designed as a hotel by California architect Alfred F. Priest. Before and after World War II, it was known as the Mikado Hotel. During the war, when it served the largely black clientele of Bronzeville, it was known as the Shreveport Hotel and housed a well-known soul food restaurant. The building is a good example of the commercial architecture that filled American "Main Streets" in the early 20th century. The first story is glazed white brick, with the second and third stories being buff brick. The first floor still looks as it did in 1932, and contains three storefronts, two of which still have colored glazed tile under their windows.

The Far East Building, a 3-story commercial building at 347-353 E. First Street, dates to 1896, but was remodeled in 1935 in the Art Deco style. The building housed a hotel and storefront, but was particularly well-known for its Far East Cafe, a restaurant specializing in Chinese- American food. The Jung family opened the restaurant in 1935, and its location drew both Japanese and non-Japanese patrons to the heart of Little Tokyo. During World War I,I the Cafe remained in business because of its Chinese ownership. In 2001, the building was donated to the Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation. The Far East building is brick covered with stucco, with a zigzag design in the Art Deco style above the first floor. The larger of the two storefronts, formerly the Far East Cafe, reopened in 2002 as the Chop Suey Cafe and Lounge and still has its historic interior.

Built in 1925, the Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, at 119 N. Central Avenue, was one of the biggest and most influential Buddhist temples in the U.S. The temple building consists of three sections that curve around the corner of E. First Street and Central Avenue with the entrance located on the plaza, across from the Japanese American National Museum's (JANM) modern building. The large cement roof canopy (karahafu) over the entrance replicates the imperial gateway at the Mother Temple in Kyoto, Japan. The temple's hondo (sanctuary) has decorations that resemble those in Nijo Castle and Nishi Hongwanji, in Kyoto. The temple had the largest social hall in Little Tokyo and hosted Central Japanese Association meetings. In 1942, the building was used to process Japanese Americans and people of Japanese ancestry for evacuation to relocation centers, and its members stored their possessions in the building while they were interned during World War II. In 1969, the temple moved to a new building and the original building was sold to the City of Los Angeles, becoming the first home of the JANM. In 1999, the museum moved into new facilities across from the old Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple building and today the historic building houses JANM's National Center for the Preservation of Democracy.

Plan your visit

Little Tokyo Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, is roughly bounded by 301-349 East First St., 110-120Judge John Aiso St., and 119 Central Ave. in Los Angeles, CA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Little Tokyo Historic District is open year round. For more information visit the Little Tokyo Community Council website or call 213-293-5822.

To learn more about Japanese American history, visit the Japanese American National Museum at 100 N. Central Ave. The Museum, an official affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is dedicated to sharing the experience of Americans of Japanese ancestry. The Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm and Thursday 12:00pm to 8:00pm and is closed on Monday. For more information visit the Japanese American National Museum website or call 213-625-0414.

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Loaloa Heiau, Island of Maui, Hawaii

Loaloa Heiau is located in Kaupo, Hawaii, on the Island of Maui. The heiau (place of worship) overlooks the rural community of Kaupo and the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Manawainui Valley to the north. It is the largest and best preserved luakini heiau on the island.

Early Hawaiian shrines were simple and constructed by families and small communities. With population growth and changes in religion, social organizations became more complex and large heiau were constructed for public ceremonies. In general, the ali'i (chiefs) worshiped four major gods in these ceremonies: Lono (peace, agriculture, fertility), Kane (the creator and ancestral deities), Kanaloa (the ocean, healing and general well-being), and Ku (war). Commoners worshipped individual family gods at private family shrines and worshipped the four major gods under the direction of high priests.

Ancient Hawaiians had many types of heiau, each with their own distinct function and use by particular segments of society. Heiau ranged in size from a single upright stone to massive and complex structures. Larger heiau were built by ali'i, but the largest and most complex, the luakini heiau, could only be constructed and dedicated by an ali'i 'ai moku (paramount chief of an independent chiefdom or island). Luakini heiau were reserved for rituals involving human or animal sacrifice and highlighted the ali'i 'ai moku's spiritual, economic, political, and social control over his lands and his authority over the life and death of his people.

The Kaupo area was once the center of an important religious and cultural complex on the Island of Maui. There are three surviving heiau from the 18th century at Kaupo, with Loaloa Heiau being the largest. According to oral tradition, Loaloa Heiau was constructed around the year 1730 for ali'i 'ai moku Kekaulike, ruler of the Island of Maui, as a luakini heiau. Loaloa Heiau is in the shape of a three-tiered rectangular raised platform, situated around a small hill or rock outcropping. The heiau has two major divisions, one to the east and one to the west, separated by a stone wall. The east end of the structure has been built up to a height of nearly 20 feet in some places, and the overall dimensions of the heiau are 115 feet by 500 feet. Because of the extreme height and the lack of mortar, the outer walls are terraced in three or four steps, adding stability to the structure.

In 1802, Kamehameha I, who was en route from the Island of Hawai'i with his fleet of war canoes to invade the Island of Kauai, stopped at Maui and rebuilt Loaloa Heiau, dedicating it to Ku. Following Kamehameha I's unification of the Hawaiian Island, the power of Maui's ali'i 'ai moku and religious centers such as Kaupo, began to decline. In 1819, Kamehameha's son and successor, Liholiho, ended kapu, the Hawaiian system of religious, political, and social laws that governed every aspect of daily life. This led to the destruction and abandonment of many of the heiau across the Islands and brought to an end much of the Hawaiian religious system. Most of the heiau on the islands were abandoned and many became ruins.

Plan your visit

Loaloa Heiau, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Kaupo on the Island of Maui, HI, approximately 7 miles west of the Haleakala National Park Kipahulu Area and one quarter mile north of State Highway 31 (Pi'ilani Highway). Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photo. Loaloa Heiau is on private land and is not open to the public. The Friends of Haleakala National Park, however, occasionally organized all-day service trips to the heiau. For more information visit the Friends of Haleakala National Park website.

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Locke Historic District, Sacramento County, California

The Locke Historic District, also known as the town of Locke, California, was built in 1915 by Chinese immigrants from Heungshan [Xiangshan] County (modern day Zhongshan), in Guangdong Province, China. The historic district is located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, a large agricultural area in Sacramento County, California. The Locke Historic District is the largest, most complete example of a rural, agricultural Chinese American community in the United States.

Before the 1800s, immigration from Asia to the U.S. was minimal. During the 19th century, however, the U.S. experienced mass migrations of immigrants from several Asian countries, particularly China. Multiple factors triggered this large-scale immigration. In 1848, gold was discovered in California and throughout the 1850s Chinese were recruited as a major source of labor for the gold mines. Many Chinese also immigrated during this period to escape the Taiping Rebellion, a civil war that encompassed most of Southern China. In the 1860s, Chinese were recruited in large numbers from both China and the U.S. western mining industry to help build the Central Pacific Railroad's portion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

When the railroad was completed in 1869, thousands of Chinese laborers, primarily from Guangdong Province, were hired to work on an extensive levee project in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Their knowledge of how to develop farmland in river valleys, learned from farming the Pearl River Delta region in southern China, was used to construct a large network of earthen levees that eventually turned 500,000 acres of swamp into some of California's most valuable farm land. The reclaimed land was able to support large farms, and the expansion of the pear and asparagus industries, along with other crops, created a demand for cheap manual labor. Many of the Chinese workers stayed in the area and made a living as farm workers and sharecroppers, settling in towns in the region such as Walnut Grove, Isleton, Rio Vista, Isleton, and Courtland.

The town of Locke was founded in 1915, after a fire destroyed the Chinese community in Walnut Grove. While many of the Chinese residents chose to stay and rebuild, several Chinese businessmen who had originally come from Heungshan County decided to start a new community one mile to the north. They were able to secure a verbal lease for roughly nine acres of land from George Locke, who owned an area known as Lockeport along the Sacramento River levee. Because California's Alien Land Law of 1913 prevented non-US citizens (aliens) from owning land, the lease provided ownership of any buildings, but not of the land itself, which remained with George Locke and his family.

Locke was the last of the Sacramento River Chinatowns to be built and became a thriving Chinese community serving the area's workforce, which consisted mainly of Chinese laborers working in the asparagus fields. The town eventually grew to 14 acres, and consisted of plain one and two-story wooden buildings. Besides numerous houses, Locke had a church, a small Chinese school, restaurants and boarding houses, a post office, hotels and rooming houses, a lodge, a theater, grocery stores, a hardware and herb store, a fish market, two dry goods stores, a dentist's office, a shoe repair, a bakery, and a community vegetable garden. With no police to regulate the town, bars, gambling houses, and opium dens quickly developed, operating behind commercial storefronts. By 1920, Locke was a popular location for Prohibition-era speakeasies and was providing recreational facilities to both the agricultural workforce and Caucasians from nearby cities. The town population averaged about 600 people, but on weekends and during the agricultural growing season it rose to 1,500.

Locke began a slow decline in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The end of Prohibition in 1933 and the decline of the asparagus industry meant that fewer people came to the town. In addition, increased mechanization in the agricultural industry began to reduce the need for unskilled farm labor. Locke, like many communities in the Delta, saw an increase in prosperity during World War II, but after the war many of the younger second-generation Chinese Americans began to leave the town for the cities, in search of better economic opportunities.

In 1977, the Locke family sold the town to a development company from Hong Kong. California's Alien Land Laws had been ruled unconstitutional in 1952; however, the residents of Locke never purchased the land upon which their town was built. The remaining residents continued to lease the land while numerous efforts were made to develop the area. In 1990, Locke was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 2002, the town was sold to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. Working with the California State Historic Preservation Office, The Locke Foundation and the residents of the town of Locke, Sacramento County continue to preserve the many original buildings in the historic district.

Plan your visit

Locke Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Locke, CA, 30 miles south of the city of Sacramento, CA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Locke Boarding House Visitor's Center provides information about the Locke Historic District and is open on Tuesday and Friday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Locke Historic District is a living community and many of the buildings are open to the public. Docent-led tours are available through the Locke Foundation. For more information, visit the Locke Foundation website or contact the Foundation at either 916-776-1661 or 916-776-1828.

Locke Historic District is the subject of an online lesson plan, Locke and Walnut Grove: Havens An Early Asian Immigrants in California. The lesson plan has been produced by the National Park Service's Teaching with Historic Places program, which offers a series of online classroom-ready lesson plans on registered historic places. To learn more, visit the Teaching with Historic Places website. Locke Historic District has been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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Manzanar National Historic Site, Independence, California

Manzanar National Historic Site, located in the Owens Valley near Independence, California, preserves and interprets Manzanar War Relocation Center, one of 10 relocation centers throughout the United States built to confine people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast during World War II.

After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, leading to the United States' entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal of people of Japanese ancestry from these areas. Although the President and the War Department contended at the time that the forced removal was necessary for military reasons, in 1982 the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians found that to be false. The commission’s report, Personal Justice Denied, states that rather than military necessity, “The broad historical causes which shaped these decisions were race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act and apologized to people of Japanese ancestry, saying “here, we admit a wrong.” The Act authorized redress of $20,000 to any Japanese American who had been incarcerated during World War II.

In March 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority (WRA), the federal agency responsible for the construction and administration of confinement centers throughout the United States. The U.S. military supported Executive Order 9066 by assembling and transporting some 120,000 Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens to 10 inland War Relocation Centers across the nation.

Also in March, the U.S. Army leased 6,200 acres in California's Owens Valley to establish the Owens Valley Reception Center, renaming it Manzanar Relocation Center several months later. Manzanar was the first war relocation center established and after the land was leased, the forced removal of people of Japanese ancestry from the west coast was begun. With little notice, they were told to gather their belongings and decide what to do with their homes, businesses, and other possessions. As Manzanar internee William Hohri recalled, "We had about one week to dispose of what we owned, except what we could pack and carry for our departure by bus." Everything else they either sold or left with friends or religious groups. Those who were unable to sell or rent their homes had to abandon their properties and hope for a quick return.

By October, the forced removal of 10,000 people to Manzanar was complete. About two-thirds of all Japanese Americans interned at Manzanar were American citizens by birth. The remainder were resident aliens, many of whom had lived in the United States for decades, but who, by law, were denied citizenship.

Manzanar was a 640-acre rectangular lot surrounded by a barbed wire fence and eight guard towers. Today, a replica guard tower stands just outside the replacement barbed wire fence. On 5,560 acres outside the fence, the WRA built housing for military police, a reservoir, a sewage treatment plant, agricultural fields, and a cemetery. Now, only the cemetery, sentry posts, and part of the water reservoir remain.

Inside the barbed wire fence, Manzanar consisted of 504 barracks organized into 36 blocks. Each of the blocks had 14 barracks divided into four or five apartments, with no indoor plumbing. Down the center of each block were a men’s communal shower and toilets, women’s communal shower and toilets, a laundry room, and an ironing room. A mess hall and recreation building completed the block. About 200 to 400 people resided in each block. Each barracks apartment was furnished with a stove, a hanging light bulb, blankets, and straw mattresses. Today, Block 14 has two reconstructed barracks and a mess hall with exhibits; many of the other foundations are still visible. The Visitor Center is in the 1944 high school auditorium. Two stone sentry posts, built by concrete mason Ryozo Kado during the war, stand at the historic entrance.

Within the barbed-wire residential area, people at Manzanar attended school, participated in church services (in recreation halls designated as Buddhist, Catholic, or Christian churches), formed social organizations, and established sports leagues. They played music, danced, planted gardens and orchards, built rock gardens and ponds – 12 of which have been excavated – and published the Manzanar Free Press. Manzanar functioned like a town, with people working daily in a variety of professions such as doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, and teachers. The largest employer was the mess hall operation.

While life in Manzanar was generally peaceful there were incidences of unrest, most notably what came to be called the “Manzanar Riot.” In December of 1942, six masked men attacked a suspected FBI informant, former Japanese American Citizens League leader Fred Tayama. Tayama identified one of the attackers, who was then arrested and removed from Manzanar. The next day, hundreds of people gathered and marched to the administration area to protest the arrest. After negotiating with the camp administration, the crowd dispersed and the suspect was returned to Manzanar's jail. That evening, several hundred men and boys returned to the camp jail to demand the suspect’s release. The camp director called in the military police. When the crowd refused to disperse, the military police threw tear gas and then opened fire. Two men were killed and nine wounded. The War Relocation Authority removed the suspected leaders of the “riot” from Manzanar and sent them to Isolation Centers in former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps.

Many of the people incarcerated at Manzanar helped with the war effort to prove their loyalty to the United States. After Japan cut off America's rubber supply, scientists at Manzanar began working on finding alternative sources of rubber. Under the guidance of Dr. Robert Emerson, they experimented with guayule, a desert plant, and were able to successfully extract rubber from its woody components . This was one of many jobs the Japanese Americans performed to support the war effort. Eventually they were able to demonstrate their patriotism fully when the U.S. military allowed Japanese Americans to be drafted.

At the end of the war, nearly 26,000 Japanese Americans from all camps had served in the U.S. armed forces. Of those who enlisted, 9,486 died fighting for their country. Sadao Munemori, whose parents were confined at Manzanar, died while fighting in Italy and was the only Japanese American to be awarded the Medal of Honor immediately following World War II. In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the nation's highest civilian awards, to the Japanese Americans who served in World War II.

When the war was over, the U.S. government closed all the relocation centers, and Manzanar was officially shut down on November 21, 1945. The barracks and other wooden buildings were sold as war surplus; some still can be seen throughout the Owens Valley. Today, Manzanar National Historic Site is one of the best preserved of the War Relocation Centers and provides great insight into the experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II.

At the site, visitors can begin their tour at the restored auditorium, where the Manzanar Visitor Center and bookstore are located. Here, 8,000 square feet of exhibits tell the history of Manzanar and some of the diverse stories of Japanese Americans who were confined during World War II. Visitors can learn about the highlights of Manzanar's history, including stories of the Owens Valley Paiute Indians, miners and homesteaders from Scotland, France, Mexico and Chile, and the apple orchard community for which the area of Manzanar (Spanish for apple orchard) is named.

The exhibits include photographs, artifacts, and a large-scale model of the Manzanar War Relocation Center as it looked during during World War II. Visitors can also see a list of the names of the more than 11,000 Japanese Americans confined at Manzanar. Next to the visitor center is Block 14 where visitors will find two reconstructed barracks and a mess hall with exhibits.

Manzanar's cemetery is on the west side of the site, about a mile from the Visitor Center. The cemetery monument is a white obelisk with an inscription in Japanese that translates as "Soul Consoling Tower." One hundred fifty Japanese Americans died while at Manzanar, but most were cremated. Of the fifteen people buried there, only six remain.

Beyond the Visitor Center, visitors may take a 3.2-mile self-guided auto tour past the sentry posts, camp auditorium, ruins of the administrative complex, concrete foundations of many types, rock gardens, portions of the water system, a replica of a guard tower, and the cemetery. On foot, visitors may tour recent excavations of the Japanese American gardens and ponds as well as Merritt Park, the center's community garden. Visitors may also explore the chicken ranch, historic orchards where visitors may sample and pick the fruit in season; and other structures not visible on the main auto tour road.

Plan your visit

Manzanar National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System and a National Historic Landmark, is located 9 miles north of Lone Pine, CA and 6 miles south of Independence, CA on the west side of U.S. Highway 395. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The park grounds are open daily from dawn until dusk. The Visitor Center is open daily except for December 25. For more information, visit the Manzanar National Historic Site website or call 760-878-2194, ext. 3310.

Manzanar National Historic Site is featured in the National Park Service Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary. The site is also the subject of an online lesson plan, The War Relocation Centers of World War II: When Fear was Stronger than Justice. The lesson plan has been produced by the National Park Service's Teaching with Historic Places program, which offers a series of online classroom-ready lesson plans on registered historic places. To learn more, visit the Teaching with Historic Places home page. Manzanar Relocation Center is featured in the National Historic Landmark Theme Study Japanese Americans in World War II.

The National Park Service’s Museum Management Program provides a Virtual Museum Exhibit and two lesson plans on Manzanar National Historic Site: Traveling Beads: American Indian Currency and The Language of Confinement: Writing from Manzanar.

Many components of Manzanar National Historic Site have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey, including: the Military Police Post, Owens Valley, Observation Tower, Merritt Park, Rock House, Garden, Chicken Ranch, Hospital, Internal Police Post, Cemetery, Reservoir, and Auditorium.

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Mauna Kea Adz Quarry, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Hawaii

Mauna Kea Adz Quarry, a large complex of archeological sites, is located on the south slope of the Mauna Kea volcano in the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve on the Island of Hawai'i. The Adz Quarry is the largest primitive rock quarry in the world and was used by the ancient Hawaiians to both obtain basalt and make various stone tools.

An adze (adz) is an ancient type of edge tool dating back to the Stone Age. Similar to an axe in shape, it was used for cutting, smoothing, and carving wood and other materials. In the Hawaiian Islands, an adze blade was generally made out of basalt, a common volcanic rock formed by the rapid cooling of lava. Basalt was favored for tool making because of its hardness and ability to hold an edge. An adze was made by quarrying a suitable piece of rectangular basalt and then chipping at it with a piece of hard stone (hammerstone) until it took on the rough shape of an axe head. The upper and lower sides of the adze blade were then tapered using a grinding stone sprinkled with sand and water. Once the sides had been ground down and the edge was sharpened, the blade was secured to a wooden handle with a fiber cord. The finished adze was then ready to be used or traded for other goods or services.

The Hawaiian adze, referred to as a hafted adze, was attached to a bent wooden handle that allowed the user to swing it in a downward cutting motion. Occasionally a small adze blade would be fastened to the tip of a stick, and when the stick end was hit with a stone it would act as a chisel. The adze was one of the most important tools in the Hawaiian Islands and large adzes were used for cutting trees and shaping canoes while smaller ones were used to carve things such as furniture, bowls, weapons, idols, and small tools.

Basalt adze quarries were well known throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Because of the extremely high quality and large quantity of basalt on this part of Mauna Kea, the Mauna Kea Adz Quarry was the main area for adze production on the Island of Hawai'i. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the quarry was being used by 1000 A.D. with more intensive use after 1400 A.D. The area, which covers approximately seven and one half miles and is located between 8,600 feet and 13,000 feet in elevation, is made up of a series of surface and sub-surface quarries, workshop areas, religious shrines, and shelters. Most of the main sites can be found in a one to one and a half square mile area between 11,000 and 12,400 feet in elevation.

There is speculation that the Mauna Kea Adz Quarry was different from other adze–making sites in the Hawaiian Islands. It appears that the complex was used more like a modern manufacturing site with different areas being used for different aspects of adze making. Some areas contain pre-worked basalt "blanks" while others contain masses of small finishing flakes, adze preforms, and rejects. There was also a large amount of standardization in adze making in size, form, and procedure. This suggests that different people specialized in different aspects of adze manufacturing at the site and that the adze makers were specialists in their craft.

The closest permanent settlements to the Mauna Kea Adz Quarry were on the coast 25 miles away and there is no evidence of historic trails to the quarry site. It appears that travel to Mauna Kea was guided each year by individual knowledge of the landscape and the quarry's location. Because the site is located near the volcano summit (13,796 feet), it is believed that basalt quarrying and adze production took place during warmer months with no snow, generally July through October. The distance to the coast and the short work season meant that workers would have brought food and clothing with them and lived on site. Mauna Kea Adz Quarry has multiple shelters, primarily rock, overhang, and open-air walled. The rock shelters are small, natural enclosures suitable for habitation. They are generally stone-lined with fire hearths, stone walls at the entrances, and living areas. Overhang shelters are usually found near rock shelters and appear to have provided additional places to sleep. There are also open-air shelters with low, walled enclosures which are found primarily near workshop locations. The workshops (stone-chipping sites) vary in size; some have thin scatters of stone flakes, adze rejects, and hammer stones while others have large piles 20 to 30 yards across and up to three to four yards deep.

More than 35 shrines rest on high points throughout the complex. The shrines consist mostly of upright stones made of angular slabs of rock. The two classes of shrines at Mauna Kea Adz Quarry are occupational and non-occupational. Occupational shrines appear to be related to adze production, are generally found near workshops, and have items such as stone flakes and preformed blades left on or very near the shrines. Non-occupational shrines do not appear to be associated with adze making and range in complexity from small groups of upright stones to shrines with pavements, prepared courts, and a large number of uprights stones. It is thought that the shrines were meant for the different small and large gods associated with Mauna Kea. Non-workshop-associated shrines found near an open-air shelter at Lake Waiau, a sacred alpine lake near the summit, may possibly be associated with the snow line and Poli'ahu the goddesses of snow who resides on the volcano.

The Mauna Kea Adz Quarry was abandoned for unknown reasons prior to European contact. Today, visitors to the quarry area may see large debris piles, shelters, and shrines—all evidence of a once thriving Hawaiian adze–making complex.

Plan your visit

Mauna Kea Adz Quarry, a National Historic Landmark, is located in the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve on the southern slope of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawai'i, HI. The Reserve may be accessed through the Mauna Kea State Recreation Area [Mauna Kea State Park] Halep'haku Area at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station on the Saddle Road (Highway 200), 35 miles west of downtown Hilo, HI. Car rental companies may prohibit or impose conditions for use of their vehicles on the Saddle Road and within the Reserve.

Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station is open from 9:00am to 10:00pm, 365 days a year. The Reserve and Mauna Kea summit are open daily and may be accessed via hiking trail or a steep graded-gravel road. Only true four-wheel drive vehicles with low range (LR) should be driven on the gravel road. The Mauna Kea Adze Quarry may be accessed from the Mauna Kea Humu'ula Trail. All visitors wishing to hike or drive in the Reserve or to the Quarry or summit must fill out a Visitor Information Sheet at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. For more information, visit the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station website or call 808-961-2180. For daily weather and road conditions in the Reserve and at the summit call 808-935-6268.

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McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan

The McGregor Memorial Conference Center is located on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The building, constructed in 1958, was Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki's first commission at Wayne State University and represents a key turning point in his career as he moved from the International Style of modern architecture to New Formalism. Yamasaki is considered one of the most prominent architects of the second half of the 20th century and is one of the primary practitioners of the post-World War II architectural style known as New Formalism.

Minoru Yamasaki was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1912. He later cited the natural beauty of the Seattle area as an early influence on his aesthetic outlook. At age 16, Yamasaki enrolled in the University of Washington's architecture program and during the summers he worked in the Alaskan salmon canneries to help pay for college, an experience that greatly influenced his later life, teaching him the importance of humility and to recognize the humanity in people. He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1934. Yamasaki entered the architectural profession at the close of an important period of change. Beaux-Arts, the formal, decorative style that took its references from classical art and architecture, had dominated American architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but was beginning to give way to what would be known as Modern Architecture.

Architecture in Europe and the U.S. had been slowly moving in a new direction during the second half of the 19th century as a response to changes in society and advances in technology. Architects had begun to experiment with new building materials and styles that emphasized simple forms with no decorative details or ornamentation. This trend gained momentum in the first half of the 20th century as a number of architects and designers such as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Konstantin Melnikov, Mies van der Rohe, Rudolf Steiner, and Frank Lloyd Wright began to integrate traditional styles with new materials and technology in a struggle between old and new. This struggle gave birth to such early Modern architectural styles as Art Deco, Style Moderne, Constructivism, and the Bauhaus style, an outgrowth of the German Bauhaus School founded in 1919.

In 1932, American architect Philip Johnson and architectural historian and critic Henry-Russell Hitchcock organized the International Exhibition of Modern Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The exhibit featured buildings from around the world that shared common characteristics and trends the two men felt were typical of Modern Architecture. These included the use of industrially-produced materials such as glass, steel, and concrete, balance over symmetry, a lack of ornamentation, and a visual emphasis on horizontal and vertical lines. Johnson and Hitchcock called these shared features the "International Style." This was a turning point in architecture and the International Style and became the dominant style in commercial and institutional architecture for the next several decades.

Although he had been trained in the Beaux-Arts style, Yamasaki, like many of his contemporaries, was drawn to Modern Architecture and in particular the International Style. After graduating from the University of Washington, he enrolled in New York University's Master of Architecture program and worked for several firms known for their Modern architectural designs. These included the firms of Shreve, Lamb and Harmon who designed the Empire State Building and Harrison, Fouilhoux, and Abramovitz who designed Rockefeller Center.

By the mid-1940s, Yamasaki was beginning to develop a reputation for his Modern design work and had begun teaching architectural design at Columbia University in New York City. In 1945, he was offered a position at one of Detroit's oldest and most prestigious firms, Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls (SHG). SHG's partners had made the decision to embrace Modern Architecture, but needed someone who could deliver the Modern aesthetic. SHG's George Hellmuth recommended Yamasaki, and the firm hired him as their head designer.

In 1945, Michigan offered a designer of Yamasaki's background significant opportunities. After World War II the state was the epicenter of industrial design and attracted innovators in design technology and materials. Its architectural community was beginning a significant period of Modern architectural work and Yamasaki became a leader of this early wave beginning with his design, while at SHG, for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch Building Annex. The Annex, completed in 1951, is considered the first important post-World War II building in Detroit and one of the buildings at the forefront of the Modern design movement.

In 1949, Yamasaki teamed with SHG colleagues George Hellmuth and Joseph Leinweber to create their own architectural firm with offices in Detroit and St. Louis. By 1954, the strain of travel and running a firm had given Yamasaki a case of bleeding ulcers forcing him to dissolve the St. Louis partnership with Hellmuth and remain in Detroit with Leinweber. The new partnership received a commission from the U.S. State Department to design its consulate in Kobe, Japan. Yamasaki traveled to Japan three times, taking the opportunity to visit India and countries in Southeast Asia and Europe and study their art and architecture.

While Yamasaki continued to admire the work of International Style architects, it was at this point that his own design philosophy began to move away from the style's strict designs. Rather than continuing to reject older styles as the International Style did, Yamasaki took inspiration from historical and classical styles, incorporating them in an abstract manner while using the newest materials and building technologies.

Yamasaki's new approach to design came to be known as "New Formalism." Typical characteristics included the use of classical elements, such as arches, colonnades, and columns, in new contexts; a return to materials like travertine, marble, and rich woods, sometimes using newer materials that mimicked the richness of traditional materials; formal landscapes, including central plazas, pools, fountains, and sculpture; and the creation of modern monuments, including techniques such as setting the building on a podium.

Perhaps no building exemplifies Yamasaki's new design philosophy better than his first major commission following his illness and overseas travel. This was the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit. In 1954, the McGregor Fund, founded by Detroit philanthropists Tracy and Katherine McGregor, decided that a community conference center would be an appropriate memorial to the McGregor's work and legacy. Although it would be located on the campus of Wayne State University it would not be an academic building. This was an ideal commission for Yamasaki to begin expressing his newly evolving approach to Modern architectural design.

The nature of the building and its use gave Yamasaki room for experimentation. To express its character as a memorial, he built the Center on an elevated platform, setting it above and apart from its surroundings. For the landscape around the building he designed a sunken reflecting pool and gardens that wrap around two of the building's sides and provide a sense of serenity, repose, and thoughtful contemplation.

The two-story, rectangular Center is made up of identical halves with a large glass atrium running through the middle. The north and south walls are covered with narrow pieces of white Italian travertine and projecting from the center of both walls are the ends of the atrium. Each atrium end has a set of four glass and aluminum doors covered with decorative aluminum screens. Metal screens like this would become a characteristic of Yamasaki's later work.

The east and west walls of the building are made up of aluminum and tinted grey glass windows framed by rectangular steel columns covered with white marble and topped with triangular projections. These projections give the impression of pointed arches. The columns and projections are set in front of and apart from the windows and act as a screen, helping to shade the interior from direct sunlight. Yamasaki also installed aluminum screens in a geometric pattern in the top third of the "arches" to help shade the interior.

The main feature of the inside of the building is a two-story, light-filled, glass-enclosed atrium covered by a skylight which rises above the roof. The triangular projections and columns of the exterior walls are repeated on the sides of the atrium. The effect is similar to a medieval cathedral, with a soaring center aisle flanked by columns and first and second floor galleries. Set behind the columns are flat plaster walls and doors with teak wood panels on both the first and second floors to softened the interior. The first and second floors are Vermont white marble, with a purple carpet in the center of the atrium. On the second floor the two side galleries are linked by an antique marble bridge, supported by steel framing with triangular stainless steel railings.

The outside of the building has an L-shaped pool with three rectangular islands covered with crushed white marble pavers. There are groupings of large boulders within the pool, planters, and sculptures on the islands, and concrete bridges covered with crushed black granite. Stairs lead from the plaza down to the center island and the pool is surrounded by a concrete terrace lined with trees, planters, and benches.

The McGregor Memorial Conference Center, completed in 1958, brought Yamasaki national attention. It was the first completed expression of his new design philosophy, and the most significant break from his earlier work done in the International Style. Yamasaki's design of the McGregor Center so impressed Wayne State University that he was chosen to design several more buildings and create a new campus plan.

The late 1950s and early 1960s were arguably the height of Yamasaki's career and popularity as an architect. In 1959, Yamasaki set up his own company, Yamasaki and Associates. The firm was extremely popular, and by the early 1960s Yamasaki was handling commissions from across the country and around the world. His career reached its height with the commission for the World Trade Center in New York City in 1962. The center exemplified many of Yamasaki's design ideals and he considered the design of the site to be as important as the buildings. He created a mix of high and low rise buildings set within an urban oasis–a garden space where people could relax and find serenity.

Yamasaki remained active in architecture into the 1980s, maturing into a respected elder of the profession. Over the years, he mentored a number of architects who, in their turn, would become among the most successful of the next generation including Gunnar Birkerts, William Kessler, Phil Meathe, and Don Hisaka. After his illness in 1954, Yamasaki continued to suffer from stomach problems exacerbated by his heavy workload and the extreme pressure he placed on himself. He died in 1986.

Minoru Yamasaki's unique design style married his taste for history, his simply expressed humanism, and his occasional whimsy with the technological advances available to Modern Architecture. The McGregor Memorial Conference Center both established and embodied those principles, ushering in a new aesthetic style, New Formalism, which helped to influence Modern Architecture in the second half of the 20th century.

Plan your visit

The McGregor Memorial Conference Center is located at 495 Ferry Mall, Detroit, MI. The Center is open daily from 9:00am to 4:00pm. For more information, visit the McGregor Memorial Conference Center website or call 313-577-2400.

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Minidoka National Historic Site, Jerome County, Idaho

On December 7, 1941, on what seemed to be a relatively calm Sunday morning for the residents of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, two waves of Japanese warplanes appeared out of the clouds and attacked the United States Naval base at Pearl Harbor as well as other military sites on the island. Described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as "a date, which will live in infamy," the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor prompted the U.S. to enter World War II. On December 8, the U.S. declared war with Japan. Americans were fearful that people of Japanese descent living in the U.S. might aid the Japanese, which prompted President Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from from all of California and parts of Alaska, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, and New Mexico of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry. Managing the relocation was the job of the War Relocation Authority (WRA), which the Federal Government established to construct and administer relocations centers to house the evacuees. Through Executive Order 9066 came Proclamation No.1 which was initially a policy of voluntary participation to relocate; however, the relocation soon became mandatory forcing some 120,000 Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry to move to 10 inland war relocation centers across the nation.

Established in south-central Idaho, 10 miles north of the town of Eden, Minidoka opened on August 10, 1942, and remained in operation until October 28, 1945. During this period, 10,000 evacuees from Oregon, Washington, and Alaska lived at Minidoka, which the WRA and the Bureau of Reclamation built to mimic a small American town. The camp had a 600-bed hospital, schools, a library, fire station, food and retail stores, barbershops, salons, and recreational areas, such as theatres, ballparks, swimming pools, and social halls. In addition to the recreational and service buildings, the camp had 35 residential blocks, each of them consisting of 12 sleeping quarters. All of these blocks included a central H-shaped building, where residents could shower and do their laundry. Although the 946-acre camp mirrored a fully functioning town, the five miles of barbed wire fencing, eight watchtowers, and the overall military presence separated the Minidoka Relocation Center from neighboring communities.

Initially, the WRA planned to turn the Minidoka into a farming community, but over time, as the number of residents and facilities continued to grow, the evacuees began doing jobs to support the camp. They worked as doctors, nurses, mechanics, dentists, draftsmen, surveyors, and laborers. Despite holding respectable positions at Minidoka, the Japanese evacuees earned very low wages for performing these jobs compared to the minimum wage available to Americans working in the same professions outside of the relocation centers. Most of the workers at Minidoka earned between $12 and $19 per month; meanwhile prisoners of war during this time earned on average $19.50 a month.

Although the internees at Minidoka did not suffer from physical abuse, the working conditions combined with the living conditions did cause psychological hardships. The lack of privacy and the communal living changed the relationships in and between families. As they learned to live under government control, the younger internees began to ignore the authority of their elders who, up until the war, had strong familial control over the younger generations. Eventually, some of the younger internees began enlisting in the U.S. Army. Eventually 26,000 Japanese Americans from all 10 relocation centers served in the U.S. military, of which 25% came from Minidoka. By the end of the war, Japanese Americans in the armed services had suffered over 9,000 casualties, with Minidoka having the largest casualty list of all the relocation centers. On October 6, 2010, nearly 65 years after the Minidoka Relocation Center closed, President Barack Obama signed legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the nation's highest civilian awards, to the Japanese Americans who served in World War II.

After Minidoka was closed in October of 1945, a large number of the buildings were removed for various uses, including housing, migrant labor camps, meeting halls, or for salvage value. The land was divided into small farms. Forty-three of these small farms were allotted in 1947 to World War II veterans, whose names were drawn in a lottery. In 1949 another 46 small farms were allotted. Each veteran also received two barracks.

To learn more about Minidoka National Historic Site, tourists may visit the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center, where they can view an exhibit on the Minidoka Relocation Center. They may also walk the 1.6 mile interpretive trail at Minidoka. Twenty three outdoor exhibit panels, audio units, and diagrams along the trail tell the story of the people, the historic structures, and the cultural landscape that is preserved at the site. Visitors may walk through the remains of the entry station, waiting room, and rock garden. At the entrance area, visitors can read the historical commemorative plaques that list the names of the Japanese American troops from Minidoka who served in World War II.

Additionally, the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is a satellite unit of the Minidoka National Historic Site. Located on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, the memorial stands at the former location of the Eagledale ferry dock. On March 30th, 1942, two hundred twenty–seven men, women, and children (two–thirds of them American citizens) were forcibly removed from their homes and ferried from the dock to the nearby city of Seattle. They were the first people of Japanese descent removed from the west coast during World War II and were initially relocated to Manzanar Relocation Center, located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. A year later the majority were transferred to Minidoka. More information can be found on the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community website.

Plan your visit

Minidoka National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System, is located 10 miles north of the town of Eden, ID between Twin Falls and Jerome, ID. The site is open year round during daylight hours. There is a 1.6 mile interpretive trail at the site with markers. Many buildings and features that were part of the center are located on private property which visitors may not enter. Although Minidoka National Historic Site does not offer visitor services at the site, an exhibit about the relocation center is on view at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument Visitor Center. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is located at 221 N State St. in Hagerman, ID. The visitor center is open every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm during the summer, and closed every Tuesday and Wednesday during the winter. There is no admission fee. For more information and directions, visit the National Park Service Minidoka National Historic Site website or call 208-933-4100.

Minidoka National Historic Site is featured in the National Park Service Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary and also in the National Historic Landmark Theme Study Japanese Americans in World War II. The Minidoka Relocation Center Warehouse has been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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Mo'okini Heiau, Hawi, Hawaii

Mo'okini Heiau is located in Kohala Historical Sites State Monument near the town of Hawi on the Island of Hawai'i. It is one of the oldest and most sacred heiau (places of worship) in the Hawaiian Islands and is one of the first luakini heiau in the islands. Today, Mo'okini Heiau is considered a living spiritual temple and a sacred site to Native Hawaiians.

Tradition says that a temple was first built on the northernmost tip of the Island of Hawai'i sometime in the 5th century by the high priest Mo'okini. Later oral tradition says that the current heiau was built on the older temple between the 13th and 14th centuries by Pa'ao, a legendary priest from either Tahiti or Samoa who is said to have introduced the Hawaiians to human sacrifice, the walled heiau, and several types of kapu – the system of religious, political, and social laws that governed every aspect of daily life. Pa'ao was said to have lived near Mo'okini Heiau and founded a lineage of priests that served the ali'i 'ai moku (paramount chief) of the Island of Hawai'i through the early part of the 19th century.

Ancient Hawaiians had many types of heiau, each with their own distinct function and use by particular segments of society. Heiau ranged in size from single upright stones to massive and complex structures. Larger heiau were built by ali'i (chiefs), but the largest and most complex, the luakini heiau (sacrificial temple), could only be constructed and dedicated by an ali'i 'ai moku. Luakini heiau were reserved for rituals involving human or animal sacrifice and were generally dedicated to the war god Ku. Rituals performed at a luakini heiau highlighted the ali'i 'ai moku's spiritual, economic, political, and social control over his lands and his authority over the life and death of his people.

Mo'okini Heiau was built as a luakini heiau in the shape of a parallelogram - 267 feet long on the west, 250 feet on the east, 135 feet on the north, and 112 feet on the south. Stone walls made without any mortar using a dry stacking technique enclose the heiau. The walls are 10 feet wide at the base and are tapered both inside and out, varying in height from 7 to 14 feet. Hawaiian oral tradition says that the basalt rocks used to make the walls were passed hand to hand by thousands of men who formed a line from the Niuli'i area 10 miles to the east, to the site of the Mo'okini Heiau. The inside of the heiau contains a large stone platform in the northern end, with smaller platforms that once held thatched temple buildings scattered throughout the site. Outside of the heiau, on the north side, is the stone named Papa-nui-o-leka, on which human flesh was separated from bones after the body had been used in a ritual sacrifice. According to tradition, Mo'okini Heiau was the primary place of worship in the northern part of the Island of Hawai'i.

Mo'okini Heiau was active through the early part of the 19th century and was Kamehameha I's war temple, housing his family's war god Ku-ka-'ili-moku before the transfer of the god to Kamehameha's new war temple Pu'ukohola Heiau, 21 miles down the coast near Kawaihae. Kamehameha I's son and heir Liholiho also used Mo'okini Heiau. In 1819, after his father's death, Liholiho ended kapu and abolished that part of the Hawaiian religion that depended on heiau. In spite of royal orders that they be destroyed, Mo'okini and several other large heiau were spared. It was believed that they had acquired mana (spiritual energy), which protected them against human destruction.

In 1978, Kahuna Nui (High Priestess) Leimomi Moʻokini Lum lifted the kapu (taboo) forbidding anyone but ali'i and kahuna from entering Mo'okini Heiau and also rededicated the heiau to the children of the land. In 1994, she again rededicated the heiau, this time to the children of the world. Visitors to the site often bring a flower or a lei to leave at the heiau as an offering of respect.

Approximately 2,000 feet to the south of Mo'okini Heiau, is the Kamehameha I Birthplace (Kapakai Royal Housing Complex). It was typical for an ali'i 'ai moku's housing complex to be near and associated with a luakini heiau and this is one of the few places in the Hawaiian Islands where historians know the exact location of a housing complex and its associated heiau. Over the centuries Kapakai served as the residence of ali'i 'ai moku when ceremonies were conducted in Mo'okini Heiau. Religious ceremonies lasted several days and nights and during this time, ali'i 'ai moku and high priests would leave the heiau for short periods to return to Kapakai. Kamehameha I was born in the Kapakai Royal Housing Complex and later stayed there while conducting ceremonies in Mo'okini Heiau.

Plan your visit

Mo'okini Heiau, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the northernmost point of the Island of Hawai'i in the Kohala Historical Sites State Monument, 5 miles southwest of Hawi, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. Mo'okini Heiau is on Coral Reef Pl./Upolu Point Rd. off of Upolu Airport Rd. and Highway 270 (Akoni Pule Highway). Coral Reef Pl./Upolu Point Rd. is a rough dirt road and is best reached in vehicles with four-wheel drive. Kohala Historical Sites State Monument is open every day except Wednesday, from 9:00am to 8:00pm. There is no admission fee. For more information, visit the Kohala Hawaii website or call the Hawai'i State Parks, Hawai'i Island District Office at 808-961-9540.

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Nan Madol, Pohnpei Island, Federated States of Micronesia

Few historic places in the Pacific are as intriguing as Nan Madol. The city ruins are on a coral reef in a lagoon on the tiny island of Temwen, adjacent to the eastern shore of the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. Before its abandonment, Nan Madol was a major political and spiritual hub for native Pohnpeians. Throughout its 500 year life, from 1200 and 1700, the city served as a religious center, a royal enclave, a fortress, an urban marketplace, and the high seat of government for the island of Pohnpei. Relatively unknown outside of Micronesia, the city of Nan Madol is a hidden gem of Polynesian history and culture and a grand sight for modern visitors.

During its height, Nan Madol was the seat of the Saudeleur dynasty which united all of Pohnpei's estimated 25,000 people. The Saudeleur were originally a foreign tribe who came to Pohnpei and installed themselves as rulers of the island. The Saudeleur first appeared around the year 1100 and built Nan Madol around 1200. According to Pohnpeian oral history, the first Saudeleur to arrive on Pohnpei were two brothers, Olisihpa and Olosohpa, canoe-faring sorcerers who received their powers from the gods and used their magic to build Nan Madol. This so impressed the native Pohnpeians that they invited the Saudeleur to marry into their tribe. When one of the brothers eventually died, the other declared himself king. The Saudeleur built Nan Madol as a temple for the farm god Nahnisohn Sapw, the god worshipped by the Saudeleur nobility.

Nan Madol became the most important political and religious center on the island. The social system at Nan Madol is the earliest known example of such centralized political power in the western Pacific. The largest homes belonged to the chiefly elite and archeological excavations have revealed objects that mark their owners' status in society. The city was built so that the nobility were isolated from the general population. At its peak, Nan Madol may have been home to a thousand people, the majority of whom were commoners serving the nobility.

Nan Madol was a sacred site filled with altars, oracles, and temples. Many Saudeleur were priests, and this heavy concentration of religious leaders led to the development of numerous cults. According to oral history, later generations of Saudeleur aristocrats became increasingly oppressive, often forcing the native Pohnpeians into starvation.

In 1628, the warrior hero Isokelekel led an invasion of Pohnpei and defeated the Saudeleur tribe. Pohnpeian oral history says that Isokelekel was a demigod and the vengeful son of the Pohnpeian storm god Nahn Sapwe, who had grown unhappy with the tyranny of Nahnisohn Sapw and the Saudeleur. Historians believe that Isokelekel was the leader of a band of Micronesian settlers from the nearby island of Kosrae. Isokelekel led his war band of warriors, women, and children to victory with the assistance of the oppressed Pohnpeian populace. With the defeat of the Sandaleur, Nan Madol's significance to Pohnpeians slowly eroded and it was eventually abandoned in the 18th century.

Nan Madol is the only extant ancient city built on top of a coral reef. Constructed in a lagoon and surrounded by water on three sides with a stone wall enclosing the complex, the city is often referred to as the "Venice of the Pacific." Nan Madol roughly translates to "within the intervals" referring to the elaborate web of tidal canals and waterways which crisscross the city, allowing transportation between over 90 small artificial islets. Because of its construction, Nan Madol appears to float on the water. Carved basalt stones carefully placed on top of each other in a crisscross pattern formed the walls of each of the 130 buildings. Some individual stones are light enough that a single person could carry them, while the heaviest of the basalt pillars weigh 100,000 pounds each. The buildings stand on a foundation of natural coral that lies just below the water's surface. The largest structure is the Nandauwas, a royal temple surrounded by 25-foot high walls. The Pohnpeians, who had neither binding agents like concrete nor modern diving equipment, sank the heavy stones into the lagoon using an unknown method. The building remains and canals are stable enough that even after centuries of abandonment visitors can still tour Nan Madol by boat. The entire complex is a fitting tribute to the sophisticated methods of its Pohnpeian builders. The scale and superiority of its stone architecture, its artificial islet construction, and the modification of the shoreline contribute to the significance of the site.

Nan Madol National Historic Landmark is an archeological district that includes the city of Nan Madol; Temwen Island; the reef islets to the east and south of Nan Madol; the area north of Temwen called Metipw; and adjacent areas of the main island Madolenihmw District coast referred to as Tamwerohi. The district covers an area of 19 square miles and is privately owned by Pohnpeians, however, ownership of the surrounding islets comprising the city of Nan Madol remains unclear.

Visiting Nan Madol National Historic Landmark is a unique experience. The private landowners are modern-day Nahnmwarki, who trace their lineage to Isokelekel's chiefs. Nahnmwarki representatives provide tours of the city by boat. A typical boat tour begins at the Madol Powe district, where the huge Nandauwas temple sits just off Pohnpei's shoreline. Visitors are ferried behind and around the 12 artificial islands that make up Nan Madol's city wall and around and back inside the city to its southeastern district, which features commoners' homes and the palace-barracks of Kelepwei that housed Isokelekel and his elite warriors.

Plan your visit

Nan Madol, a National Historic Landmark, is located on Temwen Island in the present day Madolenihmw district of Pohnpei state, in the Federated States of Micronesia. Nan Madol is on private property but is open to the public. Representatives of the Nahnmwarki will ferry visitors to the site for a small fee. Visitors should bring American dollars to pay for the boat tour. For more information, visit the Federated States of Micronesia Visitors Board or call 691-320-5133. For information about the island of Pohnpei, visit the Pohnpei Visitors Bureau or call either 691-320-4851 or 691-320-4823.

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National Park of American Samoa, Tutuila, Ta’u, and Ofu Islands, American Samoa

Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history. The National Park helps to preserve the unique cultural and natural history of American Samoa.

The National Park of American Samoa is spread across three volcanic islands—Tutuila, Ta’u, and Ofu—which are part of a larger chain of 17 islands and two atolls that comprise the Samoan Archipelago. The land is divided into two recognized political territories, the United States Territory of American Samoa and Samoa, an independent country 15 times larger than American Samoa. American Samoa is approximately 76 square miles and when including the 200 miles of surrounding territorial waters, the territory is approximately the size of the State of Oregon. American Samoa is made up of five volcanic islands—Tutuila, Aunu'u, Ofu, Olosega, and Ta'u—and Rose and Swains islands, two remote atolls. The islands are humid and rainy most of the year with average temperatures around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The U.S. Government does not own the land in the National Park of American Samoa because of the Samoan traditional practice of a communal land system. Instead, the National Park Service leases the land from the Samoan village councils.

Although a relatively small territory, American Samoa has a long cultural history. The Samoan culture is considered the oldest in all of Polynesia, an area in the southern and central Pacific Ocean that includes over 1,000 islands. People likely first migrated to the Samoan Islands from Southeast Asia by water routes thousands of years ago. In the 1970s and 1980s archeologists working on the Mulifanua Ferry Berth Site on the Samoan island of Upolu found over 4,000 pottery sherds and two stone adzes. The pottery sherds, particularly the ones that were decorated, shared characteristics with pottery made by an ancient Pacific culture called "Lapita," a group from the Bismarck Archipelago off the northeastern coast of New Guinea. The Ferry site dates from 1042-978 B.C. making it the earliest site on the islands and confirming the presence of humans in Samoa over 3,000 years ago.

Because of a lack of archeological research of Samoan sites dating from about 500 A.D. about 1,000 A.D., a gap exists in the archeological record of Samoa. This gap, referred to as the Samoan Dark Age, is believed to be a period when Samoan culture flourished and developed significantly. The underground archeological site Fatumafuti on the island of Tutuila provides some clues of this development. Outlines of houses and structures remain and remnants of tools as old as 700 years found at the site indicate when Samoan people first started using stone tools to carve wood and develop a more complex society. While visitors today cannot easily view this site, they should check with the Park visitor center to find archeological sites that allow visitation.

Also of particular importance to the development of culture in American Samoa are the tia seu lupe or star mounds which were most likely built within the past 500 years. These irregularly shaped, raised platforms constructed of earth are thought to have been used to snare lupe (Pacific pigeons) as part of a ritual sport of chiefs. The use of these mounds decreased when Europeans arrived in Samoa bringing Christian practices. Today, some mounds are visible on Ta’u Island.

One of the main reason people make the long journey to American Samoa is to experience the beauty of the territory’s oceans, coral reefs, beaches, and cliffs. The park has well mapped driving routes and visitors are able to get a good overview of the landscape of tropical rainforests containing over 700 species of trees and plants on a drive from Pago Pago to the north coast. For visitors who would prefer to see nature up-close, Ofu Island offers snorkeling opportunities to view some of the over 250 coral species and over 950 fish species that live in the waters around American Samoa. The island also contains stunning views above water for hikers wishing to take in the seascapes from immaculate shorelines.

Neighboring Tutuila Island contains the only part of the Park accessible by car. There are multiple hiking trails as well as walks that take visitors to historic World War II sites. Although not technically within the boundaries of the park, Blunts and Breakers Point Gun Emplacements highlight the significant role American Samoa played during World War II while offering stunning views over the ocean. Both sites are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Blunts Point Trail is a moderately difficult hike allowing visitors to see two of the cannons that protected Pago Pago Harbor during the war.

The history and natural environment of American Samoa come together to produce a distinctive culture known as Fa’asamoa or the Samoan Way. Samoan society is also very communal and rooted in one’s family. Sunday is traditionally the day of rest in most villages. To gain a truly intimate understanding of the life and people of American Samoa, the Park created a Homestay Program to provide visitors with a short-term immersion in Samoan culture. The National Park Service facilitates, but does not administer the program. This program can be a good way to visit the Park and see American Samoa as long as visitors remain flexible and make their expectations of the visit clear to their hosts.

Today, the National Park of American Samoa retains much of its natural and cultural diversity due to the preservation and interpretation efforts of the Park and Samoan residents. Although quite removed from most other units of the National Park System, the Park is the perfect destination for an adventurer looking to experience Samoan culture, tropical rainforests, coral reefs, fruit bats, and ancient volcanoes.

The visitor center offers exhibits that showcase the significance of the islands' unique tropical rainforests, coral reefs, wildlife, and the Samoan culture. In addition, there are interactive exhibits of sea life, forest birds, fruit bats, cultural handicrafts and tools, and models of the islands. At roadside pull-offs, exhibits and signs provide additional information about the islands. For families and children, the Park offers the Junior Ranger Program. A digital copy of the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger Activity Book can be found here or in hardcopy at the Park’s visitor center.

Plan your visit

The National Park of American Samoa, a unit of the National Park System, is located in a remote part of the South Pacific. The Park is accessible by round-trip flights from Honolulu, Hawaii to Pago Pago International Airport via Hawaiian Airlines. The Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day and there are multiple day hikes on the islands. The Park visitor center is in Pago Pago across from the Pago Way Service Station and is open weekdays from 8:00am to 4:30pm. To stay with a host family, visit the Park’s Homestay web page or email the park at NPSA_INFO@nps.gov. For more information about the Park, visit the National Park of American Samoa website.

The Park is made up of sections of each of the three islands. Visitors should be respectful of their surroundings and aware of when they are crossing from the Park to private lands. Visitors also need to be mindful of a lack of nearby search and rescue capabilities.

The National Park of American Samoa is featured in the National Park Service Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary.

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Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad Historic District, Fremont and Sunol, California

The Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad Historic District is made up of the 11 mile-long section of the First Transcontinental Railroad that passes through Niles Canyon between the towns of Sunol and Fremont (Niles), north of San Jose, California. The rail line through Niles Canyon to San Francisco was the final segment of the First Transcontinental Railroad and was completed in 1870, providing the first rail connection between the San Francisco Bay area and the rest of the United States. The companies that constructed the far western portion of the railroad employed thousands of Chinese laborers, and its completion is considered one of the most significant engineering achievements of the 19th century.

The First Transcontinental Railroad connected the San Francisco Bay Area to existing rail lines in the Midwest and East. The section of the railroad from San Francisco to Sacramento was built primarily by two companies, the Central Pacific Railroad Corporation (CPRR), and the Western Pacific Railroad Company (WPCR). Initially, the railroads had trouble attracting workers as people felt they could make money more quickly with less danger by working in mines like those on the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, Nevada. The WPCR supplemented its workforce with Chinese laborers and this proved so successful that the CPRR began to recruit Chinese workers from immigrant communities within the U.S. and later directly from China. The CPRR eventually employed over 11,000 Chinese immigrants to construct its portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, accounting for 90 percent of its workforce.

The WPCR built 20 miles of track between Sacramento and San Jose, reaching Alameda Cañon (Niles Canyon) in 1866. The WPCR used 500 Chinese laborers to grade and construct the rail line into the rugged canyon with its tight curves and narrow banks. Construction was then halted because of disagreements between the railroad’s contractors and its financiers. In late 1869, the CPRR, which had bought the WPCR, restarted work on the railroad through Alameda Cañon, also using Chinese labor. Besides grading the railroad bed, the laborers built culverts, retaining walls, and bridge piers. Four major timber through (Howe) truss bridges were built to cross Alameda Creek and Arroyo de la Laguna Creek. By early 1870, the last section of the First Transcontinental Railroad, through Niles Canyon to the San Francisco Bay, was complete.

In 1880, the rail line through Niles Canyon became secondary to a new main line constructed through the towns of Benicia and Martinez, California. In 1889, the CPRR became a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railway and the two merged in 1959. The tracks through Niles Canyon were in service until 1984 when Southern Pacific deeded the section of the rail line from Sunol to Fremont (Niles), the associated structures, and the right-of-way to Alameda County.

In 1987, the Pacific Locomotive Association entered into an agreement with Alameda County and in 1988, began operating passenger cars along the Niles Canyon Railway. Today, the Pacific Locomotive Association operates the historic Niles Canyon Railway as a living history museum and runs both diesel and steam locomotives through the canyon on Sundays from February through October.

The Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad is one of the best preserved segments of the First Transcontinental Railroad in the western U.S. and is one of the only examples of a mainline railroad in the West to retain most of its features from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The narrow railroad bed and sharp turns are characteristic of the early years of railway construction in the U.S. Most similar roadbeds were obliterated as railroads began to modernize beginning in the 1890s. The ruggedness of Niles Canyon limited efforts to improve the roadbed and it has remained essentially unaltered except for bridge replacements and the addition of passing sidings and signals. As a result, many of the views through the canyon remain pristine and the tracks are still on the original alignment that Chinese workers graded in the 1860s. Today, Niles Canyon is the only remaining railroad corridor entering the San Francisco Bay area that has not been substantially altered for modern transportation projects.

Plan your visit

Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad Historic District is located between the towns of Sunol and (Niles) Fremont, California. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text. The Niles Canyon Railway operates every Sunday from February through October and tickets may be purchased at the stations in either Sunol or Fremont. For more information, visit Niles Canyon Railway website or call 510-996-8420. 

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Old Sugar Mill of Kōloa, Kōloa, Hawaii

The Old Sugar Mill of Kōloa, part of the historic Ladd & Company sugar plantation, is located in the town of Kōloa, on the Island of Kauai. Sugarcane had been grown in the Hawaiian Islands for hundreds of years, and Captain Cook observed small-plot sugarcane cultivation when he first landed on Kauai in 1778. Founded in 1835, the Ladd & Company sugar plantation was the first successful large-scale sugar manufacturing enterprise in the Hawaiian Islands. Because of the fertility of the soil and the temperate climate, growing conditions were ideal for sugarcane, and sugar manufacturing soon became one of the largest industries in the islands.

In 1825, John Wilkinson, an Englishman, planted sugarcane in Manoa Valley on the Island of Hawai'i and had approximately 100 acres under cultivation at the time of his death in 1827. This is widely regarded as the first sugar plantation in the Hawaiian Islands, although it was not a commercial success. In 1833, Peter William Ladd, Allan Brinsmade, and William Hooper came to Honolulu on the Island of Oahu from the United States to establish a trading business which they named Ladd & Company. They constructed a large stone warehouse and wharf on the waterfront in Honolulu and eventually began looking for other business opportunities. In 1835, they leased 980 acres of land on the island of Kauai from the Royal Governor, Kaikioewa, specifically for the purpose of growing and processing sugar. They chose to lease in the Kōloa area because of the quality of its soil, its proximity to a good port, and its closeness to Maulili pool which had a waterfall that could be used to power a mill.

The company initially planted 12 acres of sugarcane and in 1836, produced a small amount of molasses, quickly wearing out the wooden grinding rollers at the mill. These were replaced with iron rollers which allowed for increased production and in 1837, the mill produced 4,286 pounds of sugar and 2,700 gallons of molasses, marking the first true production of sugar on a commercial scale in the Hawaiian Islands. The mill at Maulili pool was ultimately unsuccessful and a new mill was built on Waihohonu stream (present day Kōloa) in 1841. The ruins of the second mill make up the Old Sugar Mill of Kōloa National Historic Landmark.

In 1841, Ladd & Company's Kōloa sugar plantation was the site of the first general strike by native laborers in the Hawaiian Islands. The workers were paid 12.5 cents a day and went on strike to demand an increase in pay to 25 cents a day. The Kōloa plantation management refused, stating that in addition to their base pay the workers were receiving housing, fish, and land for their taro patches as well as an exemption from paying taxes to the ali'i (native chiefs). The strike was broken within two weeks. This was the first of many such strikes that affected sugar plantations in the islands throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Due to lack of funds, debt, and the shifting political climate in the Kingdom of Hawai'i, Ladd & Company was forced to close in 1845. The Kōloa sugar plantation and mill were repossessed by the Hawaiian government and sold to Robert Wood, William Hooper's brother-in-law, who ran the sugar operation until 1874. The old sugar mill on the Waihohonu stream was used until 1912, when it was replaced by a much larger mill located to the east of Kōloa. The Kōloa Plantation continued to operate under various owners until it closed in 1996.

Today, visitors to the site can see the remains of the Old Sugar Mill and a sculpture to the people who labored in the sugar industry in Kōloa. In addition, the towns of Koloa and Poipu host the annual Kōloa Plantation Days Celebration, a 9-day festival that celebrates both the various ethnic groups that worked on the area's sugar plantations and also the island's Native Hawaiian population.

Plan your visit

The Old Sugar Mill of Kōloa, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the island of Kauai in Kōloa, HI at the junction of Maluhia Rd. (Highway 520) and K'loa Rd. (Highway 530) in the old town of Kōloa. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The historic old town is open daily 9:00am to 9:00pm. There is no admission fee. The Old Sugar Mill of Kōloa is part of the Ka Ala Hele Waiwai Hooilina o Koloa, (Kōloa Heritage Trail), a 10-mile self-guided tour with brochure of the area's most important cultural, historical, and geological sites. For more information, visit the Old Town Kōloa History Center website.

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Panama Hotel, Seattle, Washington

The Panama Hotel is located in the heart of Seattle, Washington's Chinatown-International District, the location of its Nihonmachi (Japantown) before World War II. The hotel has a long history of providing temporary lodging for immigrants from Japan who emigrated to Seattle and houses one of only two intact sentos (public bathhouses) in the United States. The hotel's basement was also used by the Japanese community as a storeroom for their possessions during WWII when people of Japanese descent were evacuated from the West Coast and sent to relocation centers throughout the United States.

The hotel was designed by Sabro Ozasa, the first Japanese American architect to practice in Seattle and one of the earliest to practice in the United States. The Panama Hotel was built on the corner of 6th and Main Streets in what was considered the heart of Seattle's Nihonmachi. The five-story building was completed in 1910 as a workingman's hotel with the sento in the basement, stores on the ground floor, a mezzanine above, and three floors of guest rooms.

The Japanese brought the traditional cultural practice of bathing in sentos from Japan, adapting it to their new home. The practice is over a twelve hundred years old and was both social and practical as some homes, especially in urban areas, did not have private baths. Almost every American Nihonmachi had a sento containing multiple furos (soaking tubs). At one time, there were hundreds of sentos in the western U.S. Today only two remain – the Hashidate Yu at the Panama Hotel and the still operating Miyazaki Bathhouse in the Walnut Grove Japanese Historic District in Walnut Grove, California.

The Hashidate Yu has a different entryway from the Panama Hotel's main entrance. The entrance to the sento is located on 302 6th Avenue South. Users of the sento paid an admission fee that varied over time. The Hashidate Yu consists of two furos – one for men and one for women. The men's side is three times larger and more spacious than that of the women's. A dividing wall separates the two furos, but both sides have faucets that control the water. Before getting into the tubs, bathers would put their shoes and other personal items in wooden lockers. The lockers still have their original numbers from right to left and include internal hooks. Some of the original advertisements are still visible in the men's locker; many of the signs are bilingual. Examples of the signs include ones advertising the West Coast Printing Company, Hikida Furniture and Appliance Company, and Yesler Hardware and Plumbing Supplies.

Because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan in December 1942, and the United States' subsequent declaration of war, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal of anyone of Japanese descent - citizens and non-citizens alike - living in California, Washington, Oregon and parts of Arizona and New Mexico to relocation centers. As a result, 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were sent to live in one of 10 relocation centers throughout the U.S. for the duration of the war.

Faced with enforced evacuation and hearing, by word of mouth, that the owner of the Panama Hotel, Mr. Takashi Hori, had a secure place to store belongings, many of the members of Seattle's Japanese community brought their valuables to be stored in the basement of the hotel. In 1945, Mr. Hori, who had been interned in a relocation center, returned to Seattle to reclaim his hotel from the management company that ran it while he was away. He found approximately 50 trunks of property unclaimed in the hotel basement and tried to reunite them with their owners, but many families, including the owners of the trunks, did not return to Seattle after the war.

After buying the hotel from Mr. Takashi Hori and his family in 1985, Jan Johnson, the current owner, also tried to locate the trunks' original owners or their descendants and return the personal belongings to the families. Appreciating the historic value of the trunks and their contents, Ms. Johnson took the belongings that were left unclaimed and created a museum in the basement of the hotel. Many of the items have been included in temporary exhibitions at Ellis Island in New York and the Japanese American National Museum in the Little Tokyo Historic District, Los Angeles, California. Today visitors and guests to the hotel can see and learn from the collection of photographs, clothes, and items that were part of everyday life in Seattle's pre-WWII Nihonmachi.

The Panama Hotel became a National Historic Landmark in 2006, and operates as the Historic Panama Hotel Bed & Breakfast. Guests stay in the original hotel rooms, decorated with pre-World War II furniture, and the hotel has a well known Asian Tea and Coffee House. The Hashidate Yu is open for tours by appointment. Both inside and out, the Panama Hotel looks much the same today as it did in the first half of the 20th century and still anchors a vibrant neighborhood in downtown Seattle.

Plan your visit

The Panama Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 605 South Main St, Seattle, WA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. The Tea and Coffee House at the Hotel is open daily from 8:00am to 9:00pm. Tours of the Hashidate Yu are by appointment only for groups of five or more. There is an admission fee of $12.00, children under five are admitted free of charge. For more information, visit the Historic Panama Hotel Bed & Breakfast website or call 206-223-9242.

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Pi'ilanihale Heiau, Hana, Hawaii

Pi'ilanihale Heiau (also known as Hale O Pi' Ilani Heiau) is located in Kahanu Garden, a National Tropical Botanical Park near the town of Hana on the Island of Maui. The heiau (place of worship) is the largest one on the Island of Maui and is one of the most important archeological sites in the Hawaiian Islands.

Early Hawaiian shrines were simple and constructed by families and small communities. With population growth and changes in religion, social organizations became more complex and large heiau were constructed for public ceremonies. In general, the ali'i (chiefs) worshiped four major gods in these ceremonies: Lono (peace, agriculture, fertility), Kane (the creator and ancestral deities), Kanaloa (the ocean, healing and general well-being), and Ku (war). Commoners worshiped individual family gods at private family shrines and worshiped the four major gods under the direction of high priests.

Ancient Hawaiians had many types of heiau, each with their own distinct function and use by particular segments of society. Heiau ranged in size from single upright stones to massive and complex structures. Larger heiau were built by ali'i (chief), but the largest and most complex, the luakini heiau (sacrificial temple), could only be constructed and dedicated by an aliʻi 'ai moku (paramount chief of an island or chiefdom). Luakini heiau were reserved for rituals involving human or animal sacrifice and were generally dedicated to the war god Ku. Rituals performed at a luakini heiau highlighted the ali'i 'ai moku's spiritual, economic, political, and social control over his lands and his authority over the life and death of his people.

Pi'ilanihale Heiau is the largest heiau in Polynesia and one of the best preserved in the Hawaiian Islands. The massive structure was built in several stages, beginning as early as the 13th century. Situated on a broad ridge and built from basalt rocks carried by hand from as far away as Hana Bay, the heiau measures 341 feet by 415 feet at the top with a high front wall rising 50 feet. The walls facing the sea are made up of multiple stepped terraces. The interior consists of eight lesser walls, three enclosures, five platforms, two upright stones, and 30 pits. Early anthropologists thought that, given its size, Pi'ilanihale Heiau function as a state luakini heiau that served a district or kingdom; however, today some anthropologists theorize that the heiau was used as a residence (Pi'ilanihale means "house of Pi'ilani").

Pi'ilanihale Heiau sat untouched and undisturbed until 1974, when members of the Kahanu/Uaiwa/Matsuda/Kumaewa Family and Hana Ranch deeded 61 acres of land including the heiau to the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden (today the National Tropical Botanical Garden). In exchange for the land, the Garden agreed to restore and care for the heiau and share it with the public. Garden staff and volunteers began the task of clearing the plants that had completely covered the heiau and stabilizing its walls. In 1998, a major effort to complete the stabilization project was begun under archeologists from the Bishop Museum and the State of Hawaii. Stonemasons from Hana used traditional methods to restack the terrace walls of the heiau, completing the project in 1999.

Today, Pi'ilanihale Heiau sits within the Kahanu Garden, one of the largest, untamed native hala (Pandanus) forests in the Islands. The Garden focuses on plant collections from the Pacific Islands, particularly plants of value to the Hawaiian people as well as to other cultures in the Pacific. There is a walking trail through the garden to the heiau and a large selection of plants with interpretive signs giving their histories and uses. Visitors also have the choice of touring the Garden either with a guide or on their own.

Plan your visit

Pi'ilanihale Heiau, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the island of Maui, at 650 Ulaino Rd. in Kahanu Garden, four miles north of Hana, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. Kahanu Garden, a National Tropical Botanical Garden, is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00am to 2:00pm. The Garden is closed on Sunday. Both self guided and guided tours are available. Guided tours are offered Saturdays only at 10:00am and 1:00pm and require a reservation. There is an admission fee for the Garden. Please note, visitors are not allowed to climb the heiau walls. For more information, visit the Kahuna Garden website or call 808-248-8912.

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Portland New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District, Portland, Oregon

The Portland New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District is located in Portland, Oregon near the Willamette River. The district is made up of Portland's original Japanese community (Nihonmachi) and its second or "new" Chinatown, once the second largest Chinatown in the U.S.

Chinese immigrants began moving to Portland during the late 1850's from the gold fields of California and farms of southwestern Oregon, while others arrived directly by steamship from China via San Francisco. Chinatown developed around SW 1st and 2nd Avenues and SW Washington and Alder Streets, an area considered undesirable by European Americans due to constant flooding from the Willamette River.

In 1867, the first Chinese temple or "joss house" was built in Chinatown and by 1870, 31 Chinese businesses were operating, including a Chinese grocery store. Duck Loung & Co. (later Tuck Lung), which dates from this time, was one of the oldest grocery stores and restaurants in Portland until it closed in the 1980s. By the mid-1870's, Chinese immigrants occupied six waterfront blocks in Portland.

Up until the mid-1870s, the majority of the residents in Chinatown were male bachelors, however, in the late 1870's, Chinese merchants began to import wives or bring their families to Portland, creating the need for a more established community. Portland's Chinatown developed as a residential community faster than either San Francisco's or Seattle's Chinatowns.

The earliest buildings in Chinatown were two-story and made of wood. Due to fires and natural deterioration, the wooden buildings were gradually replaced with brick and stone ones varying from two to three stories. The Chinese made alterations to the buildings to reflect their cultural traditions. It was not unusual to see iron balconies, wooden awnings, and curved brightly-colored canopies over business doorways. The ground floor usually contained several businesses and the upper floors were used as residences and for meeting halls, theaters, and joss houses.

In 1873, the most devastating fire in Portland's history began in a Chinese laundry in Chinatown. The fire burned 20 city blocks before it was brought under control. As the wooden buildings that had burned were replaced by brick and stone structures, property assessments, taxes, and rents increased. Chinese merchants could not afford the increases and began slowly moving their businesses north of Burnside Street. In addition, the need for larger living quarters, the existing overpopulation in Chinatown, and the desire to escape from the Willamette River's continuous flooding made the migration north to a "New Chinatown" a practical decision.

In 1880, New Chinatown occupied seven city blocks; five years later, the Old and New Chinatowns had spread over a 14-block area. Within this five-year span, the number of Chinese businesses increased from 63 to 123. In the 1880's and 1890's, Portland had a population of over 4,500 Chinese, second only to San Francisco, California. During the winter months, when the seasonal labor force returned to Portland from work in the Alaskan canneries and Oregon, Washington, and California farm fields, the estimated Chinese population swelled to approximately 10,000.

In 1894, the Willamette River flooded 250 city blocks in Portland. After the flood, many Chinese businesses moved out of Old Chinatown to New Chinatown. By 1895, New Chinatown had a hospital, four churches, two joss houses, five herb shops, and a theater. Although Old Chinatown continued to exist, parking lots, White businesses, and changing land values eroded its boundaries. The center of the Chinese community soon shifted to New Chinatown.

In 1882, Congress passed the first of the Chinese Exclusion Acts, which restricted Chinese immigration to the U.S. Other exclusionary laws aimed at Chinese immigrants were passed by Congress between 1888 and 1902, effectively reducing the number of Chinese workers entering the U.S. Consequently, Japanese immigrants became increasingly sought after by American businesses. Because of this, the number of Japanese immigrating to the U.S., particularly to the West Coast, increased rapidly.

During the 1890s, hundreds of Japanese immigrants, mostly young bachelors, came to Oregon to work for the railroads, lumber mills, farms, and fish canneries. Portland became the heart of the Japanese community in Oregon and a Japantown developed along with New Chinatown with stores, hotels, apartments, laundries, restaurants, and bath houses all serving both Japanese and non-Japanese customers.

With the signing of a "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the U.S. and Japan in 1907, Japan denied passports to Japanese citizens who wanted to work in the U.S. and the U.S. permitted the immigration of students, business people, and spouses of Japanese already in the U.S. With the adoption of the Gentleman's Agreement, Japanese women began to immigrate to the U.S. in greater numbers either as new brides or to join their families. Portland's Japantown began to develop into a more stable community with residences, schools, churches, and a central business district with hotels, apartments, newspapers, doctors and dentists, tailors, grocery stores, barber shops, restaurants, and general merchandise stores.

Both New Chinatown and Japantown continued to thrive into the early 1940s. The bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan in 1941 ended Japantown's prosperity. FBI agents rounded up prominent members of Portland's Japanese community just hours after the bombing and sent them to special camps in places such as Fort Missoula, Montana; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Three months later, in February 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This cleared the way for more than 120,000 Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent to be voluntarily and eventually involuntarily evacuated from the U.S. West Coast. In May 1942, the Japanese in Portland were forced to abandon their homes and businesses and be evacuated and detained at the Pacific International Livestock and Exposition Center (the Expo Center), which was renamed the Portland Assembly Center. 3,676 people were held there until they were relocated to internment camps at Minidoka, Idaho; Heart Mountain, Wyoming; and Tule Lake, California for the duration of the war.

From the 1920s to the early 1940s second and third generation Chinese had slowly been leaving Chinatown and moving north and west into other Portland neighborhoods and suburbs. This was accelerated by the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943. The Act lifted restrictions on Chinese immigration to the U.S and permitted certain Chinese immigrants already residing in the U.S. to become citizens. The change allowed Chinese immigrants and people of Chinese descent access to many of the professional and commercial activities that had been prohibited to them previously. After World War II, the Chinese population in Chinatown continued to disperse although the majority of the businesses in Chinatown were still owned by Chinese businessmen.

After the war, Japantown never fully recovered. Many of the people of Japanese descent who had been interned during the war settled in other cities and did not return to Portland although some did. Over the years the neighborhood has served as the home to the Portland Japanese American Citizens League, Nikkeijin Kai and the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center.

The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center at 121 NW 2nd Avenue is in the Merchant Hotel building, which dates from the 1880s, and was the site of a laundry, bathhouse and barbershop once run by Japanese families. The Center has an archive, library, and a history museum which preserves and interprets the story of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans in Portland and Oregon. The Center also offers a self-guided Iphone tour of Portland's historic Japantown.

Constructed in 1911 by the Chinese community, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) building at 315 NW Davis Street is one of Chinatown’s most significant structures. Established around 1890, the Portland branch of the CCBA carried out functions such as fighting anti-Chinese discrimination, assisting with immigration issues, settling disputes between members of other Chinese associations, and managing various community activities. The CCBA building has been the organization's headquarters since it was built and its design incorporates a number of Chinese elements and motifs including wrought iron grating on its upper balconies and round "moon gate" decorations. Today, the CCBA sponsors the Chinese Language School building established in 1908, hosts a history museum and a Chinese and English library in the building, and works to preserve and promote the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District.

The Pallay Building at 231-239 NW 3rd Avenue is not only a contributing building to the historic district, but is also individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The building was a focal point of and played a key role in the development of the district. The two-story red brick building was constructed in 1908 and included housing and a Japanese-run hotel on the second floor and retail stores on the first floor. Stores included the Hasagawa Company – a general store, the Mikado Laundry, and a number of restaurants. The building also had a Japanese social club during the 1930's, and a Japanese bathhouse (sento) in the basement.

In the 1970's, the Chinatown Development Committee was established by the CCBA and began to develop a plan for the revitalization of Chinatown. The Portland City Council officially adopted the plan in 1984. Today, Portland New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District has bilingual street signs, ornamental streetlights, banners, and several Chinese businesses and restaurants. A large traditional Chinese Gate with stone lions is located at the entrance to the district on NW 4th Avenue and NW Burnside Street.

The Lan Su Chinese Garden occupies a full city block in New Chinatown at 239 NW Everett Street. Chinese artisans constructed the garden as a collaboration between Portland and its sister city Suzhou, China. The walled garden contains a central lake, traditional buildings and interiors, pavilions, a central lake, and gardens modeled after the Chinese Ming Dynasty gardens of Suzhou. Lan Su combines art, architecture, design, and nature in perfect harmony and is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China.

Also of note is the historic "Chop Suey Hung Far Low Cocktails" sign, located on the corner of the Hung Far Low (Cantonese for "Red Flower Restaurant") building at NW 4th Avenue and NW Couch Street. The building, constructed in 1916, was owned by the Stubbs family until 1936 when it was purchased by Jack Wong, proprietor of the Hung Far Low Restaurant. Because Chinese could not become U.S citizens until 1943, they could not legally own property, so the purchase of the building had to be kept secret. The Wong family still owns the building today. In 2008, the sign was removed when the building was being re-roofed, and through the efforts of neighborhood businesses, the Old Town Chinatown Business Association, and the Portland Development Commission the sign was restored and rehung in 2010.

Plan your visit

Portland New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District is located in Portland OR and is roughly bounded by NW Glisan St., NW 3rd Ave., NW Burnside St., and NW 5th Ave. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland offers an iPhone tour of the historic Japantown. For more information, visit the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center website. The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association museum is open to the public on Saturdays between 10:00am and 1:00pm, and tours of the CCBA headquarters are available with advance notice. The Lan Su Chinese Gardens are open between 10:00am and 6:00pm from April 15 to October14, and 10:00am to 6:00pm from October 15 to April 14. For more information about the Portland New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District, visit the Old Town Chinatown Community Association website.

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Poston Elementary School, Unit I, Poston, Arizona

Poston Elementary School, Unit I at the Poston Relocation Center (also known as the Colorado River Relocation Center) is the only example of a separate elementary school complex built within a Japanese American relocation center during World War II. Also located in the area are assorted other buildings and portions of two irrigation ditches detainees helped construct as part of the irrigation system at the relocation center. Unit 1, the location of the elementary school complex, was the largest of the three areas at the Poston Relocation Center, and the Poston Elementary School complex is the largest, most intact, and most cohesive collection of buildings still standing at Poston.

After Japan's devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, leading to the United States' entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from these areas of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese descent. This was done out of fear that they might support Japan in the war. In March 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority, the federal agency responsible for the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese Americans and the construction and administration of relocation centers throughout the U.S. The U.S. military supported Executive Order 9066 by assembling and transporting the evacuees. Through Executive Order 9066 came Proclamation No.1, which was initially a policy of voluntary participation to relocate; however, the relocation soon became mandatory forcing some 120,000 Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry to move to 10 inland war relocation centers across the nation.

The Poston Relocation Center was located in rural, southwestern Arizona and was built on tribal land that was part of the Colorado River Reservation. It was the only relocation center located within an American Indian reservation and the only relocation center to have a separate school complex. Unlike the other relocation centers, the 71,600-acre Poston did not have guard towers and one side of the complex was unfenced. There were no concerns about detainees escaping because the climate was too harsh for anyone to survive alone in the surrounding desert. The relocation center included three separate units and had a peak population of 17,814, the majority of them U.S. citizens, making it Arizona's third largest city at the time and the second largest relocation center of the war.

Because of the Poston Relocation Center's location within the Colorado River Indian Reservation, the Office of Indian Affairs (OIA) was responsible for its planning and administration. The OIA's original intent was to turn over parts of the relocation center to local tribes after the war. The practice of turning over relocation centers to local populations was unusual and many of the structures at both Poston and other centers were demolished immediately after they were closed. The Poston Elementary School at Unit I was spared, however, and the Colorado River Indian Tribes continued to use the school complex and irrigation ditches after the war.

The Poston Elementary School complex included 13 adobe school buildings constructed in 1943 and designed by Yoshisaku Hirose, a Japanese-born architect. The complex was unlike the other Poston Relocation Center buildings and structures and stood in stark contrast to the bleak barracks housing the evacuees. Residents, including students and teachers, constructed the school and, because war rationing limited available supplies, they made the light colored adobe bricks for the exterior from local materials. The school buildings originally featured porches extending across the full width of the south walls. The complex contained a wood shop, an auditorium, a craft and supply building, a school office, a library, eight classroom buildings, and a network of concrete sidewalks with canopies.

The Poston Elementary School symbolized the desire of the Poston Relocation Center residents to continue their children's education while interned. Both Caucasian and Japanese staff worked at the school, but it struggled with teacher retention. When it opened, the school lacked basic supplies as well as heat during the winter. School conditions gradually improved, and some students graduated and went on to college. Japanese American students attended the Poston schools until the closure of the Poston Relocation Center in 1945. From 1949 to 1980, the Colorado River Indian Tribes and the local school district utilized the Poston I Elementary School buildings which functioned as a community center.

Today, most of the land around the relocation center is irrigated farm fields. Visitors can see a memorial monument erected to mark the site of the relocation center, the existing Poston Elementary School complex, ruins of the associated auditorium, a machine shop, and portions of four other buildings. In addition, the sewage treatment plants at Poston Units I, II, and III are intact. Although many of the approximately 1,900 buildings constructed at the Poston Relocation Center are gone, remnants of foundations or slabs remain at all three units. In addition, a Memorial Monument dedicated to the internees marks the location of the relocation center. The detainee-built irrigation system is still in use and many buildings that were moved from the relocation center are used as utility buildings in the surrounding community.

Plan your visit

Poston Elementary School, Unit I, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation at 26600 Mohave Rd. in Parker, AZ. For more information, visit the Colorado Indian Tribe's tourismwebsite or call 928-669-9211. 

Poston Elementary School, Unit I is featured in the National Historic Landmark Theme Study Japanese Americans in World War II.

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Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, California

The Presidio of San Francisco, located in San Francisco, California, has a history spanning over 200 years, but its activities during World War II are of particular importance in regard to Japanese Americans and others of Japanese descent. During the war the Presidio served as the headquarters for the Western Defense Command, the U.S. Army command responsible for the forced removal of 120,000 Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent from the West Coast of the United States. In addition, the Presidio housed the Military Intelligence Service Language School, where second-generation Japanese Americans taught the Japanese language to military personnel.

El Presidio de San Francisco (the Presidio of San Francisco) was, until 1994, one of the oldest active military fortifications in what is now the U.S. Established as a fortified military settlement by Spain in 1776, the Presidio became a Mexican outpost in 1822. In 1847, during the Mexican-American War, the New York Volunteers occupied the Presidio which became a U.S. Army post in 1848. The next 147 years saw the Presidio grow to become one of the U.S. Army’s most critical West Coast installations, playing important roles in the Spanish American War, the Philippine War, and World War II.

During World War II the Presidio became the center for Army operations in defense of the western U.S. with Building 35 serving as the headquarters for the Western Defense Command (WDC). It was from this building that the U.S. Army managed the evacuation and relocation of Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, General John L. DeWitt, commander of the WDC, was concerned that people of Japanese ancestry in California, Oregon, and Washington were conspiring to sabotage the American war effort. General DeWitt recommended that they be removed from western coastal areas. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed, issuing Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, which authorized the establishment of military areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded."

In March 1942, General DeWitt issued Proclamation No.1 designating the western halves of Washington, Oregon, and California, and the southern half of Arizona as Military Area No. 1. The eastern half of the three states including northern Arizona was designated as Military Area No. 2. Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent were excluded from Military Area No. 1 and were encouraged to voluntarily relocate. When this "voluntary evacuation" failed, the relocation became mandatory. General DeWitt had Area No. 1 broken into 99 smaller sections and from late March through August 1942, the WDC issued Civilian Exclusion Orders for each section from the headquarters at the Presidio. These orders announced the exclusion of "all persons of Japanese ancestry, including aliens and non-aliens" from Military Area No. 1. People were given one week to prepare for evacuation. On the day they were evacuated each person was allowed to bring only what they could carry and anyone who failed to evacuate was subject to arrest. The evacuees were sent to assembly centers, eventually being moved to one of 10 larger inland relocation centers for internment.

By the beginning of June, all persons of Japanese ancestry had been removed from Military Area No. 1. General DeWitt then turned his attention to Military Area No. 2, ordering the removal of people of Japanese ancestry from the eastern half of California, but choosing not to remove those in the eastern portions of Washington and Oregon or in northern Arizona. By August 1942, the evacuations were complete; 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry had been removed from the West Coast.

The actions of the Federal Government caused irreparable damage to Japanese American culture. Areas such as Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, the largest Japanese community in the U.S., became ghost towns almost overnight. For the next two and a half years, many of those interned endured extremely difficult living conditions and poor treatment.

The discriminatory treatment of people of Japanese ancestry stands in stark contrast to the U.S. Army’s use of Japanese Americans as valued linguists and translators. As diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Japan deteriorated, the U.S. Army established the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) at the Presidio. Classes began on November 1, 1941, with four instructors and 60 students enrolled in a yearlong program. The students consisted of civilian Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) and Kibei (Japanese Americans born in the U.S. and educated in Japan) and two Caucasians – the only military personnel who had a good command of the Japanese language. They were instructed in how to teach the Japanese language to military personnel and to provide support in deciphering documents and interrogating prisoners.

The school was located in Building 640 at the Presidio’s former Crissy Field. An active airfield from 1921 to 1936, Crissy Field was closed in the mid-1930s and its Hanger Building 640 was converted into classrooms and a barracks for the MISLS. The hangar looked nothing like a traditional school and outsiders were told it was a laundry facility in order to protect its secrecy. Students studied in their makeshift classrooms, played volleyball for recreation, and walked to the nearby Bakers and Cooks School in Building 220 three times a day for meals. With America’s entrance into World War II, the yearlong training program was shortened to six months.

By early 1942, 35 MISLS students had graduated and were ready for deployment. With the evacuation and relocation of Japanese Americans on the West Coast the school, along with its Japanese American students, was moved from California to temporary quarters at Camp Savage, Minnesota. In 1944 the school was moved to larger facilities in nearby Fort Snelling. Six thousand MISLS-trained linguists served with distinction throughout the Pacific Theater, working with combat units to interrogate prisoners, translate intercepted documents, and eventually using their knowledge of Japanese culture to aid the U.S. occupation of Japan. They were so successful that Major General Charles Willoughby, General Douglas MacArthur's Chief of Staff for Military Intelligence, stated, "The Nisei shortened the Pacific War by two years and saved possibly a million American lives and saved probably billions of dollars." In 1946, the school returned to California, moving to the Presidio of Monterey. It was renamed the Defense Language Institute, eventually becoming the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, and is still the U.S. Military’s primary language school.

In 1994, the Presidio of San Francisco was transferred to the National Park Service, ending 219 years as a military post and beginning a new era of mixed commercial and public use. The Presidio Trust, created by the U.S. Congress in 1996, oversees and manages 80% of the Presidio’s lands and buildings, with the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area managing the remaining 20% along the coast. The Presidio of San Francisco has 1,491 acres, including forests, beaches and bluffs, hiking and biking trails, and 768 historic buildings and structures and is one of the largest and most innovative preservation projects in the Nation.

Plan your visit

The Presidio of San Francisco, a National Historic Landmark District, is located at the mouth of San Francisco Bay in San Francisco, CA and is part of the National Park Service's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Presidio is roughly bounded by Lyon St., West Pacific Ave., Lake St., the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco Bay and is free and open to the public.

The Presidio Visitor Center is located on the Presidio at 105 Montgomery St. at the corner of Lincoln Blvd. The Visitor Center is open from 10am to 4pm, Thursday through Sunday. Building 640 is located on the Presidio at 640 Mason Street and houses the National Japanese American Historical Society’s Military Intelligence Service Interpretive Center. The Center is open from 12:00pm to 5:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Building 35 is located on the Presidio at 35 Keyes Ave. at the intersection of Lincoln Ave. It currently houses the Bay School of San Francisco. Directions to the Presidio, parking, and PresidioGo shuttle information can be found online at the Presidio Trust transportation website. For more information about the Presidio of San Francisco, visit the Presidio Trust website or call 415-561-5300. For information about the visitor center or ranger and docent-led guided tours visit the National Park Service, Presidio of San Francisco website or call 415-561-4323.

The Presidio of San Francisco has been extensively documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, and Historic American Landscapes Survey and is featured in two National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itineraries: World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area and American Latino Heritage.

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Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Honaunau, Hawaii

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is located on the Kona (west) coast of the Island of Hawai'i. For more than 700 years ancient Hawaiians could find sanctuary here after violating kapu. Hawaiians who violated kapu could avoid death by fleeing to this area and seeking refuge until they were absolved by a priest. People could also find sanctuary here during wars. Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park preserves the ancient sanctuary site and royal living area as well as other ancient and modern sites that are still important to the Hawaiian people and that offer insights into Hawaii's ancient Polynesian history and culture.

The Island of Hawai'i was historically divided into six moku (districts), each having its own ali'i (chiefs) and pu'uhonua (place of refuge). The exact date of the creation of the Pu'uhonua at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau is unknown, but it was in existence prior to the 1500s and served as the refuge for the Kona moku. The pu'uhonua were safe havens for people who had broken kapu and for noncombatants and vanquished or defeated warriors during times of war. Kapu was the Hawaiian system of religious, political, and social laws that governed every aspect of daily life. It involved elaborate sanctions regarding behavior between individuals and among classes and was particularly restrictive. Violations of kapu ranged from a commoner looking directly at an ali'i, women eating in the presence of men, an individual having their head higher than an ali'i, and women eating foods forbidden to them such as bananas, coconuts, and taro. Breaking kapu was a capital offence punishable by death. Individuals charged with violating kapu were usually commoners and the kapu system was the major social control helping to preserve class distinctions and keep power concentrated among the ali'i.

In ancient Hawaiian culture, the penalty for a person who violated kapu was death. Hawaiians believed that if they did not execute someone who had violated kapu, the gods would react violently and cause natural disasters. To protect villages from volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, famine, or earthquakes, people who violated kapu were pursued by warriors until they were either captured or managed to find refuge in a sacred place such as a pu'uhonua. The warriors could not shed blood on the grounds of a pu'uhonua, so they would end their pursuit.

After reaching a pu'uhonua, a person would go to the heiau (place of worship) at the site and ask the gods for a second chance at life. Priests would then perform a ceremony of absolution, which allowed the lawbreaker to return home. Since all Hawaiians respected and honored the sanctity of a pu'uhonua, lawbreakers would not face execution upon their return.

Built circa 1700, the heiauof Hale o Keawe served both as a place of worship at the pu'uhonua and a mausoleum for the remains of the Kona coast ali'i. The bones of the deceased ali'i were believed to hold mana (great spiritual power) and burying them at Hale o Keawe sanctified and validated the pu'uhonua. Hale o Keawe has a thatched roof hale (building), a wooden palisade, and multiple ki'i (wooden statues). Also located at the Pu'uhonua are the platform remains of 'Ale'ale'a – which served as the main heiau until the construction of Hale o Keawe – and the ruins of an even older heiau platform dating to 1475.

Next to the the Pu'uhonua are the Royal Grounds of Honaunau, home to the ali'i of the Kona moku. Located in the ahupua'a (land division) of Honaunau, the royal grounds are centered around Keone'ele Cove just south of the pu'uhonua. The Royal Grounds contained residences for the ali'i, thatched halau (work areas), a coconut palm grove, and the Heleipalala fishponds. It also had a canoe landing that was forbidden for commoners to enter or use. Ki'i (carved wooden statues) still stand watch over the landing and a carved wooden marker is located in Keone'ele Cove to warn people that the area was once kapu.

Separating the Royal Grounds from the Pu'uhonua is a massive stone wall built in 1550. Constructed of unmodified lava rock, the mortarless L-shaped Great Wall is 965 feet long, 12 feet high, and 18 feet wide with both of its ends terminating near the ocean's edge. The wall forms a barrier on the land side of the Pu'uhonua and historically it had no opening. People trying to enter the pu'uhonua to seek sanctuary would either have to swim in from the ocean side or run around the Great Wall to one of its ends before they could enter the refuge.

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau also preserves the 1871 Trail, part the Ala Kahakai, an ancient system of trails that encircled the Island of Hawai'i and connected the villages along the coast. This portion of the Ala Kahakai was last improved in 1871, hence the name "1871 Trail." Located along the trail is the Alahaka ramp, built in the mid-1800s to replace a rope/ladder used to reach the top of steep cliffs. The ramp allowed horses to transport people and goods up and down the cliffs and connected the trail with the village of Ki'ilae. Built in the late 1700s and abandoned in the mid-1920s, the village area offers insights into the transitional period after European discovery when Hawaiian culture was changing rapidly, but people still continued to follow the traditional routines and customs of daily life.

Also located along the trail is the Keokea hōlua slide. He'e hōlua, "sled surfing, or "land sledding," was an important sport in Hawaii, played by the ali'i during the Makahiki festival, the four-month winter New Year's celebration. The hōlua slide was made by lining the ground with paved stones, dirt, and grass. coating it with kukui (candlenut) oil, and then using a papa hōlua (sled) to race from the top of the hill down the holua slide to the water. Along with the Keokea hōlua slide, there are several other hōlua slides at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau as well as around the Island of Hawai'i.

The pu'uhonua and heiau at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau fell into disrepair after the kapu system was abolished in 1819 at Kamakahonu, the royal residence and capital of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. Although the pu'uhonua and the heiau of Hale o Keawe escaped destruction the abandoned sites and the Great Wall suffered from neglect and began to slowly deteriorate.

In 1867, the entire ahupua'a (traditional Hawaiian unit of land) of Honaunau including Pu'uhonua o Honaunau was purchased by Charles Reed Bishop, an American businessman and philanthropist, as a gift for his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, an ali'i and descendant of the royal House of Kamehameha. In 1891, the lands were deeded to the Bishop Estate Trustees and from 1921-1961 the County of Hawai'i leased the Bishop Estate-owned lands for a County Park. In 1961, the area was acquired by the National Park Service which began efforts to preserve the site and restore Pu'uhonua o Honaunau's historic structures.

Plan your visit

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, a unit of the National Park System, is located in Honaunau, HI off of Highway 160 and Honaunau Beach Rd. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. The park is open year round from 7:00am to 15 minutes after Sunset and the Visitor Center is open from 8:00am to 4:30pm daily. There is an admission fee. Beach wheelchairs are provided at the Visitor Center and are free of charge. Cultural demonstrations are offered at various times throughout the park. For more information, visit the National Park Service Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park website or call 808-328-2326.

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is featured in the National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary.

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Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Kawaihae, Hawaii

Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site is located on the Island of Hawai'i on the northwestern Kohala Coast. It was here that Kamehameha the Great, who unified the Hawaiian Islands, lived and made decisions that changed the course of Hawaiian history. The Park preserves historic structures and sites associated with Kamehameha and the Hawaiian people. A walk through the Park vividly brings to life the legends, history, and culture of ancient Hawaii.

Born around 1758, when the appearance of a white-tailed star caused Hawaiian prophets to predict the coming of a great leader, Kamehameha was the son of ali'i (chiefs). In 1782, he inherited the district of Waipi'o valley on the northern part of the Island of Hawai'i and was given guardianship of his family's war god, Kuka'ilimoku. With the power he gained, Kamehameha hoped to unite the warring Hawaiian Islands and bring them under his rule.

In the late 1700's, many Hawaiians believed that Kamehameha's destiny was to unite and rule over all the Hawaiian Islands. By 1790, Kamehameha had invaded and conquered Maui, Lana'i, and Moloka'i but had difficulty claiming and conquering his home Island of Hawai'i because of the opposition of his cousin and main rival, Keoua Kuahu'ula. For guidance, Kamehameha sent his aunt to the prophet Kapoukahi. The prophet said that Kamehameha would unite and rule the islands if he built a large luakini heiau (sacrificial place of worship) to Kuka'ilimoki on top of Pu'ukohola (Whale Hill) on the northwestern coast of the island.

Kamehameha immediately organized the construction of the heiau, which still stands today at the Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site. The task was so large that Kamehameha called in thousands of men to build the structure. Kapoukahi prescribed the use of special water-worn lava rocks to construct the heiau, one of the many rigid guidelines that needed to be followed to please the god, Kuka'ilimoki. To accomplish this task and to obtain the proper materials, laborers formed a human chain 30 miles long to the seaside valley of Pololu to move the necessary rocks to Pu'ukohola.

By the summer of 1791, the heiau, standing 224 feet by 100 feet with 16 to 20 foot high walls was complete. Kamehameha invited his rival cousin, Keoua Kuahu'ula, to the dedication ceremony. At the ceremony, a fight took place that left Keoua and many of his companions dead. The body of Keoua was carried to the top of Pu'ukohola Heiau and offered as the principal sacrifice to Kuka'ilimoki. This event ended all opposition to Kamehameha on his home Island of Hawai'i.

By 1810, Kamehameha had successfully united the Hawaiian Islands. He succeeded through military conquests, by following the advice of his trusted military advisors John Young (British) and Issac Davis (Welsh), by using new technologies, negotiating treaties, and adhering to his deeply rooted spiritual beliefs. The Pu'ukohola Heiau stands as a testament to this Hawaiian leader and this important period in Hawaiian history.

Mailekini Heiau, also located in the park, predates Pu'ukohola Heiau. Its original purpose is uncertain, but during Kamehameha's reign it served as a fort. Around 1812, John Young advised Kamehameha to mount cannons on Mailekini Heiau to help protect the area. In addition, another heiau, Hale o Kapuni, is thought to be submerged just offshore below Mailekini Heiau. Local lore relates that this particular heiau was dedicated to the shark gods and in the early morning hours visitors may see black-tip sharks in the waters near where Hale o Kapuni is believed to be located.

The remains of John Young's home, possibly the first Western-style structure built in Hawaii, are slightly northwest of Pu'ukohola Heiau. It was here where John Young met with political and trade representatives from around the world on behalf of Kamehameha. The home was constructed using a combination of Western and Hawaiian techniques and is believed to have been the very first Western-style house in the Hawaiian Islands. The outside of the house was covered with a bright white plaster, thought to have been made of crushed coral, poi, and hair. Ships used John Young's house, shining brightly in the sun, as a way-marker when sailing to Kawaihae Bay.

A portion of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail passes through the park. This coastal trail encircled the Island of Hawai'i, connecting the coastal villages and providing trade routes from the coast to villages farther inland. It also enabled Kamehameha to move his warriors rapidly around the island and aided in the conquest of Hawaii.

In 1819, King Kamehameha passed away and his son Liholiho succeeded him as King Kamehameha II. To prepare himself to take his father's place, Liholiho went to Pelekane (The Royal Courtyard) located a short walking distance from Pu'ukohola Heiau. After he returned to the royal capital at Kamakahonu, 35 miles south of Pu'ukohola Heiau, Liholiho ended kapu, a restrictive system of political, religious, and social laws that had been used for centuries to maintain class distinctions, social and political order, and to keep power concentrated among the ali'i. The ending of kapu and the breaking down of Hawaiian religious practices forever changed the purpose of Pu'ukohola Heiau leading to the abandoning of the heiau shortly thereafter.

Today, visitors at Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site can experience the sights, sounds, history, and mana (spiritual power) of Pu'ukohola Heiau, Mailekini Heiau, Pelekane, John Young's House, and other sites associated with the Hawaiian people and their history.

Plan your visit

Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System and a National Historic Landmark, is located on Kawaihae Road in Kawaihae, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Park is open daily year-round from 8:15am to 4:45pm (including Federal holidays). Please note, the Park entrance gate closes at 4:45pm and all vehicles need to be out of the parking lot by 5:00pm. For more information, visit the National Park Service Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site website or call 808-882-7218.

Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site is featured in the National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary.

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Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau, Pupukea, Hawaii

Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau is located in Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site on the Island of Oahu and is the largest heiau (place of worship) on the island, encompassing over two acres. Overlooking Waimea Bay, the heiau is situated 300 feet above the sea on a high bluff. Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau served a critical role in the religious, social, and political system of Waimea Valley, a major cultural center on the north shore of Oahu.

Waimea Valley has rich agricultural lands, fresh water, abundant offshore marine resources, and good canoe landing sites, making it an ideal location to sustain a large population. Traditionally ali'i (chiefs) and kahuna (priests) searched for areas such as Waimea to establish centers of power. In the 1100s control of Waimea Valley was given to a line of kahuna nui (high priests) to serve as their spiritual headquarters. For the next 700 years, the kahuna nui passed down control of the valley as a sacred "Valley of the Priests."

Early Hawaiian shrines were simple and constructed by families and small communities. With population growth and changes in religion, social organizations became more complex and large heiau were constructed for public ceremonies. Ancient Hawaiians had many types of heiau, each with their own distinct function and use by particular segments of society. Heiau ranged in size from a single upright stone to massive and complex structures. Larger heiau were built by ali'i, but the largest and most complex, the luakini heiau (sacrificial temple), could only be constructed and dedicated by an ali'i 'ai moku (paramount chief of an island or independent chiefdom). Luakini heiau were reserved for rituals involving human or animal sacrifice and highlighted the ali'i 'ai moku's spiritual, economic, political, and social control over his lands and his authority over the life and death of his people.

Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau was most likely constructed as a luakini heiau in the 1600s. The heiau is in a low-walled court platform style with a series of three enclosures and stacked rock walls originally ranging from three to six feet in height. Basalt and coral stones paved the interior surface. Within the largest enclosure were several wood and thatch structures. More than likely, the upper, eastern enclosure was constructed first, and was the ceremonial focus of the heiau. The other two enclosures were probably added in the 1700s. Located on a ridge with a direct view of the Island of Kauai, Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau had ties with the various heiau at Wailua on Kauai. Reportedly, signal fires at these heiau provided a means of visual communication between the two islands.

In 1792, Captain George Vancouver of the British Royal Navy anchored his ship Daedalus off the Waimea River, and sent some of his men ashore to collect water. A scuffle ensued with the Hawaiians that resulted in the killing of three of Vancouver's men. It has been suggested that the bodies of Captain Vancouver's men were subsequently offered as a sacrifice at Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau. In 1795, when Kamehameha I conquered Oahu, Kahuna Nui Hewahewa, Kamehameha's personal kahuna, conducted religious ceremonies at the heiau. Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau was used up until 1819, when, after Kamehameha's death, his son and heir Liholiho abolished much of the Hawaiian religious system and ordered the destruction of all heiau on the islands.

Plan your visit

Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the Island of Oahu in Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site, Pupukea, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site is on the North Shore of Oahu, above Waimea Bay. The site is just south of the town of of the town of Pupukea, HI off of Kamehameha Highway (Highway 83) and Pupukea Road (Highway 835) on Pu'u o Mahuka Road. The site is open daily during daylight hours and has interpretive signs and trails. There is no admission fee. For more information and a park brochure, visit the Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site website or call the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Oahu district office at 808-587-0300.

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Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery, Rohwer, Arkansas

Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery in Desha County, Arkansas, also known as the Nisei Camp Cemetery, is one of only three extant Japanese American relocation center cemeteries in the United States. Today, the cemetery is the only part of the Rohwer Relocation Center that remains. Japanese Americans interned in the relocation center from 1942 to 1945 designed and built the cemetery which has several monuments, including one honoring Japanese American soldiers who died fighting in Europe during World War II.

After Japan's devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, leading to the United States' entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from these areas of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry. This was done because of fears that they might support Japan in the war. In March 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority, the federal agency responsible for the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese Americans and the construction and administration of internment camps throughout the United States. The U.S. military supported Executive Order 9066 by assembling and transporting the evacuees. Through Executive Order 9066 came Proclamation No.1, which was initially a policy of voluntary participation to relocate; however, the relocation soon became mandatory forcing some 120,000 Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry to move to 10 inland internment camps across the nation.

Rohwer Relocation Center was one of only two relocation centers located in the eastern half of the U.S.; the other was the Jerome Relocation Center, 30 miles southwest of Rohwer. Built five miles west of the Mississippi River on federal land, near railway lines for easy transport of internees, Rohwer was deemed secure, isolated, and livable. Construction of Rohwer began in late July 1942 and extended into January 1943, but by September 1942, the relocation center was already admitting evacuees. Regardless of family ties, even immediate families' members ended up in different relocation centers or were separated within a center due to overcrowding and for logistical reasons. Rohwer consisted of 500 acres of wood-frame barracks, covered with tar paper and divided into blocks with twelve barracks per block. Each block also contained a mess hall, a laundry and a combination bath/toilet building. The barracks buildings were divided into six apartments of different sizes and housed 250 internees. The internees included first-generation Japanese nationals (Issei), and second- and third-generation Japanese Americans (Nisei and Sansei). The Rohwer Relocation Center housed a mix of generations with approximately 10% over the age of 60 and 40% under the age of 19. Over 10,000 evacuees passed through Rohwer Relocation Center during its existence, and over two thirds of these were American citizens. The center closed in 1945, the buildings were removed, and most of the land was returned to agricultural fields.

While in Rohwer Relocation Center, some internees volunteered to enlist in the U.S. Army. The volunteer soldiers from Rohwer and other relocation centers received assignment to the 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit within the United States Army's 34th Infantry Division, later activated into the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This all-Nisei unit received recognition as one of the most highly decorated and respected in the U.S. Army. While the Japanese American men who had enlisted left Rohwer Relocation Center to fight for their country, their families remained behind as internees.

Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery was planned and laid out in 1943-1944 and is set within a rectangular plot containing two historic monuments, 24 low-lying concrete headstones, two entrance markers, 64 concrete posts, a bench engraved with a sun and moon, and sidewalks. All were designed and built by the internees. There are also 17 flowering cherry trees planted in 1994 to replicate part of the original design of the cemetery which also included water features and bridges. The historic monuments within the Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery were the largest and most elaborately detailed of all the relocation center cemeteries.

On June 24, 1945 a monument to commemorate all those who died while interned at Rohwer was dedicated at the cemetery. The historic monument still stands and consists of a square base with decorative carving and urns at the four corners. The base supports a tall obelisk with a globe and eagle on top. The base has inscribed floral patterns, and a star and circle alternately at the four corners. Decorative carvings and inscriptions in Japanese and English adorn the obelisk on all four sides. Of particular beauty are the egret and the peacock on the south face, which stand beneath a tree branch and a stylized rising sun. The American eagle beneath the star on the east face stands as a silent testimonial to the patriotism of the Japanese American internees.

The second monument, sponsored by the Rohwer chapter of the USO and designed and built by internee Koheiji Horizawa and his assistant Harry Fujioka, was dedicated on November 4, 1945. It commemorates the soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team who served in Europe during World War II. The names of the internees who enlisted from the Rohwer Relocation Center and were killed in action are memorialized on the monument itself. The monument has a base shaped like the lower portion of a tank with a tall, rectangular tablet and a star on top. The relief designs in the concrete feature an American flag with the colors painted into the relief on the east and west sides beneath a carving of an eagle. The inscription on the back of the the monument reads "In memory of our sons who sacrificed their lives in the service of their country. They fought for freedom. They died that the world might have peace."

In 1982, a new granite monument topped with a bronze eagle commemorating both the internees who died at Rohwer and those who died while serving in World War II, was dedicated at the cemetery. The new monument, located near the two historic monuments, was suggested by Sam Yada, a former Rohwer internee living in Arkansas. Mr. Yada was concerned that that the original concrete monuments, which were deteriorating, would be lost, so he proposed a new monument for the cemetery to be made of a more durable material.

There are also 24 concrete headstones at the cemetery. All are of a similar design which consists of a low tablet placed on a rectangular base, with a scalloped concrete flower holder positioned at the front. The top of the face of the headstone is decorated with a floral pattern under which is a symbol indicating whether the deceased was Buddhist (a flower) or Christian (a cross). The deceased internee's name and birth and death dates are located within a rectangle beneath the symbol.

In 1974, the Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 1992, it became a National Historic Landmark. Today, the majority of the Rohwer Relocation Center grounds have been converted back to farm land.

A National Park Service grant from the 2011 Japanese Confinement Sites Preservation Program has assisted in efforts to stabilize and restore the Rohwer Relocation Center Cemetery. As part of the grant, the University of Arkansas Landscape Architecture Program volunteered its services to produce an Historic American Landscape Survey report of the cemetery. This effort was aided by the University's Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) which produced a  high-density survey (HDS) of the cemetery and the surrounding site.

In addition, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has worked with the Arkansas State University Heritage Sites program to produce interpretive mapping and establish educational kiosks and audio tours for the Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery. The Central Arkansas Library System also preserves creative artwork left behind by the internees, such as paintings adhered to paper.

Today, all that remains of the 500-acre Rohwer Relocation Center is the cemetery and a tall smokestack where the camp's hospital used to stand. There is a replica small scale guard tower that serves as an informational kiosk and visitors can take a self-guided walking tour along the southern boundary of the original camp. There are also interpretive panels and audio stations featuring the voice of actor George Takei, who lived at the Rohwer Relocation Center with his family in 1942, before being moved to Tule Lake Segregation Center in California.

Plan your visit

Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the Japanese American Internment Heritage Trail off of Arkansas Highway 1, 0.6 miles North of Rohwer, AR, and 13 miles Northeast of McGehee, AR. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The cemetery is open to the public during daylight hours only. For more information, visit the Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery website or contact the McGehee Chamber of Commerce at 870-222-4451.

Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery is featured in the National Historic Landmark Theme Study Japanese Americans in World War II and is the subject of an online lesson plan, The War Relocation Centers of World War II: When Fear was Stronger than Justice. The lesson plan has been produced by the National Park Service's Teaching with Historic Places program, which offers a series of online classroom-ready lesson plans on registered historic places. To learn more, visit the Teaching with Historic Places website. Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery has been documented by the University of Arkansas through the National Park Service's Historic American Landscapes Survey program.

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Russian Fort, Island of Kaua'i, Hawaii

Russian Fort, located in Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park, in Waimea on the Island of Kauai, was built by the Russian American Company (RAC) in 1817. The purpose of the fort was to establish a foothold for Russia in Hawaii by creating a fueling station in the Pacific Ocean and establishing a stable trading location for the shipping company. The fort is a reminder of the short Russian venture into Hawaii between 1815 and 1817.

The governor of the Russian Trading Company, located in Sitka, Alaska, wanted to procure food from Hawaii for the Alaska settlements and to resupply RAC ships on longer voyages across the Pacific Ocean. In 1815, the RAC ship Bering wrecked near Waimea, and Kaumualiʻi, ali'i 'ai moku (paramount chief) of Kauai, seized the ship's cargo. The following year Dr. Georg Anton Schäffer of Germany, a physician and agent of the RAC, was sent by the company to Hawaii to retrieve the remaining contents of the ship and seek compensation for any lost cargo.

Dr. Schäffer's orders were to first befriend King Kamehameha I, who had united all of the Hawaiian Islands into the Kingdom of Hawai'i, and then to gain his support in recovering the seized cargo from Kamehameha's rival Kaumualiʻi. If successful, Schäffer was directed to ask for compensation in sandalwood for the remaining value of the Bering's cargo. After that he was to discuss a sandalwood monopoly trade agreement between the RAC and the Kingdom of Hawai'i. Either way, with or without Kamehameha's help, Schäffer was ordered to retrieve whatever remained of the Bering's cargo and to recover the cost from Kaumualiʻi for whatever had been lost.

Schäffer attempted to carry out his orders and even treated Kamehameha and one of his wives for medical ailments, which gained Kamehameha's respect. Kamehameha chose to progress slowly in trade negotiations, however, and also declined to help the doctor in his dealings with Kaumualiʻi. Schäffer became frustrated with the speed of the negotiations, and decided to travel to the island of Kauai on his own.

Schäffer's visit to Kauai quickly deviated from his original orders. He worked to befriend Kaumuali'i and instead of merely obtaining compensation from him for the Bering and establishing trade relations, Schäffer went further. He negotiated for return of the Bering's cargo and compensation plus an agreement for the RAC that involved becoming the protectorate of all of the islands Kaumuali'i claimed as his—Kauai, Niihau, Oahu, and Maui—in exchange for helping Kaumuali'i acquire additional islands and territories. The agreement also included a sandalwood monopoly for the RAC and a commitment by the Russians to assist Kaumuali'i with any conflicts he had with Kamehameha. While Kaumualiʻi had pledged allegiance to Kamehameha in 1810 and seemingly accepted his rule over all of the islands, he never really intended to give up Kauai and believed he could reclaim and expand his own kingdom with Russia's help. Dr. Schäffer agreed to this treaty and quickly sent word to both the RAC office and the Russian government in St. Petersburg about his diplomatic success.

While notification of his accomplishments and a response traveled to and from St. Petersburg, Russia, Dr. Schäffer constructed a fortified complex on the east bank of the Waimea River with residential buildings for 30 people, a garden, a trading complex, and a fort that flew the Russian flag. Known as Fort Elizabeth, it was a blend of European military architecture and Hawaiian building materials. The fort was constructed with star-like projections common in early 19th-century European forts and was built under the direction of Kaumualiʻi who used rocks from a former heiau (place of worship) in the construction of the walls. The fort's shape was an uneven octagon 300 feet by 400 feet, with 20-foot high walls that varied in width from 25 to 40 feet. The fort included a magazine, barracks, a Russian Orthodox Church, and additional buildings.

While the fort was still under construction, Dr. Schäffer received news that the Russian government rejected the treaty he had negotiated with Kaumuali'i. The Russians did not want to defend the islands controlled by Kaumuali'i from both Kamehameha and the American sailors and missionaries who had established a favorable relationship with the King and his government. Instead, the Russian government informed Dr. Schäffer that he had overstepped his responsibilities. This news spread quickly forcing Schäffer to flee the island before being attacked. He made his way to Russia where he was removed from his job and sent back to Germany.

Kaumuali'i's troops took over the fort after it had been abandoned by the Russians. One notable event for the fort after 1817 was the 21-gun salute fired from it in 1820 when Kaumaull'i's son returned home on the American Brig Thaddeus from school in the U.S. The fort was eventually acquired by the Hawaiian government for its military, but was dismantled in 1864.

The Russian Fort is a reminder of the brief Russian presence in Hawaii. The outer stacked stonewalls of the fort remain and on the inside are the foundations of the magazine, barracks and other buildings. Visitors can enjoy the seascape views, a walking tour, and use images at the site to imagine what the complex looked like in the 19th century.

Plan your visit

Russian Fort, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the Island of Kauai in Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park, Waimea, Kauai, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The park is one mile southeast of the town of Waimea on the bluffs above the mouth of the Waimea River and can be reached from Hawaii Route 50 (Kaumuali'i Highway). The site is open daily during daylight hours. There is no admission fee. For more information, visit the Hawaii State Parks website or call 808-274-3444.

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Sailing Ship Balclutha, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, California

The Sailing Ship Balclutha, a 1,689 ton, three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged ship, is located in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in San Francisco, California. The Balclutha played an active role in the development of maritime trade and commerce in the United States including the grain trade between California and England, the Pacific Coast lumber trade, and the Alaskan salmon trade. With the exception of several name changes and a few alterations made during the course of her long career she is essentially the same vessel that was launched in the 1880s. The Balclutha is the last square-rigged vessel afloat on San Francisco Bay and is one of only two American-owned square riggers afloat on the West Coast.

The Balclutha was launched in 1886, by the Charles Connell and Company shipyard near Glasgow, Scotland, and was designed to carry a variety of cargo all over the world. The Balclutha spent her first few years working the grain trade between California and England. In 1899 she was transferred to Hawaiian registry, and for three years sailed to Puget Sound, Washington, and then to Australia. The Balclutha was the last ship to sail under the flag of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and in 1901, a special act of Congress admitted her to American registry. This allowed The Balclutha to operate up and down the West Coast. In 1903, the Alaska Packers Association, a San Francisco-based firm which harvested and canned salmon, chartered the Balclutha to carry men and supplies north to the salmon canneries in Alaska.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Alaskan salmon canning industry experienced a period of rapid expansion. Between 1878 and 1949, 134 U.S.-owned salmon canneries were built along the coast of southeastern Alaska. In the 1920s this growth propelled the U.S. to its position as the largest producer of canned salmon in the world. As production increased, many Pacific Northwest canneries became dependent on labor from outside of Alaska. Chinese laborers, many of whom had experience fishing for salmon off the California coast, made up the bulk of the early cannery workforce. Chinese workers participated in every step of the canning process and were employed in a variety of positions from butchering fish to manufacturing and labeling metal cans.

The enactment of various Chinese Exclusion laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries stopped Chinese immigration to the U.S. and cannery contractors began hiring Japanese and Filipino workers to meet labor demands. Anti-immigration laws passed in the early 1920s limited Japanese and other Asian immigration and the cannery industry saw an influx of Filipino workers due to their status as U.S. nationals. The division of labor in most canneries was largely based on race, rather than ability, and as a result Chinese laborers often worked in less-skilled, lower-paying positions than their Caucasian counterparts.

Because of the salmon canning industry's largely seasonal nature, most canneries experienced a high turnover rate and often hired foreign labor through contractors. Contractors provided canneries with workers, transported them, and provided them with food in exchange for a set amount of money from the canneries. This system was open to abuse, and numerous accounts exist of contractors taking advantage of non-English speaking Asian workers – from skimping on food to charging exorbitant prices for low-quality gear to running off with pay at the end of the season.

Under the Alaska Packers Association (APA), the Balclutha and other ships served as the primary means for transporting contracted laborers from San Francisco, California to Karluk, a port town on Kodiak Island in southern Alaska. Following a 1904 wreck along the Alaskan coast, the APA purchased full ownership rights to the Balclutha and funded salvage repairs to refloat the ship. The APA also renamed the her the Star of Alaska, part of a policy requiring the use of "Star" as a prefix for the names of APA vessels. Under this new name, the former Balclutha sailed for almost three decades as a member of the APA's "Star Fleet."

Between 1906 and 1930, a typical fishing season for the Star of Alaska would begin with the ship sailing up the coast from San Francisco and anchoring in Chignik Bay in southern Alaska. The salmon season covered seven months of the year, with most ships departing San Francisco in April and returning in October or November. The 2,400 mile journey from California to Alaska typically took around three weeks to complete. During this time, and on the subsequent fall return voyage, several hundred men – fishermen, contract laborers, and the ship's crew – lived together on board the ships.

In 1925, the APA purchased its first large steamship, marking the beginning of the end for the sailing vessels of the Star Fleet. The Star of Alaska was one of only five wooden ships that made the journey to Alaska in1928. She made her final Alaskan voyage during the 1930 canning season – the only sailing ship to do so that year – before being retired upon returning to San Francisco in the fall.

After the end of her career with the canning industry, the Balclutha was purchased by Frank and Rose Kissinger and renamed the Pacific Queen. The Kissingers took the ship south to Catalina Island, California, where she appeared as an "extra" in the 1933 film Mutiny on the Bounty featuring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton. For a time the Kissingers toured up and down the West Coast, exhibiting the Pacific Queen as a "pirate ship." She was eventually moved to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and opened to the public, remaining there until 1941, when she was towed to South San Francisco and then to Sausalito to provide space for cargo vessels during World War II. Rusting and slowly deteriorating, the Pacific Queen narrowly escaped being salvaged for scrap metal during the war.

In 1952, the Kissingers brought the Pacific Queen back to San Francisco and in 1954, the San Francisco Maritime Museum purchased the deteriorating ship for $25,000. With donations of cash, materials, and lumber from the surrounding community, the Museum restored the vessel and returned her original name, the Balclutha. The National Park Service acquired the Balclutha in 1978, when the San Francisco Maritime Museum became part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA). The Balclutha was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985 and the ship and museum were administered by Golden Gate NRA until the establishment of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in 1988.

Today, visitors to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park may explore the Balclutha, which is moored at the Hyde Street Pier near Fisherman's Wharf in downtown San Francisco. The ship's 'tween deck holds an award-winning multimedia exhibit on the important cargoes the Balclutha carried around the world and the stories of the people who depended on them for their livelihood. In addition, the Park offers ranger-led guided tours of the Balclutha and seven other historic sailing ships and vessels including the C.S. Thayer, a three-masted wooden schooner built in 1895, which carried lumber for the West Coast lumber trade and fishing crews to Alaska for salmon and cod.

Plan your visit

The Sailing Ship Balclutha, a National Historic Landmark, is a part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, a unit of the National Park Service, located at 499 Jefferson St. (at Hyde), San Francisco, CA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9:30am-5:00pm, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. A ticket is needed to tour the historic vessels on Hyde Street Pier. The cost is $5.00 per person and the ticket is good for seven days. Entrance to the ships is free for supervised children under 16 years of age. For more information, visit the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park website or call 415-447-5000.

The Sailing Ship Balclutha has been documented by the National's Park Service's Historic American Engineering Record.

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Seattle Chinatown Historic District, Seattle, Washington

Seattle’s Chinatown Historic District has been the focal point of the city’s Asian community since the early 20th century. Chinatown was the heart of the most extensive Asian community in Washington State and the size and vitality of the district attracted thousands of immigrants to Seattle. The Seattle Chinatown Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and sits within the larger International Special Review District, one of eight historic districts established by the city of Seattle. Today, the two districts are commonly referred to as the Seattle Chinatown International District.

Seattle's first Chinese settlers came to the northwestern United States in the 1860s and 1870s, providing a labor force for the booming lumber mills, fishing operations, and railroads of the region. Chinese businessmen in Seattle contracted laborers, built boarding houses for Chinese workers, and opened merchant and manufacturing shops within a small densely populated area south of Pioneer Square. This area became Seattle's first Chinatown. By the mid-1870s approximately 550 people lived in the neighborhood on either a permanent or short-term basis.

During the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, Chinatown—much of it built on stilts over tidal flats—burned down. After the fire, wealthy Chinese merchant and labor contractor Chin Gee Hee erected a brick building, known as the Canton Building, at 208 South Washington Street to the east of the current Chinatown Historic District. This helped stimulating development in the area as other Chinese businessmen began to lease buildings on both sides of South Washington Street, developing a new Chinatown.

In the mid-1900s, Seattle began a major city regrading project, the Jackson Regrade, which was intended to make the city's roads more accessible. Over the course of three years, construction workers raised, lowered, and reshaped more than one hundred blocks in downtown Seattle before finishing the project in 1910. One of the areas that was regraded was the new Chinatown. The Jackson Regrade uprooted the Chinese community, and Chinese immigrants moved to nearby King Street on land reclaimed with the fill from the regrade. Chinese entrepreneurs and investors flocked to this area to open businesses, which fueled the community’s relocation to this third Chinatown.

In 1910, Goon Dip, a Chinese entrepreneur and diplomat, established the influential Kong Yick Investment Company, a group comprised of 170 Chinese immigrant investors from Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest. These investors pooled their resources to finance the construction of the first Chinese-built structures on King Street, the East and West Kong Yick Buildings, which served as both anchors for the newly relocated community and catalysts for the development of a new Chinatown.

While the Chinese population in Seattle had grown rapidly in the 1860s and 1870s this growth began to slow with the passage of the Chinese Exclusion act of 1882, which restricted Chinese immigration to the U.S. Other exclusionary laws aimed at Chinese immigrants were passed by the U.S. Congress between 1888 and 1902, effectively reducing the number of Chinese entering the country. Because of this, Japanese immigrants became increasingly sought after by American businesses and the number of Japanese immigrating to the U.S., particularly to the West Coast, increased rapidly. By 1900, Japanese immigration surpassed Chinese immigration and the Japanese eventually becoming Seattle's largest minority population. The growth was particularly dramatic in the first decade of the 20th century. In 1890, 125 Japanese lived in Seattle; by 1910, 6,127 lived within the city.

The Japanese formed a substantial community to the north and east of Chinatown referred to as "Japantown" (Nihonmachi), the second largest Japanese community on the West Coast. Although Japanese businesses existed throughout the Chinatown Historic District, Japanese commercial and family life centered around Japantown with a vibrant community of residences, restaurants, shops, theaters, clubs, hotels, and meeting halls.

Other ethnic groups arrived too, including Filipinos who came to Seattle as laborers and farm workers in the 1920s and the 1930s, establishing residences and businesses south of Chinatown. Filipino-owned restaurants, shops, and clubs were established around Maynard Avenue and King Street, giving the area the nickname "Manilatown." By the 1930s over 1,600 Filipinos resided in the district and Filipino workers were a strong element in the city’s labor movement, as they were throughout the West Coast. Filipino labor leaders like Virgil Duyungan of the Filipino Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers Union were instrumental in organizing farm laborers and salmon cannery workers and helped bring about the defeat of the salmon canning industry’s contract labor system.

In 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor incited widespread anti-Japanese feeling in the U.S., particularly on the West Coast where large communities of Japanese Americans lived and worked. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing the establishment of military areas covering the West Coast of the U.S, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from these areas of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry. Residents of Seattle's Japantown were forced to abandon their homes and businesses with many of them bringing their valuables to be stored in the basement of the Panama Hotel, a well known establishment in the district. The evacuees were detained at Puyallup Assembly Center (Camp Harmony) near Puyallup, Washington before being sent to Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho for the duration of the war.

As was the case in many cities on the West Coast during the war, large numbers of African Americans came to Seattle for military duty and to fill wartime jobs and moved into the abandoned buildings and houses of Japantown. Clubs and dance halls were established along South Jackson Street and soon became popular as places to hear jazz, swing, and blues music. After the war, many Japanese residents chose not to return to Seattle or returned to settle elsewhere in the city with their families.

The 1950s through the 1970s brought changes to Chinatown. The construction of Interstate 5 in the 1960s physically divided the various Asian neighborhoods and eliminated businesses, homes and churches. The Kingdome Stadium, built in the 1970s on the southwestern edge of Chinatown, created traffic and parking problems. Also in the 1970s Seattle passed stricter building and fire codes that resulted in the closure and demolition of many of Chinatown's older buildings.

In 1973, Seattle established the International Special Review District to preserve the area’s Asian culture and history and to protect it from unwanted development. The local district, located on both sides of Interstate 5, encompasses the commercial centers of Chinatown and Japantown as well as all of Manilatown and Little Saigon. A variety of projects have been launched since 1973, to revitalize the Special Review District including: Hing Hay Park a public park and community gathering place with a large ornate Chinese pavilion that was a gift from the people of Taipei, Taiwan (S. Intersection of King Street and Maynard Avenue); a traditional red, yellow, and blue 45-foot tall Chinese gate (paifang) marking the western entrance to Chinatown (5th Avenue and King Street); Kobe Terrace, a public park named for Seattle's sister city of Kobe, Japan (top of 7th Avenue). The park incorporates the Danny Woo International District Community Garden and has cherry trees, walkways, and lovely panoramic views of the city; the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in the historic East Kong Yick Building, the only community-based museum in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to the history of pan-Asian Pacific Americans (719 South King Street); and the Uwajimaya Village, a mixed-use commercial/residential development anchored by Uwajimaya, the largest Asian grocery and specialty store in the Pacific Northwest (corner of 7th Avenue and Lane Street). Uwajimaya was started in Tacoma, WA in the 1920s, but was moved to Seattle's Chinatown by its founder Fujimatsu Moriguchi after he and his family were released from internment in the Tule Lake Relocation Center at the end of World War II.

Today, the Seattle Chinatown Historic District is a thriving residential and commercial neighborhood that forms the core of the International Special Review District and includes one of the largest groups of intact pre-World War II buildings in the city reflecting the history and historic architecture of this vibrant ethnic community.

Plan your visit

The Seattle Chinatown Historic District is roughly bounded by South Main Street, 5th Avenue South, South Weller Street, and Interstate 5. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. Ninety minute walking tours of Chinatown and Japantown are offered by the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience located in Seattle’s Chinatown. For more information about the historic district visit the Seattle Chinatown International District website or call 206-382-1197.

The Seattle Chinatown Historic District is featured in the National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Seattle Travel Itinerary.

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South Point Complex, Island of Hawai'i

The South Point Complex, is located at the southern tip of the Island of Hawai'i on Ka Lae (the point), 16 miles south of the town of Naalehu. It is the southernmost point in both the Hawaiian Islands and the United States and is made up of a group of sites which are among the oldest in the Islands.

The South Point Complex is thought to be the site of one of the earliest settlements in the Hawaiian Islands and is believed to be the landing place of Hawaii's first inhabitants. One of the oldest known ancient Hawaiian habitations was uncovered at the South Point Complex Pu'u Ali'i (Hill of Chiefs) sand dune in 1956 by an archeological team from the Bishop Museum. The remains of a house, a fire hearth, and over 14,000 artifacts were found at the site, including coral and stone abraders (files used to make fish hooks) and over 60 different types of large fish hooks. The site appears to have been used continuously for fishing and as a settlement over a period of more than a thousand years.

South Point is a flat, grassy, windy plateau situated on high cliffs above the ocean. The waters off the point are very deep and dangerous with strong currents and are well known for their abundance of large fish such as ahi (yellow tuna), mahimahi, and marlin. Because it's difficult to fish from boats off South Point, the ancient Hawaiians, who fished from canoes, drilled mooring holes through rock ledges on the plateau. Fishermen would pass strong ropes through the mooring holes, tie them off, and then tie the loose ends to their canoes. This would allow the currents to carry the canoes into deep-water fishing grounds without being swept out to sea. Mooring holes can be seen in the rocks to the west of the Kalalea Heiau on the South Point Complex. There are also numerous salt pans located around the Complex. The ancient Hawaiians carved these shallow rectangular "pans" into the lava rock and filled them with ocean saltwater. When the water evaporated, the salt that was left behind was used to preserve fish.

The best evidence of South Point's historical value as a fishing spot is Kalalea Heiau, an ancient fishing shrine (ko'a) to Ku'ula, the god of fishing. The heiau (place of worship) has stone walls that form a nearly perfect square of approximately 42 feet by 38 feet. The walls are four feet high at the north end of the heiau and rise to six feet at the south end. Just outside the west wall is a 20 by 20-foot platform paved with stones, which served as a place to prepare fish for meals or sacrifices. Local fishermen still visit Kalalea Heiau to leave offerings in the hopes of finding good fishing off of South Point or as thanks for a successful catch.

In addition to the heiau, several sacred standing stones are located in the vicinity. On the main platform outside the heiau is the stone called Hina (female), and on the smaller stone terrace to the north is Ku'ulakai (male), associated with Kanaloa, the god of the ocean. Twelve feet to the north are the stones Makaunulau (named for a star used for navigation) and Ai'ai (a young dependent or ward) and south of the heiau is the stone called Wahine hele (place from where the women leave). Located at the shoreline is the stone named Pohakuwa'a Kauhi (canoe rock by the shrubs) which was used to focus meditation before long canoe journeys. Just offshore is Pohakuokeau (stone of the currents or stone of the years) which was believed to turn over when a change in government occurred. Lastly, there is a sacred stone called Ku'ula, located inside the heiau's north wall.

Also located at South Point is Papakolea Beach, one of only four green sand beaches in the world. The beach gets its distinctive color from olivine crystals, more commonly known as peridot. The crystals erode out of ancient basalt lava flows found within the 49,000 year old eroded Pu'u Mahana cinder cone that encircles the beach. The olivine crystals are heavier than the sand grains on the beach and remain behind when the sand is washed away by waves, giving the beach area near the water a distinctive green color.

Plan your visit

South Point Complex, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the southernmost tip of the Island of Hawai'i, 16 miles south of Naalehu, HI. The site is at the end of South Point Road, 12 miles south of Hawaii Route 11 (Hawaii Belt Road). If you are driving a rental car, be sure to check with the car company to see if you are allowed to drive on South Point Road. South Point Complex is always open, but the sheer cliffs and rough waters make it dangerous to visit after dark. Papakolea Beach is 2.5 miles east of Kalalea Heiau and can be reached by vehicle or by hiking along the shoreline. Because of the powerful currents, swimming is not advised in the South Point area. For more information, visit the Hawaii Tourism Authority or call the Big Island Visitors Bureau at 808-961-5797.

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Star of India, San Diego, California

The Star of India, located at the Maritime Museum of San Diego in San Diego California, is the fourth oldest ship afloat in the United States and the world's second oldest active sailing ship. She is also one of only two surviving vessels of the Alaska Packers Association's great salmon fleet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries

The Star of India was constructed on the Isle of Man off of Great Britain in 1863. The ship was built as an iron-hulled full-rigged windjammer bearing the name Euterpe, after the Greek muse of music and poetry. Originally owned by the British firm Wakefield, Nash, & Company, the Euterpe sailed in the Trans-Pacific trade. In 1871, she was bought by the Shaw Savill Line of London (later the Shaw, Savill, & Albion Line) to transport passengers and freight in the New Zealand emigrant trade, circumnavigating the globe 21 times between 1871 and 1898. The Euterpe was sold to the San Francisco-based Pacific Colonial Ship Company in 1899, and placed under Hawaiian Registry for use in the lumber trade, carrying cargo from the Puget Sound in Washington to Australia and Hawaii. She was admitted to American registry in 1901, by a special act of Congress allowing her to operate up and down the West Coast.

In 1901, the Alaska Packers Association acquired the Euterpe and changed her name to the Star of India as part of a company policy requiring the use of "Star" as a prefix for the names of Association vessels. Under this new name, the former Euterpe sailed for 22 years as a member of the APA's "Star Fleet" transporting supplies, fishermen, and cannery workers from California to the salmon canneries in Alaska.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Alaskan salmon canning industry experienced a period of rapid expansion. Between 1878 and 1949, 134 U.S.-owned salmon canneries were built along the coast of southeastern Alaska. In the 1920s this growth propelled the U.S. to its position as the largest producer of canned salmon in the world. As production increased, many Pacific Northwest canneries became dependent on labor from outside of Alaska. Chinese laborers, many of whom had experience fishing for salmon off the California coast, made up the bulk of the early cannery workforce. Chinese workers participated in every step of the canning process and were employed in a variety of positions from butchering fish to manufacturing and labeling metal cans.

The enactment of various Chinese Exclusion laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries stopped Chinese immigration to the U.S. and cannery contractors began hiring Japanese and Filipino workers to meet labor demands. Anti-immigration laws passed in the early 1920s limited Japanese and other Asian immigration, and the cannery industry saw an influx of Filipino workers due to their status as U.S. nationals. The division of labor in most canneries was largely based on race, rather than ability, and as a result Chinese laborers often worked in less-skilled, lower-paying positions than their Caucasian counterparts.

Because of the salmon canning industry's largely seasonal nature, most canneries experienced a high turnover rate and often hired foreign labor through contractors. Contractors provided canneries with workers, transported them, and provided them with food in exchange for a set amount of money from the canneries. This system was open to abuse, and numerous accounts exist of contractors taking advantage of non-English speaking Asian workers – from skimping on food to charging exorbitant prices for low-quality gear to running off with pay at the end of the season.

As the largest fleet engaged in the Alaskan salmon trade from 1893 to 1920, the Alaska Packers Association (APA) transported hundreds of contract laborers to and from the Alaskan canneries each season. The salmon season covered seven months of the year, with most ships departing San Francisco in April and returning in October or November. The Star of India would depart San Francisco, California fully loaded with cannery supplies, fishermen, contract laborers, and the ship's crew, with the 2,400 mile journey to Alaska lasting approximately three weeks. During this time, several hundred men – primarily Asian contract laborers – lived on board the Star of India. To accommodate such a large number of passengers, the APA reduced the Star of India from a full-rigged ship to a bark (square-rigged ship) – thus requiring a smaller crew – and extended the poop deck to provide quarters for up to 45 fishermen.

Upon arrival in Alaska, the fishermen, cannery workers, and crew members unloaded the ship's cargo before turning their attention to preparing the canneries for upcoming operations. Salmon typically began to arrive in the area in July, and the season's fishing "run" lasted for two to three weeks. The cannery workers then spent the remainder of the season butchering, processing, and packaging the salmon into metal cans manufactured on-site. The crew, workers, and fishermen then loaded up the ship's cargo stores with packs of canned salmon and put the Star of India out to sea. Once back in California, the ship's passengers and crew unloaded the canned salmon with the majority of the cargo being shipped eastward via the Transcontinental Railroad.

The Star of India continued this seasonal cycle until her retirement from the canning industry in 1923. Shortly afterwards, in 1926, the Zoological Society of San Diego purchased the ship for use as the centerpiece of a planned maritime museum and aquarium. The Great Depression in the 1930s and World War II in the 1940s, however, caused those plans to be put on hold. The Star of India lay idle until she was restored in the late 1950s and early 1960s under the supervision of the Maritime Museum Association of San Diego. In 1976, the Star of India put out to sea once more, sailing as a part of the United States' Bicentennial celebration. Today, the Star of India is an active museum sailing ship home-ported at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Visitors to the Maritime Museum have the opportunity to explore the Star of India for themselves. The museum offers guided group tours of the ship on a regular basis, and the vessel is also featured in the museum's annual Festival of Sail. Usually occurring over Labor Day weekend, the Festival of Sail features a Tall Ships Parade (in which the Star of India regularly participates) and the Tall Ships Cannon Battle, along with a variety of activities for the whole family.

Plan your visit

The Star of India, a National Historic Landmark, is a part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, located at 1492 North Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Maritime Museum is open daily from 9:00am to 8:00pm and from 9:00am to 9:00pm from Memorial Day through the Festival of Sail. During the Festival of Sail (Labor Day Weekend) the Museum is open from 9:00am to 7:00pm. For more information, visit the Maritime Museum of San Diego website or call 619-234-9153.

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Stedman-Thomas Historic District, Ketchikan, Alaska

The Stedman-Thomas Historic District in Ketchikan, Alaska was a cultural melting pot for Asians and Pacific Islanders working in Alaska's fishing industry from the early 1900s to the 1940s. The historic district was one of the earliest neighborhoods in Ketchikan and played an important role in the economic history of the city and in the lives of the district's residents.

For centuries an abundant supply of salmon, halibut, and other ocean resources sustained the Tlingit Indians who established a summer fishing camp at the mouth of Ketchikan Creek. By the late 1880s, the abundance of fish drew Americans to Ketchikan. These newcomers lived in small shacks at the mouth of the creek, alongside the Tlingit. The Alaskan gold rushes of the 1890s brought thousands of people north, and Ketchikan's location as the southernmost community in Alaska made it an ideal stopover for north-bound steamships. The city, which had incorporated in 1900, was a major outfitting and supply center as well as the regional center for southeastern Alaska’s rapidly growing fishing industry.

As settlers and entrepreneurs came to Ketchikan, the populations became increasingly segregated. The Tlingit began to move south of Ketchikan Creek, forming a neighborhood known as Indian Town. As early as 1908, a small community of Japanese, Chinese, and Filipinos, had moved to Ketchikan, looking for economic opportunities provided by the fishing industry. Because of social segregation, they settled in Indian Town, opening businesses along Stedman Street. Most of the neighborhood's first businesses were owned and operated by Asian families. George Ohashi had a store at 223 Stedman Street as early as 1910, which advertised its fresh "Chop Suey" ingredients in the local newspaper, the Ketchikan Daily News. Other Asian immigrants and businesses included George Shimizu and his family, who owned and ran the New York Hotel and Café at 207-211 Stedman Street; Harry Kimura, who owned Harry's Place at 325 Stedman Street; Jim Tanino, who operated Jimmy's Noodle Café at 227 Stedman Street; and James Tatsuda, who owned and operated Tatsuda's Grocery Store at 339 Stedman Street. The Japanese community had a small school and meeting house on the hill above Stedman Street, where adult volunteers taught the children of Japanese immigrants their native language.

The beginning of World War I created additional demand for protein sources such as seafood and by the end of the war the Alaskan fishing industry was highly prosperous. Ketchikan was the home port for an estimated 2,000 fishing boats with the tidal flats along Stedman Street providing one of the safest mooring areas in the city during bad weather. The Stedman Street area became the home for a small, but growing fleet of fishing boats and businesses formed to supply their needs. Indian Town grew significantly during the 1920s and soon became a self-contained "city within a city," supporting several hundred permanent and seasonal residents.

As Japanese and Chinese immigration to the U.S. became more restricted in the 1920s, Filipinos came north to work in the Alaska canneries. Ketchikan had one of the earliest permanent Filipino communities in Alaska. Those Filipinos who did not live in bunkhouses at the canneries generally lived in Indian Town. Many Filipinos resided in group homes, and individuals who had established themselves in Ketchikan often acted as sponsors for new arrivals until they had the means to find their own living quarters. The building at 337-339 Stedman Street housed a Filipino Social Club, which became the Filipino Community Club in 1938. This organization, formed by district residents, is considered the first Filipino community club in Alaska.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Ketchikan served as a principal outfitting and supply center for the fishermen in the region. The city also became a headquarters for buying, selling, canning, freezing, and shipping fish. Despite the social and geographical segregation they experienced in Ketchikan, the residents of Indian Town believed there were more opportunities and acceptance in Alaska than in other parts of the U.S. The tolerant climate of the neighborhood, in particular, helped many to realize their economic goals, while continuing to maintain their ethnic identities.

The economic importance of fishing continued to increase through the 1930s with Alaska providing nearly two-thirds of the world's salmon, as well as a significant portion of halibut, herring, and other seafood. Activity in Indian Town increased with the improvement of the tidal flats along Stedman Street in the early 1930s. During the winter, boat owners found that the mooring areas in Ketchikan did not provide enough protection and left to winter their boats in other Southeast Alaska cities. To keep the fishing fleet in Ketchikan year-round, the city dredged the tidal flats and built a breakwater in order to provide a protected harbor. Although Indian Town was already involved in supporting the fishing industry, its role intensified with the building of the new harbor known as the Thomas Basin.

The outbreak of war in Asia and Europe in 1939 brought a greater demand for fish. As the war progressed, a shrinking labor pool plagued the fishing industry and canners consolidated their operations. In 1942, with the U.S. entrance into World War II, Ketchikan's Japanese residents were evacuated to relocation centers in the lower 48 states, primarily to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho.

After the war the neighborhood began a period of rapid change. The Alaskan fishing industry, which had been suffering for years from unregulated fishing, found their stocks heavily depleted. Unable to recover, southeastern Alaska's economic growth turned to lumber. Many businesses in Indian Town that had served the fishing fleets either closed or changed their focus. In addition, the Japanese residents who had been the backbone of the neighborhood’s business community chose not to return after the war. Attitudes about racial segregation also began to change and many Asians and Pacific Islanders moved out of Indian Town to other parts of Ketchikan. Although the name Indian Town remained, the neighborhood’s social boundaries became more fluid. Government road projects helped extend Ketchikan south of Indian Town, and Stedman Street became a main thoroughfare. The neighborhood’s businesses and restaurants no longer serviced only neighborhood residents and fishermen and the "city within in a city" slowly became part of greater Ketchikan.

The Stedman-Thomas Historic District residents, businesses, and an active neighborhood association have undertaken improvement projects over the years to preserve Indian Town’s multicultural history. The historic district contains 47 buildings and structures that reflect the overall character and feeling of the district during the 1910s through the 1930s. Nearly all of the commercial buildings in the district line Stedman Street and are simple wood frame structures with false fronts, which were added to existing buildings in the 1920s. The residential buildings are mostly two-story houses with shed-roofed kitchen additions in the back. Today, the Stedman-Thomas Historic District is a thriving commercial and arts neighborhood that still evokes the feel of an early 20th century Alaskan fishing community.

Plan your visit

Stedman-Thomas Historic District is located in Ketchikan, AK and is roughly bounded by the Stedman Street Bridge, Stedman St., East St., and the Thomas Basin. The district also includes all of the buildings along Brown Way, Tatsuda Way, Inman St., and Thomas St. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. For more information visit the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau website or call 907-225-6166.

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The Forty Acres, Delano, California

In 1966, "The Forty Acres," a parcel of land in Delano, California, became the headquarters for the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), the first permanent agricultural labor union in the United States. The Forty Acres and the UFW played a crucial role in the Farmworker Movement, a labor movement which fundamentally altered the ways in which agricultural workers in the U.S. were treated. At The Forty Acres the UFW first successfully bargained for and signed contracts protecting the rights of farm workers in California and eventually across the U.S.

In May of 1965, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) went on strike against the Coachella Valley grape growers in California. The organization, made up primarily of Filipinos, was seeking higher wages and better living and working conditions for farm workers. Although the organization was unable to negotiate a contract with the growers, it did win a wage increase for the workers. Following this success, the AWOC moved on to the grape farms in Delano, California. On September 8, 1965, the AWOC held a meeting with Filipino grape farm workers at the Filipino Community Hall in Delano. At the meeting the farm workers voted to go on strike against the Delano table grape growers and 1,500 Filipino farm workers walked off the grape fields. Led by AWOC leaders Larry Itliong, Philip Vera Cruz, Benjamin Gines, and Pete Velasco, the strikers demanded pay equal to the federal minimum wage of $1.25 an hour. For eight days Filipino farm workers struck alone, facing violence from the growers' hired strike breakers and the local sheriff's department and getting evicted from their homes in the labor camps. The growers began to bring in Mexican American farm workers from the surrounding area to work the fields. Realizing they needed support, AWOC asked the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), a predominately Hispanic farm workers union formed in 1962, by César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and others, to join their strike. Chávez and the other NFWA leaders had believed it would be years before their organization was ready to support a strike, but they knew from experience that growers pitted one race of farm workers against another to break field walkouts. They saw the AWOC strike as an opportunity to fight for the rights of all farm workers regardless of race and voted to join the walkout. The NFWA expanded the strikers' demands to include union contracts signed by the growers and laws allowing farm workers the right to unionize and engage in collective bargaining. In addition, Chávez asked that Mexican American and Filipino strikers take a pledge of nonviolence and work together, sharing picket lines, strike kitchens, and union halls. This marked the first time Mexican American farm workers did not break a Filipino farm workers strike, choosing instead to join them on the picket lines.

Recognizing their common goals, the AWOC and NFWA merged in 1966 to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC), eventually becoming the United Farmworkers Union (UFW) in 1972. The Delano grape strike quickly spread to other agricultural areas in California and the UFWOC began to boycott the State's entire table grape industry. This eventually led to a nation–wide boycott of California-grown table grapes. By 1970, after strikes, boycotts, a 300 mile march to highlight the ongoing labor struggle, and a 25-day fast by Chávez, the UFWOC succeeded in reaching a collective bargaining agreement with California grape growers, affecting over 70,000 farm workers. The union contracts signed at the UFWOC headquarters "The Forty Acres," raised wages, replaced a labor contracting system with union-run hiring halls, protected farm workers from dangerous pesticides, funded health care plans, established grievances procedures, mandated that growers provide fresh water and toilets in the fields, and established a fund for community service projects.

With the Delano grape strike, Filipino farm workers played a significant role in changing the way agricultural workers were treated in the U.S. Filipinos were considered a "docile" and "hard-working" immigrant group, and were denied the ability to vote or own land. Without these rights farm workers were completely dependent on growers for their health and well-being, creating a relationship particularly susceptible to abuse. A strike against the growers could mean the loss of not only the farm worker's jobs, but also their temporary housing and means of sustenance. The initial decision to walk off the farm fields and the continued efforts and courage of the Filipino farm workers during the five-year strike and subsequent boycott were later referred to by UFW Vice-President Philip Vera Cruz as "one of the most significant and famous decisions ever made in the entire history of the farmworkers' labor struggles in California."

The Forty Acres preserves the legacy of the farmworkers movement and helps tell its story. In 1966, the NFWA purchased 40 acres of land in Delano, California to develop into a farm workers' service center. The site was intended to serve as a headquarters and be a place where farm workers could find assistance, goods, and services that would positively affect their lives. With the help of farm workers, volunteer labor, and other unions the site grew to include a cooperative gas station, health clinic, administrative buildings, offices, a services and utilities area, hiring hall, boycott organizing space, a day care center, and the Paolo Agbayani Retirement Village for Filipino farm workers.

The Paolo Agbayani Retirement Village, named in honor of a Filipino union member who had died of a heart attack while on a picket line in 1967, was the UFW's response to the plight of elderly Filipino farm workers. Most Filipino farm workers had immigrated to the U.S. as young men during the 1920s and 1930s and stayed through the 1950s and 1960s. Strict immigration laws prevented Filipino women from immigrating to the U.S., and California law prohibited Filipino male immigrants from marrying women outside of their own race. This meant that Filipino farm workers lived as single men in the labor camps and had no family in the U.S. and no financial and public resources that would have enabled them to leave their physically demanding jobs. With no place to go and no one to care for them, Filipino farm workers continued to work beyond the age of retirement to avoid destitution. The Paolo Agbayani Retirement Village was constructed in the early 1970s in the Mission style and consisted of 59 single room units, bathrooms, telephone lines, central air conditioning, a lounge and dining area that provided daily meals, garden plots, and a courtyard landscaped with eucalyptus, Chinese pistache, blackwood acacia, carob, and camphor trees. The Filipino farm workers who retired to the Village had come full circle; they now lived in a place that provided them with a high quality of life, human dignity, and respect.

Although the UFW relocated its national headquarters to a newly–acquired property in the Tehachapi Mountains in 1971, The Forty Acres remained its model service center. The services offered at The Forty Acres were ultimately refined and then offered throughout other regional service centers. Today, the buildings, park, roads, and landscaping features at The Forty Acres are all intact. This National Historic Landmark provides visitors with the opportunity to see the buildings and grounds that developed as the UFW grew in importance and became a major force for civil and labor rights in the United States.

Plan your visit

The Forty Acres, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 30168 Garces Highway in Delano, CA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. Guided tours of The Forty Acres are available by appointment Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 12:00pm and from 1:00pm until 5:00 pm. The grounds and roads of The Forty Acres are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information, call 661-725-4347 or email avillage@chavezfoundation.org

The Forty Acres is featured in the National Park Service American Latino Heritage Travel Itinerary and has been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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Tule Lake Segregation Center, Tulelake, California

Tule Lake War Relocation Center, redesignated in 1943 as the Tule Lake Segregation Center, is partially preserved in the Tule Lake Unit of the National Park Service's WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, outside of Tulelake, California in the town of Newell. Tule Lake was the largest and longest in use of the ten War Relocation Authority (WRA) centers built by the federal government to house Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the West Coast of the United States during World War II. In 1943, Tule Lake was converted to a maximum security segregation center. Tule Lake had the most guard towers of any of the relocation centers, the largest number of military police, and was the only facility to contain a jail and stockade.

After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, leading to the United States' entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing most of the West Coast of the United States, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal of people of Japanese ancestry from these areas including Americans of Japanese descent. Although the President and the War Department contended at the time that the forced removal was necessary for military reasons, in 1982 the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians found that to be false. The commission's report, Personal Justice Denied, states that rather than military necessity, "The broad historical causes which shaped these decisions were race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act and apologized to people of Japanese ancestry, saying "here, we admit a wrong." The Act authorized redress of $20,000 to any Japanese American who had been incarcerated during World War II.

In March 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority (WRA), the federal agency responsible for the construction and administration of confinement centers throughout the United States. The U.S. military supported Executive Order 9066 by assembling and transporting some 110,000 Japanese Americans to ten inland War Relocation Centers across the nation to be incarcerated.

Isolated in northern California, the Tule Lake area is remote and is sustained by farming. Under the authority of the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902, the federal government drained Tule Lake to create viable farmland. The project began in 1920, but was not truly effective until merged with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The CCC was successful in putting over 3,500 acres of land under cultivation. They were also responsible for constructing a 300-foot wall around the remaining lake, preserving an area that is now designated a National Wildlife Refuge. Because of this, the WRA deemed it to be an ideal setting for a relocation center.

Construction of the Tule Lake Relocation Center began on April 15, 1942, and the first incarcerees arrived on May 25, 1942. Located on over 7,400 acres, the center included a post office, high school, hospital, cemetery, several factory and warehouse buildings, two sewage treatment plants, and over 3,500 acres of irrigated farmland. At its peak capacity, the center was home to more than 18,000 incarcerees and 1,200 soldiers. To accommodate all of these individuals, Tule Lake had 1,036 barrack dorms, 518 latrines, and 144 administrative and support buildings.

From the beginning, the incarcerees at Tule Lake fought for their rights. Several protests took place in the first six months of the center's opening including a strike by incarcerees working as farm laborers in August over the lack of promised goods and salaries, a packing shed workers' strike in September, and in October a mess hall strike to protest inadequate food.

In 1943, controversies over a WRA questionnaire led to the conversion of Tule Lake into a maximum security segregation center. In order to determine the loyalty of adult incarcerees in the ten relocation centers who were seeking to work or go to school outside of the centers, the WRA issued a poorly worded questionnaire called the "Application for Indefinite Leave Clearance." The application, which became known as the "loyalty questionnaire," was intended to streamline the process of granting long-term leave to incarcerees. It was originally designed by the U.S. military to determine the loyalty of draft-age males, and was not initially modified by the WRA for relocation center incarcerees. In particular, questions number 27 and 28, referred to as the "loyalty questions," asked about incarcerees' willingness to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces on combat duty, to swear allegiance to the United States, and to give up any allegiance to the Emperor of Japan or a foreign government. Both questions caused confusion, concern, and resentment. They did not take into account the fact that incarcerees were not just draft-age men, but also women and the elderly who could not serve in combat, Issei (first generation Japanese immigrants) who were barred by law from becoming U.S. citizens and would be left stateless, and American citizens who had never sworn loyalty to Japan or her Emperor. In addition, young male incarcerees were concerned that answering "yes" to the question about serving in the military would be tantamount to volunteering without assurances that their rights as American citizens would be restored after their service. For many and varied reasons including confusion about the meaning of the questions, an incomplete understanding of the consequences of a negative answer, a protest at being asked the questions in the first place, or, as in the case of the incarcerees at Tule Lake, coercion and a refusal by the relocation center's administration to answer questions about the application, a portion of incarcerees answered "no" to questions 27 and 28. Those who gave "no" answers were branded "disloyal" by the federal government.

In addition, many of the incarcerees at Tule Lake were considered "disloyal" because of their attempts to protest their incarceration and internment. Several dozen young men in one cell block refused to answer the questionnaire by an arbitrary deadline despite threats of large fines and up to 20 years of imprisonment. They were arrested by the military police and incarcerated in local jails before being removed to Camp Tulelake. Over a two-month period more than 100 additional protestors were arrested at the relocation center and imprisoned at Camp Tulelake

In July of 1943, the WRA announced a plan to "separate loyal from disloyal internees [incarcerees] in all ten relocation centers to bring harmony and to hasten the process of resettlement of loyal citizens and law-abiding aliens." Because Tule Lake had the highest percentage of either unanswered loyalty questionnaires or "no" responses to the loyalty questions-42 percent as compared to 10 percent at other relocation centers-it was selected for conversion into a segregation center. As a relocation center, Tule Lake had six guard towers, but after its conversion, the number grew to 28 guard towers supported by a large number of machine guns. At night, searchlights from the guard towers would follow incarcerees when they went to the communal latrines. Additional troops were assigned to Tule Lake, including eight tanks and a lighted 7-foot-high chain link "man-proof" fence, topped with barbed wire, was added around the center's perimeter. A new, more secure entrance and a larger Military Police Compound were built at the center and fences and guard towers were constructed around the center's outlying farm fields.

Tule Lake's population underwent a dramatic change as well. To make room for the arrival of segregants from other relocation centers, those Tule lake incarcerees deemed "loyal" were removed to other centers. Approximately 6,000 incarcerees transferred to other centers, but another 4,000 chose to stay at Tule Lake. This created a unique combination of "old Tuleans," and new segregants. In this politically charged atmosphere, it did not take very long for the segregants to test the newly formed segregation center's authority.

On October 15, 1943, a truck carrying agricultural workers across the segregation center tipped over, resulting in the death of one incarceree. After it was discovered that his widow's benefits only amounted to two-thirds of his monthly pay of $16, and that the truck driver was underage, the incarcerees became angry. Without prior approval, they held a funeral in the deceased's honor; ten days later, agricultural workers went on strike for safer working conditions and other improvements. They quickly formed a negotiating committee, Daihyo Sha Kai, and sent their envoy to meet with the center's Director, Raymond Best, to resolve their complaints. Best's cordial attitude left the workers feeling confident, but just two days after the meeting, the administration announced the firing of all agricultural workers and brought in workers from other WRA centers. These new workers, who were housed at Camp Tulelake a few miles northwest of the segregation center, did not know that they were breaking a strike. Their presence and the fact they were paid ten times the standard wage added to the discontent.

After several outbreaks of violence in which the military police used jeeps mounted with machine guns and tear gas to disperse the crowds, Director Best declared martial law. The military police took over control of Tule Lake from the WRA resulting in the arrest of over 250 incarcerees, including many of the Daihyo Sha Kai leaders. Those who were arrested were housed in the newly constructed stockade. The Stockade was an area 250 by 350 feet, enclosed with fences and four guard towers. Contained within the Stockade were four barracks, a mess hall, and a latrine. This "prison within a prison" completely isolated the incarcerees on the inside from the rest of the segregation center's population. All of the Stockade's outer fences had wooden boards covering them, so that those on the inside could not communicate with anyone on the outside.

The arrests and unrest continued until over 350 dissident leaders were confined in the Stockade. In early January of 1944, the other Tule Lake incarcerees voted to end the protest. Director Best lifted martial law, however, unrest continued. In May, an incarceree was shot and killed during an altercation with a guard and in June, the general manager of the Business Enterprise Association was murdered.

Tule Lake Segregation Center closed on March 20, 1946, seven months after the end of World War II making it the longest in use of the ten relocation centers. Two months later the military police compound and one ward of the incarceree residential area were leased to the Tulelake Growers Association who began to work the farmland and utilize the buildings to house migrant laborers. Some of the buildings and land were distributed to veteran homesteaders and some were kept by the Bureau of Reclamation, while other buildings were held for later use by government agencies and non-profit groups. In 1963, the military police compound area was turned into a housing subdivision.

In 1975, the State of California registered Tule Lake as a California State Historic Landmark, thereby recognizing its historic significance. In 1979, a monument was erected next to the highway entrance in front of the Stockade commemorating those who had suffered while incarcerated at Tule Lake. In 1983, the federal government admitted that prejudice, wartime hysteria, and politics all contributed to the unjust wartime incarceration and civil liberties violations. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 provided redress to Japanese Americans incarcerated during the war. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush formally apologized on behalf of the United States. By Presidential Proclamation in December of 2008, the Tule Lake Segregation Center and Camp Tulelake, the CCC campsite, became the Tule Lake Unit of the National Park Service's WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Today, visitors may explore both the Tule Lake Segregation Center and Camp Tulelake. Several buildings still stand at both sites including the Center's WRA Motor Pool, Post Engineer's Yard, and Jail whose walls contain graffiti, including names, dates, poems, and drawings. There is also over 1,800 feet of chain link fence at the Center, a small part of the Military Police Compound, and barbed wire-topped "man-proof" fence. The Camp has multiple buildings including a barracks which is being restored. The Park Visitor Center is located at the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds Museum in the town of Tulelake. Ranger-led tours of both Tule Lake Segregation Center and Camp Tulelake are offered seasonally.

Plan your visit

Tule Lake Segregation Center is part of the Tule Lake Unit of the National Park Service's WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument and is a National Historic Landmark. The site is located in Newell in Modoc County, California 10 miles southeast of Tulelake, CA and 35 miles southeast of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. The Tule Lake Unit Visitor Center is located at the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds Museum, 800 Main Street, Tulelake, CA. The Visitor Center is open and staffed Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day from 8:30am to 5:00pm. From Labor Day to Memorial Day the Visitor Center is unstaffed, but open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Ranger-led tours of Tule Lake Segregation Center and Camp Tulelake are offered seasonally. For more information, visit the Tule Lake Unit website or call either 530-260-0537 or 530-667-8119.

Tule Lake Segregation Center is featured in the National Park Service Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary and the National Historic Landmark Theme Study Japanese Americans in World War II. Components of the Tule Lake Unit have been documented by the National Park Service’s  Historic American Buildings Survey, including: the Tule Lake Project Jail, Camp Tulelake, Camp Tulelake Mess Hall, and Camp Tulelake Shop Storage Building.

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U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay, California

The U.S. Immigration Station is located in Angel Island State Park on Angel Island, the largest island in California's San Francisco Bay. While the island is the home of 740 acres of pristine parkland, including beautiful beaches, picnic areas and hiking trails, it is most famous for its rich history.

In 1850, President Millard Fillmore declared Angel Island a military reserve and during the Civil War, the island was fortified to defend San Francisco Bay from potential attack by Confederate forces. Angel Island continued to be an active military installation through World War II. In 1905, the War Department transferred 20 acres of land on the island to the Department of Commerce and Labor for the establishment of an immigrant station. While the exact number is unknown, estimates suggest that between 1910 and 1940, the station processed up to one million Asian and other immigrants, including 250,000 Chinese and 150,00 Japanese, earning it a reputation as the "Ellis Island of the West." Having served as the point of entry to the United States for Asia, Angel Island remains an important place for Asian Americans whose heritage and legacy are deeply rooted in the history of the U.S. Immigration Station.

Before the 1800s, there was little immigration from Asia to the U.S. During the 19th century. However, the U.S. experienced mass migrations of immigrants from several Asian countries, particularly China. Multiple factors triggered this wave of immigration. In 1848, gold was discovered in California and throughout the 1850s, Chinese immigrants were recruited as a major source of labor for the U.S. gold mines. Many Chinese immigrants also came to the U.S. during this period to escape the Taiping Rebellion, a large-scale civil war that encompassed most of Southern China. In the 1860s, Chinese workers were recruited in large numbers from both China and the U.S. western mining industry to help build the Central Pacific Railroad's portion of the Transcontinental Railroad. During this time, Chinese laborers were also hired by the agricultural industry in California, which was suffering from severe manpower shortages and needed skilled farm workers.

By the 1870s, the U.S. economy was in a post war decline. The country experienced a series of economic crises starting with the Panic of 1873. The deflation and depression that followed caused wage levels to fall and many Americans to lose their jobs. In the West white laborers, many of them from the American South, found themselves competing for scarce jobs with Chinese immigrants who would work for lower wages. This led to rising resentment among the white population. Political and labor leaders began to use Chinese immigrants as scapegoats, blaming them for declining wages and high unemployment, and accusing them of being morally corrupt.

In response to economic fears, primarily in California, the U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which restricted Chinese immigration. The Act barred Chinese "skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining" from entering the U.S. for 10 years and forbade Chinese immigrants from becoming U.S. citizens. Nonlaborers from exempted classes – diplomats, travelers, merchants, students, ministers, and children of U.S. citizens – could immigrate to the United States after receiving a certification from the Chinese government. The Chinese Exclusion Act marked the first time the U.S. Congress restricted an immigrant group on the basis of race. Congress passed other exclusionary laws aimed at Chinese immigrants between 1888 and 1902, effectively reducing the number of Chinese entering the U.S.

After passage of the various Chinese exclusionary laws, Japanese immigrants became increasingly sought after by American businesses. Because of this, the number of Japanese immigrating to the U.S., particularly to the West Coast, increased rapidly. The previous animosity toward Chinese laborers was transferred to Japanese immigrants. With anti-Japanese sentiment rising in California, the U.S. and Japan came to a "Gentlemen's Agreement" in 1907. Under the Agreement, Japan voluntarily limited the immigration of Japanese laborers and the U.S. permitted the immigration of spouses of Japanese immigrants already in the U.S. By 1910, the Japanese had begun to make their presence felt in the agricultural economy of the West Coast. In a letter from Governor William D. Stephens of California to Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby dated June 19, 1920, the Governor stated that "The Japanese...have gradually developed to control, many of our important agricultural industries" and described the presence of the Japanese in California as "an even more serious problem than Chinese immigration."

San Francisco, California was a primary point of entry for Asians immigrating to the U.S., and new arrivals were housed in quarters located at the Pacific Mail Steamship Company docks on the San Francisco waterfront. The facilities at the docks, however, proved to be inadequate and unsanitary. A study authorized in 1904, recommended construction of an immigration station on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. In 1905, the War Department transferred 20 acres of land on the island to the Department of Labor and Commerce for the construction of the new station. Angel Island was an ideal location for an immigration station due to its isolation from the mainland. Its location allowed for greater control over immigrant entry to the U.S., prevented immigrants on the island from communicating with immigrants on the mainland, and slowed the introduction of new or deadly diseases to the general population. The new Immigration Station opened on January 21, 1910 and became the major port of entry to the U.S. for Asians and other immigrants coming from the west.

The Immigration Station opened for partial operation on the northern neck of the island, later called China Cove. Architect Walter J. Mathews designed the Station compound to include an administration building, hospital, powerhouse, wharf, and an enclosed detention center with an outdoor area and guard tower. Since many Chinese citizens made multiple efforts to immigrate under the exempt categories in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, immigration officials at the station had to determine who had legitimate exemption documentation before allowing them entry into the United States.

When a ship arrived in San Francisco Bay, immigration officers boarded the ship to inspect each passenger's documents. Those who held proper documentation gained almost immediate entry to the United States, while those with questionable documents had to ride a ferry to Angel Island for further examination. Once they were on the island, immigration officials separated the immigrants by their race and sex, regardless of familial bonds, except for children under 12 years old who could stay with their mothers during their quarantine period. Each newly arrived immigrant received a full medical examination at the station hospital. If an examiner found evidence of a disease, the infected immigrant could not enter the U.S.

After their medical examination, healthy immigrants detained on the island awaited an immigration hearing conducted by two immigration inspectors, a stenographer, and a translator. These hearings functioned more like interrogations, as immigration officials tried to expose fraudulent claims by asking about the minute details of a person's life. Often these proceedings could take days, months, or in some instances, several years.

Thousands of immigrants detained on Angel Island endured the station's prison-like environment. Detainees resided in confined dormitories with locked doors, unable to leave without the supervision of an escort guard. Immigration officers inspected all incoming and outgoing letters, packages, and other communications from detainees and they could not receive visitors until after their cases cleared. To pass the time, some men read books or listened to records in their native languages, while women often knitted or sewed. Sometimes guards allowed women and children to stroll around the grounds. Only 10 months after immigrants began residing in the men's detention barracks, poems began to appear on the walls. Carved into the unfinished wooden walls with the ends of ink brushes, these poems often expressed Chinese immigrants' frustration, resentment, or unhappiness over their experience. Angel Island's Immigration Station continued to operate in this manner until a fire burned the administration building on August 12, 1940.

A few months later, on November 5, 1940, the Immigration Station relocated to a landlocked base in San Francisco. After the relocation, the former Immigration Station was returned to the U.S. Army. In 1946, the Army decommissioned the military installations and reduced its presence on the island. In 1955, the State of California purchased 37 acres on the island, forming Angel Island State Park. When the U.S. Military finally left in 1962, they turned the remaining federal land over to the state to become part of the park. California largely neglected the property until 1970, when Alexander Weiss, a State park ranger, discovered the poems carved on the walls of the detention barracks. Immigrants had left very few first-hand accounts detailing their experiences at the Immigration Station, which gives greater value and significance to the discovery of the Chinese poems on Angel Island. These poems carved into the walls remain as a memorial to all of those who passed through the island's harsh detention barracks on their journey to a new life in the U.S.

Today, Angel Island State Park administers the remaining buildings of the Island's original West Garrison post, which date back to the 1860s, and the East Garrison (Fort McDowell). The U.S. Immigration Station Barracks Museum administers what remains of the station. Visitors to the museum are able to explore the grounds of Angel Island's U.S. Immigration Station. Guided tours of the detention barracks are available, which include exhibits highlighting historic photographs, artifacts, and a re-creation of immigrant living quarters and interrogation rooms. Tours of the detention barracks also provide visitors with the opportunity to view the hundreds of poems carved into the wooden walls of the barracks. Ayala Cove, the Island's main point of entry and former location of the U.S. Quarantine Station, houses the Park Headquarters and the main Visitor Center. Angel Island's history encourages all visitors to appreciate the great lengths many immigrants took in order to live in, or become citizens of, the United States.

Plan your visit

The U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Angel Island State Park, on Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay, CA. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. Angel Island State Park is open daily from 8:00am to sunset and is accessible by private boat or ferry only. There is limited weekday ferry service during the winter. The Immigration Station is located at China Cove, a 1.5 mile walk from the ferry dock at Ayala Cove. The Station may be reached by using either the North Ridge Trail or the road. The Immigration Station is open daily from 11:00am to 3:00pm on weekdays and 11:00am to 4:00pm on weekends from April 1 through October 31. The Station is open Wednesday through Sunday from November 1 to March 31. For more information, visit the U.S. Immigration Station website or the Angel Island State Park website or call (415) 435-5390. Additional information is available on the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation website.

The U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island is featured in the National Park Service World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area Travel
Itinerary
. In addition, Angel Island is included in the National Park Service Early History of the California Coast Travel Itinerary and the American Latino Heritage Travel Itinerary.

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Virginia City Historic District, Virginia City, Nevada

The Virginia City Historic District, located halfway between Reno and Carson City, Nevada, includes the 19th century mining towns of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City, and Dayton, as well as open lands containing cultural sites associated with mining activities. Between 1860 and 1880, these towns were the model for what would become the classic frontier mining boom town in the American West.

In 1859, placer miners and prospectors in the Great Basin, an area covering most of Nevada and portions of western Utah and eastern California, made two remarkable strikes of silver and gold ore near Virginia City, Nevada. This was the first major silver strike in the U.S. and one of the richest in the country's history.

The Comstock Lode, as the discovery was called, stretched from Virginia City to Silver Hill. The discovery was unusual not only for the large presence of silver as well as gold, but also for the spectacular amount of wealth it generated. Almost seven million tons of ore were extracted and milled between 1860 and 1880, with the mines producing what today would equal approximately $700 million in profits. This immense wealth played a large role in the growth of Nevada as well as the city of San Francisco, California, whose residents' investments in the Comstock mines through the Bank of California and the San Francisco Stock and Exchange Board helped fuel rapid growth in the San Francisco Bay area.

Unlike the small Western mining settlements that sprang up during California's Gold Rush in the 1850s, the Comstock District was an urbanized, industrial setting. In 1862 the population of Virginia City and nearby Gold Hill was 4,000, but by 1874 the number had risen to 25,000. In the 1870s, Virginia City was one of the most important cities between Chicago and the West Coast. At its peak, the Virginia City area had 25 theaters, multiple large hotels, several fire companies, fraternal organizations, five police precincts, a red-light district, multiple newspapers, and over 100 saloons. Virginia City also had the first Miner's Union in the U.S. Development stretched in an unbroken line from Virginia City, through Gold Hill, to Silver City four miles to the south.

Virginia City and its larger mining district attracted immigrants from throughout the U.S. and all over the world. Chinese immigrants came to the area in large numbers and worked as, among other things, placer miners, railroad workers, restaurant owners, launderers, doctors, shop owners, and boarding house managers. During the boom years in the 1860s and 1870s, Chinese immigrants became important components of the Comstock District's economic development and social landscape.

In 1855, Chinese workers from San Francisco, California, were hired to dig the Rose Ditch, a canal designed to carry water from the Carson River to mines in Gold Canyon. After completing the ditch many of the Chinese laborers stayed to work abandoned placer deposits. They were soon joined by more Chinese immigrants and their camps at the mouth of Gold Canyon came to be known as "Chinatown," one of the first Chinese settlements in Nevada. After the discovery of the Comstock Lode, many of the Chinese miners moved to Virginia City and in 1861, Chinatown was renamed Dayton. Because of its proximity to the Carson River, the town of Dayton was the location of the processing mills for the ore mined in the Comstock Lode and became the center of freight shipping and commerce for the Comstock District.

By the 1870s, Virginia City had one of the largest concentrations of Chinese immigrants in the West with a large Chinatown located east of the downtown area. This was one of the first urban Chinatowns in Nevada and at one time contained between 1,500 and 2,000 Chinese immigrants. Chinatown covered several blocks and was made up of one and two-story wooden buildings containing lodgings and businesses such as laundries, noodle parlors, herb shops, and small mercantiles. Virginia City's Chinatown burned down in the Great Fire of 1875 and was subsequently rebuilt, but never completely recovered. This was due, in part, to the decline of mining in the Comstock Lode.

Mining areas historically pass through an evolution of boom, dramatic growth, and then decline. By the mid-1870s it had become apparent that the Comstock Lode had been played out. Fewer and fewer large strikes were being made and a series of events including an incorrect estimation of the amount of ore in new veins in two of the large mines, the collapse of the Bank of California and crash of the San Francisco Stock market in 1875, and the Virginia City Great Fire of 1876, all contributed to the decline of the Comstock District. In 1878, a rich lode was discovered in Bodie, California and thousands of people in the District began to leave for better opportunities elsewhere. By 1881, the Comstock Lode had been exhausted and ore production was at its lowest level in 20 years.

Mining continued on a smaller scale in the Comstock District during the 20th century, but never again reached the levels of the boom period of 1860-1880. Virginia City shrank into a town of several hundred people who became the custodians for hundreds of 19th-century buildings, abandoned mine shafts and tunnels and countless documents and photographs pertaining to the Comstock District's boom period. The Comstock Mining District left an indelible imprint on U.S. history and established approaches to mining technology, corporate investment, and community growth that were imitated internationally well in to the middle of the 20th century.

Today, the Virginia City Historic District is a remarkable collection of over 400 buildings – most dating from the 19th-century, abandoned mine shafts and adits (horizontal entrances to mines), and historic roads and streets. The District still retains the look and feel of a 19th and early 20th century western mining town. Virginia City is still an active and vibrant community with restaurants, shops, hotels, and saloons. In addition, the District has multiple museums, annual festivals, railroad rides, mine tours, historic walking tours, stagecoach and carriage tours, trolley rides, hiking, horseback riding, and camping.

Plan your visit

Virginia City Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, is located in the State of Nevada and includes the communities of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City, and Dayton, as well as open lands containing historic and archeological features associated with mining activities. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. The site of Virginia City's Chinatown is an open field located between Union and Sutton Streets and roughly bounded by F and H Streets in Virginia City. The site of Old Town Dayton ("Chinatown") is located between Silver Street and Logan Alley and bounded by Shady Lane and Pike Street in Dayton. The Virginia City Historic District includes 400 buildings and covers 14,750 acres. The current highways between Virginia City and Dayton follow the historic roads that connected the four towns. For more information, visit the Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority website or call 775-847-7500; or visit the Historical Society of Dayton Valley website or call 775-246-6316.

Virginia City Historic District is featured in the National Park Service Travel Itinerary Three Historic Nevada Cities. Many components of the Virginia City Historic District have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey, including: Bluestone Manufacturing Company (Dayton), Donovan’s Mill (Silver City), King House (Virginia City), Liberty Fire House (Gold Hill), Mark Twain “Enterprise” Building (Virginia City), Miner’s Union Hall (Gold Hill), Piper’s Opera House (Virginia City), Saint Mary’s in the Mountains (Virginia City), Sutro Tunnel Entrance (Dayton), Virginia City [overview], and Virginia Hotel (Virginia City).

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Wailua Complex of Heiaus, Wailua, Kauai

The Wailua Complex of Heiaus, located in the town of Wailua on the Island of Kauai, was once the center of chiefly power on the island. Wailua was one of two primary political, social, and religious centers for Kauai's paramount chiefs who lived at the site for much of the year. The Wailua Complex of Heiaus consists of several important sites including four heiaus (places of worship) - Hikinaakala, Holoholoku, Malae, and Poliahu; Hauola pu'uhonua (a place of refuge); ancient petroglyphs; a royal birthstone; and a bellstone.

Ancient Hawaiians had many types of heiau, each with their own distinct function and use by particular segments of society. Heiau ranged in size from single upright stones to massive and complex structures. Larger heiau were built by ali'i (chiefs), but the largest and most complex, the luakini heiau (sacrificial temple), could only be constructed and dedicated by an ali'i 'ai moku (paramount chief of an island). Luakini heiau were reserved for rituals involving human or animal sacrifice and were generally dedicated to the war god Ku. Rituals performed at a luakini heiau highlighted the ali'i 'ai moku's spiritual, economic, political, and social control over his lands and his authority over the life and death of his people.

Hikinaakala Heiau, next to the mouth of the Wailua River on the Pacific Ocean, was once a sacred place used to welcome the sun. Hikinaakala means "the rising sun" and traditionally sunrise was celebrated at the heiau with chants and prayers. Hikinaakala Heiau was originally a large rectangular enclosure covering almost an acre and had walls 6 feet high and up to 11 feet wide. Near the heiau is Hauola, a pu'uhonua or sacred place of refuge. People who had violated kapu (religious, political, and social laws) could seek refuge at a pu'uhonua such as Hauola in order to escape punishment. The site was also a sanctuary during times of war. Just north of the Hauola in the water are a series of boulders with ancient petroglyphs, rock engravings formed by removing pieces of a rock's surface through carving, incision, or abrading. The fine-grained grey-blue basalt boulders depict fish, as well as human and geometric shapes. The petroglyphs are partially submerged and are generally not visible due to sand and debris at the river mouth.

Holoholoku Heiau (also known as Kalaeokamanu Heiau) is thought to be Kauai's oldest heiau. Its traditional Hawaiian name, Ka Lae o Ka Manu, means "the crest of the bird." The walls of the medium-sized enclosure were made of stone and pieces of branch coral, which was used to indicate the sacredness of the structure. Legend says that the first Polynesian kaeke (large sharkskin-covered temple drum) introduced to Hawaii was brought from Tahiti to Kauai and placed in Holoholoku Heiau. Located a short distance from Holoholoku Heiau are Pohaku Ho'ohanau, the royal birthstone, and Pohaku Piko, a ceremonial niche for a newborn child's umbilical cord. An expectant mother of royal lineage would travel to Pohaku Ho'ohanau to deliver her child, helping to ensure its chiefly status. Legend says that if the child was destined to be a great ali'i (chief), the sky would fill with lighting, thunder, and a downpour of rain. When the storm cleared, a rainbow would appear over the birth area, with one end indicating the exact spot of the child's birth.

Poliahu Heiau is located on a bluff above the Wailua River and has commanding views of both Wailua Bay and the ridges and peaks of the Wailua River valley. This luakini heiau originally enclosed just over one acre, with rock walls measuring five feet high and five feet wide. Legend says that it was built by the menehune, mythical dwarf-like craftsmen often credited with the creation of large-scale projects, such as temples and fishponds. Near the Poliahu Heiau is the Wailua Bellstone, a reddish basalt boulder that was intended to be "drummed" with cobbles. When struck, it would produce a hollow sound that could be heard over a great distance. The Bellstone was used to announce important events such as royal births or the approach of chiefly or religious processions.

Malae Heiau, near the mouth of the Wailua River, is a luakini heiau. It is the largest heiau remaining on the Island of Kauai and one of the largest surviving temple platforms in the Hawaiian Islands. Oral tradition attributes the construction of the heiau to the menehune and archeological records indicate that it was built before 1200 AD. The heiau covers almost two acres and the original walls were 8-10 feet high and 8 feet wide with a ledge running around the inside for seating. Malae Heiau was altered in the 1830s when Deborah (Kekaiha'ak'lou) Kapule, who at one time was married to Kaumuali'i the last independent ali'i 'ai moku of Kauai, tore down the interior walls of the heiau and used it as a cattle pen. In later years the surrounding field was bulldozed up to the outer walls of the temple platform and planted with cane.

The Wailua Complex of Heiaus, serve as a testament to the impressive degree of religious, economic, and political power that early Hawaiians developed on Kauai as well as other Hawaiian islands. The complex played a large role in the evolution of Hawaiian culture and tradition on the island. Each of the sites holds a unique legendary association and an important historical connection to the heritage of native Hawaiians.

Plan your visit

The Wailua Complex of Heiaus, a National Historic Landmark, is located on the Island of Kauai, in the Wailua River State Park near Wailua, Kauai, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. All but one of the heiau are located at the lower end of the park in Wailua. The park is open daily during daylight hours. There is no admission fee. The Wailua Heritage Trail also has a map showing the locations of the various heiau.

Hikinaakala Heiau is located at the northern end of Lydgate Beach Park on the ocean side of Hawaii Route 56 (Kuhio Highway)in Wailua, next to the mouth of the Wailua River. The entrance to the park is on Nalu Rd. and the heiau is at the end of the road, past the beach pools. Also located here are the Hauola pu'uhonua (City of Refuge) and several ancient petroglyphs. The petroglyphs may be seen during low tide.

Holoholoku Heiau, Pohaku Ho'ohanau (the royal birthstone), and Pohaku Piko are located approximately 300 yards northwest of the intersection of Hawaii Route 56 (Kuhio Highway) and Hawaii Route 580 (Kuamo'o Road) in Wailua. All three sites are in the Poliahu Area of Wailua River State Park. In addition to the heiau and birthstones there is a small Japanese cemetery at the top of the hill overlooking the river.

Poliahu Heiau is located on Hawaii Route 580 across the road from Opaeka'a Falls in Wailua River State Park.

Malae Heiau is located just south of Wailua and the Wailua River in the cane fields across the road from the intersection of Hawaii Route 56 (Kuhio Highway) and Leho Drive and is not open to public visitation.

For more information and park brochures, visit the Wailua River State Park website, or contact the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Kauai District Office at 808-274-3444.

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Walnut Grove Chinese Historic District, Walnut Grove, California

The Walnut Grove Chinese Historic District is located in Walnut Grove, California, in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a large agricultural area in Sacramento County, California. Almost completely rebuilt after a devastating fire in the 1930s, the Walnut Grove Chinese Historic District is the last Chinese American commercial district built in an agricultural community in the Delta.

Before the 1800s, immigration from Asia to the United States was minimal. During the 19th century, however, the U.S. experienced mass migrations of immigrants from several Asian countries, particularly China. Multiple factors triggered these large-scale waves of immigration. In 1848, gold was discovered in California, and throughout the 1850s Chinese immigrants were recruited as a major source of labor for the gold mines. Many Chinese immigrants also came to the U.S. during this period to escape the Taiping Rebellion, a large-scale civil war that encompassed most of southern China. In the 1860s, Chinese laborers were recruited in large numbers from both China and the U.S. western mining industry to help build the Central Pacific Railroad’s portion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

When the railroad was completed in 1869, thousands of Chinese laborers, primarily from Guangdong (Canton) Province, were hired to work on an extensive levee project in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Their knowledge of how to develop farmland in river valleys, learned from farming the Pearl River Delta region in southern China, was used to construct a large network of earthen levees that eventually turned 500,000 acres of swamp into some of California's most valuable farm land. The reclaimed land was able to support large farms, and the expansion of the pear and asparagus industries, along with other crops, created a demand for cheap manual labor. Many of the Chinese workers stayed in the area and made a living as farm workers and sharecroppers, settling in towns in the region such as Walnut Grove, Isleton, Rio Vista, and Courtland.

The town of Walnut Grove was founded in 1851, by John Wesley Sharp as a steamer stop on the Sacramento River. By 1865, Walnut Grove had become an important port for agricultural produce, primarily Bartlett pears. Sharp built a boat landing and hotel for travelers along the river and the town eventually grew in to a thriving community. After Sharp’s death in 1880, his heirs sold Walnut Grove to Alex Brown and his mother Agnes. Brown was a highly successful entrepreneur and a staunch supporter of the Chinese and Japanese communities in Walnut Grove. He provided financial backing to several Asian businessmen and rented land to others at reasonable rates.

The Chinese community in Walnut Grove may have started as early as 1875. The community was made up of residents from two different areas of Guangdong Province in southern China - Heungshan County (modern day Zhongshan) on the east side of the Pearl River and Sze Yup made up of four districts - Xinhui, Taishan, Kaiping and Enping – on the west side of the Pearl River. Besides being from different areas in China the residents also spoke different dialects and could not communicate easily with one another. Walnut Grove’s Chinese community was primarily from Heungshan and outnumbered those from Sze Yup by almost ten to one. As was common in Chinese immigrant communities in the U.S., the community in Walnut Grove organized tongs (voluntary associations) formed around shared interests such as a home district in China, family names, and native dialects. The various tongs provided support and protection to newly arriving Chinese immigrants and were in constant competition for influence within Walnut Grove’s Chinatown.

During the 1880 and 1890s, Chinese businessmen in Walnut Grove developed a thriving commercial and social center for the hundreds of Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino agricultural laborers who worked throughout the Delta region. Businesses operating in Chinatown included dry goods and grocery stores, restaurants, laundries, shoe stores, fish and meat markets, saloons, gambling halls, boarding houses, herbal shops, temples, and baths. Of particular importance to the Chinese communities throughout the region was Walnut Grove's Bing Kong Tong Society, a branch of the San Francisco Bing Kong Tong Society. The Society established the branch in Walnut Grove before World War I to manage labor relationships, regulate gambling, provide mail and bank services, and help laborers find work. It also sent the bones of the deceased back to China for burial and helped Chinese immigrants return to their native land. At its height, the Bing Kong Tong Society branch in Walnut Grove was the most important social organization in the region’s Chinese community with over 400 active members from throughout the Delta.

In 1915, a fire broke out in both the Heungshan and Sze Yup sections of Chinatown, destroying 80 buildings in a three-block area. This resulted in changes in the makeup of Walnut Grove’s Chinese community. Several Chinese businessmen who had originally come from Heungshan County moved one mile north, helping to establish the Chinese town of Locke. They were soon followed by a majority of Walnut Grove’s Heungshan residents. The Chinese residents from the Sze Yup area, however, chose to remain in Walnut Grove and rebuild. In addition, Japanese immigrants who had been living in Chinatown took the opportunity to build their own "Japantown" one block north of the Chinese district.

Walnut Grove continued to thrive after the fire and during the 1920s its Chinatown had a reputation as being "wide open," with gambling, opium, dens, and brothels frequented by non-Chinese from nearby cities. A second fire broke out in Chinatown in 1937, again destroying a majority of the buildings within the three-block area. Rebuilding efforts began immediately and were finished in the early 1940s. The buildings were designed by Mitch Landis, an architect employed by William Schauer, owner of the local Noah Adams lumber yard. Schauer acted as general contractor for the rebuilding of the Chinese community.

The new buildings were constructed using stucco as opposed to wood and were done in the popular Art Moderne and Modernist architectural styles with additional Chinese elements such as colorful tiles and outdoor lighting. Many of the businesses were reestablished on their old sites with the Bing Kong Tong Society building being one of the first structures to be rebuilt, an important step in maintaining the continuity of Chinese American social life in the Delta.

Today there are 21 original buildings in the Walnut Grove Chinese Historic District, 19 of which date from the post-1937 rebuilding of Chinatown. The remaining two buildings survived the fire and are the oldest buildings in the district. One is a residence constructed in the 1920s and the other is Ike's Cafe/Stage Depot (14132 Market Street), constructed in 1916. When the fire broke out in 1937, Ike Hanlon, the cafe owner, moved everything out of the building and dismantled his entire restaurant. He reassembled the cafe in its original location after the fire had ended.

Other notable buildings in the district include the Bing Kong Tong Society Building (14136 Market Street), a Modernist stucco, flat roofed structure which is the most reflective of the Chinese influence in the district; the Pumphouse (14134 Market Street), which housed a gambling establishment on the first floor and has significantly more decorative stucco work and colored tiles on its exterior than the other buildings in the district; the Lim Kee Store/Suen Building (14138 Market Street), a two-story stucco building which is actually two structures, one built shortly after the other in the late 1930s; the Mar Grocery Store (14147 Market Street), a Modernist/Art Moderne two-story stucco commercial building, which is one of the few buildings in the district with electric light bulbs outlining its facade; the Gambling Parlor (14135 Market Street), which retains features unique to gambling establishments of the 1930s and 1940s such as a double-door entry, a lack of windows on the lower stories, and barred windows on the doors; and the Lee Market/Weiss Bookkeeping Building (14133 Market Street), which contains Modernist and Art Moderne architectural elements on two sides.

Plan your visit

Walnut Grove Chinese Historic District is roughly bounded by River Road, C Street, Tyler Street, and Bridge Street in Walnut Grove, California. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. For more information, visit the community of Walnut Grove’s website.

Walnut Grove Chinese Historic District is the subject of an online lesson plan, Locke and Walnut Grove: Havens for Early Asian Immigrants in California. The lesson plan has been produced by the National Park Service’s Teaching with Historic Places program, which offers a series of online classroom-ready lesson plans on registered historic places. To learn more, visit the Teaching with Historic Places website.

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Walnut Grove Japanese-American Historic District, Walnut Grove, California

Walnut Grove Japanese–American Historic District is located in Walnut Grove, in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, a large agricultural area in Sacramento County, California. Walnut Grove served as the center of social and economic life for many Japanese seasonal agricultural workers in the rural Delta area from 1896 to the evacuation and relocation of Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent during World War II.

Before the 1800s, immigration from Asia to the United States was minimal. During the 19th century, however, the United States experienced mass migrations of immigrants from several Asian countries, particularly China. Throughout the 1850s and 1860s Chinese were recruited as a major source of labor for the mining and railroad industries in the western U.S. In the early 1870s thousands of Chinese laborers were hired to work on an extensive levee project in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta constructing a large network of earthen levees which eventually turned 500,000 acres of swamp into some of California's most valuable farm land. The reclaimed land was able to support large farms and the expansion of the pear and asparagus industries creating a demand for cheap manual labor. Many of the Chinese workers stayed in the area and made a living as farm workers and sharecroppers, settling in towns in the region such as Walnut Grove, Isleton, Rio Vista, and Courtland.

The Chinese community in Walnut Grove may have started as early as 1875 and was made up of residents from southern China. During the 1880s and 1890s, Chinese businessmen in Walnut Grove developed a thriving commercial and social center for the hundreds of agricultural laborers who worked throughout the Delta region.

In the early 1880s the U.S. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which restricted Chinese immigration to the U.S. The Act barred Chinese "skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining" from entering the U.S. for 10 years and forbade Chinese immigrants from becoming U.S. citizens. Other exclusionary laws aimed at Chinese immigrants were passed by Congress between 1888 and 1902, effectively reducing the number of Chinese entering the U.S.

After the enactment of various Chinese exclusionary laws, Japanese immigrants became increasingly sought after by American businesses. Because of this, the number of Japanese immigrating to the U.S., particularly to the West Coast, increased rapidly. The first Japanese-owned business in Walnut Grove, an udan-ya (noodle shop), was started in 1896 and marked the beginning of what would become a large rural Japanese community.

Walnut Grove, centrally located between San Francisco and Sacramento, served as the commercial and social center for laborers working the farms between Florin, Stockton, and San Francisco. The Japanese in Walnut Grove began to establish a presence in the north part of Chinatown and it quickly became the social and cultural center for Japanese Americans in the Delta. Although other Japanese communities were established in the Delta, they were residential and did not have Walnut Grove's range of services, community associations, and churches that catered to the local Japanese population.

In 1915, a fire broke out in Walnut Grove’s Chinatown, destroying 80 buildings in a three-block area. This resulted in changes in the makeup of Walnut Grove’s Chinese community. Some of the Chinese residents moved one mile north and founded the town of Locke while others chose to remain in Walnut Grove and rebuild. The Japanese immigrants who had been living in Chinatown took the opportunity to build their own Nihonmachi (Japantown) one block north of the Chinese district on land owned by Alex Brown, a local landowner and banker.

Recognizing the need for houses, hotels, and boarding houses, as well as businesses in the new Nihonmachi, Japanese architects and carpenters from all over Northern California volunteered to help with the building effort. Thus, unlike many other California cities, where Asians worked in buildings constructed by European Americans, Walnut Grove developed a Japanese commercial district whose buildings were designed and built by Asians.

The new Nihonmachi in Walnut Grove grew quickly during the 1920s. A period of agricultural expansion and opportunity contributed to the population boom. In Walnut Grove, the number of people in the Nihonmachi swelled on weekends when hundreds of laborers working in the nearby orchards and fields came into town for haircuts, baths, entertainment, and food. Some laborers stayed in rooming houses within the district. On Sundays alone, over 1,000 men would come into Kawa Shima, the local Japanese name for Walnut Grove. By then there were movie theaters, hotels, churches, a variety of commercial services, bathhouses, restaurants, schools, a dentist, and a surgeon.

During this period Japanese associations, the Methodist and Buddhist churches, and the local Japanese American theater all played important roles in the lives of the Walnut Grove’s Japanese residents and seasonal laborers. Community organizations in rural Nihonmachis included the surrounding labor camp workers in their activities, giving them a sense of belonging and home. Potlucks, picnics, plays, meetings, and social gatherings were attended by hundreds of people and were often held on Sundays or during the off season to accommodate the agricultural workers. The Japanese American community in Walnut Grove thrived throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s.

After Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, leading to the United States’ entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Order authorized the establishment of military areas encompassing all of California and most of the West Coast of the U.S., "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This allowed for the removal from these areas of Japanese Americans and those of Japanese ancestry—citizens and non-citizens alike—to relocation camps. The Japanese in Walnut Grove were evacuated, turning its Nihonmachi into a ghost town virtually overnight.

During the war, Filipinos and Mexican laborers, who were brought in by the local farmers to take over the work in the orchards and fields, occupied the Nihonmachi. Most of the original Japanese residents returned to Walnut Grove following the end of the war; however, the majority did not stay longer than a few years. Some moved their families to nearby cities and others returned to Japan. The heyday of Walnut Grove’s Nihonmachi was over.

Today the Walnut Grove Japanese-American Historic District is a rare example of a Japanese American community designed and built by Japanese. The historic district appears almost as it did in the 1920s, with the exception of community gardens on several lots where the original buildings burned down and were not replaced.

The buildings in the Walnut Grove Japanese-American Historic District are reflective of the Asian preferences in everyday architectural design. The narrow streets are lined with wooden two-story buildings with recessed entryways, large windows, and overhanging balconies. The balconies served as porches for the residences on the second floors. Walnut Grove was, and remains, a rare example of California Japanese American 20th century vernacular architecture.

Plan your visit

The Walnut Grove Japanese-American Historic District is roughly bounded by the Sacramento River, C Street., Tyler Street., and Winnie Street. in Walnut Grove, CA. Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photos. For more information, visit the community of Walnut Grove’s website.

Walnut Grove Japanese-American Historic District is the subject of an online lesson plan, Locke and Walnut Grove: Havens for Early Asian Immigrants in California. The lesson plan has been produced by the National Park Service’s Teaching with Historic Places program, which offers a series of online classroom-ready lesson plans on registered historic places. To learn more, visit the Teaching with Historic Places website.

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War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam

Scattered across Guam in six units – Asan Beach, Agat Beach, Fonte Plateau, Mount Alifan, Mount Chachao/Mount Tenjo, and Piti Guns – War in the Pacific National Historical Park commemorates the role the island played in World War II. The war, a massive conflict, was waged on opposite sides of the globe in Europe and the Pacific Ocean, with bitter fighting in both theaters of the war. Today, visitors to the Park learn about World War II on one of the Pacific islands and about the life of native Guamanians. The Park honors and remembers the efforts by all Allied forces in World War II.

Long before Guam became a vital military resource, it was home to the Chamorro, who came to the island from southern Asia in approximately 2000 BC. The Chamorro had a complex society that European explorers disrupted when they arrived in the 1500s. The wealthiest Chamorro families lived in huts built on top of stone pillars known as latte stones, some of which are still on the island today. The explorers brought new customs, new diseases to which the Chamorro had no immunity, and new languages.  Spain was the first European power to arrive, and the Spanish remained in control for more than 300 years, until the United States gained control of Guam at the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Even though Guam was far from the mainland, the U.S. began to develop the island to strengthen the American military presence in the Pacific. The administration of this important military outpost fell to the Navy. Rule under naval governors did not always respect the civil rights of the native Chamorro. Life on the island did not change much during World War I, but the Great Depression and World War II greatly altered the landscape. Visitors to the Park will see the remains of a number of World War II defensive fortifications that record multiple battles for control of the island.

On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces bombed US Navy ships and facilities at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. War began to spread throughout the Pacific and Guam, with its American military base, was on the list of targets. Guam and other nearby islands were strategically important as supply bases in the Pacific and were valuable as a place from which planes could land and take off and ships could refuel. As World War II intensified in the Pacific, Guam became even more important to the U.S. as a base for possible attacks against the island of Japan. The Japanese also recognized Guam’s strategic position and attacked the island on December 8, 1941, beginning with heavy bombing across the island and the strafing of the Piti Navy Yard. The air strikes continued until December 10th when Japanese forces, numbering 5,400 soldiers, invaded the island. They were met by the small American force on Guam consisting of 153 Marines, 271 U.S. Navy personnel, 134 civilian construction workers, and 247 members of the local Chamorro militia and the Chamorro Insular Guard. The militia, Insular Guard, and American personnel attempted to stop the advancing Japanese forces and for almost an hour fought a holding action in the Plaza de España in Hagatna, but they were greatly outnumbered. The American military governor on the Guam, U.S. Navy Captain George J. McMillin, realized that his small command was no match for the Japanese invasion force and formally surrendered the island on December 10th. Guam became the first American possession to be occupied by the Japanese during World War II. In his report to the Secretary of the Navy after the war, McMillan noted that the native militia and Insular Guard bravely "stood their ground in their short action in the Plaza, until they were called back. I consider that these fine natives are entitled to recognition for the showing they made on this occasion."

While the island was under Japanese control, the Chamorro were used as forced labor and made to build defensive structures such as the extensive system of tunnels in the Hagatna area. They were also beaten, executed, and incarcerated. By the time of the battle, the Japanese had placed between 10,000 and 15,000 Chamorro in concentration camps on the island.

Sites related to Japanese occupation of the island and the battle by U.S. troops to retake Guam are highlights of the Park. The Japanese had guns and traps built into the coast to defend the island.  Part of the U.S. invasion of the island began along the shore in July 1944. At Agat Invasion Beach outside Agat Village on Highway 1, U.S. troops attacked from the bay, which the Japanese had filled with mines and bombs. Overlooking the beach the Japanese constructed fortified positions called pillboxes from which they could defend against attack. A number of these concrete pillboxes and bunkers remain on the beach today. At Ga'an Point in Agat, visitors can also see some of the guns the Japanese used and a heavily fortified, well-hidden stronghold from which the Japanese fired on the attacking U.S. Marines. In addition, there are other defensive gun mountings at Piti.

American invasion forces also landed on Asan Beach. As at Agat, the beach at Asan had heavy fortifications to deter attack. U.S. Marines fought hard for a week to gain control of the area around Asan.  Memorial Beach Park at Asan Beach has gun placements and several monuments that are reminders of the battle. On Asan Ridge above the beach, there are still gun mounts, pillboxes, and tunnels from which bullets rained down on U.S. forces. The capture of the area around Asan, including the area in the Fonte Plateau Unit of the Park, was key to breaking Japanese dominance of the island. Visitors to the Fonte Plateau Unit can see the former Japanese communications center and the site of the battle to capture the hill.

The U.S. assault on Asan Beach did not end the fighting on the island as the battle moved inland. In caves near the Asan and Matgue rivers close to Asan beach, Japanese soldiers fought U.S. Marines in an unsuccessful counterattack in which approximately 3,500 Japanese soldiers were killed. The Asan Inland Unit of the Park contains some of the difficult and hazardous terrain in which fighting took place. Overlooks located along Routes 1 and 2 provide visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the fighting in this area.

The Park's Mt. Alifan and Mt. Chachao/Mt. Tenjo units were both Japanese defensive positions during the struggle to retake the island. At Mt. Alifan near Agat Beach, the Japanese built a command center in the hills. Though bombed, the foxholes and trenches the Japanese constructed are still intact. At Mt. Chachao/Mt. Tenjo overlooking the landing location of American troops at Asan Beach are foxholes and trenches and the site of an American gun mount from World War I. Both of these units are in relatively undeveloped areas that may not be easily accessible.

The Americans did not take the entire island of Guam back from the Japanese until August 10, 1944. Although Guam was liberated and declared secured, efforts by the Third Marine Division and Chamorro Combat Patrols continued to track down Japanese soldiers who were hiding out on the island.

Approximately 55,000 U.S. troops were part of the landing forces that helped to liberate Guam. Ultimately more than 7,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces and 17,000 Japanese soldiers lost their lives in the battle for Guam. The Allied assault on Guam was an important challenge to Japanese control of the Pacific and approximately a year after U.S. forces retook the island, Japan surrendered following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August 1945.

Today, the Park visitor center shows films about World War II in the Pacific and has exhibits highlighting life on Guam before, during, and after the war. The Asan Beach, Agat Beach, Fonte Plateau, Mount Alifan, Mount Chachao/Mount Tenjo, and Piti Guns units of the Park allow visitors allow visitors to see Japanese coastal guns, trenches, pillboxes, caves, bunkers, gun emplacements, bomb craters, fox holes, and structures from World War II and interpretive signs and roadside pull-offs provide additional information about the island. The Asan Bay Overlook offers a panoramic view of the landing beaches and the Memorial Wall contains 16,142 names of Chamorro and American casualties who suffered or died on Guam during the war. In addition, over 3,500 marine species and 200 species of coral are located within the scuba and snorkeling areas of the Park's waters.

Plan your visit

War in the Pacific National Historical Park, a unit of the National Park System, is located across seven units on the island of Guam. Visitors may want to begin exploring the Park at the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center, located on Route 1 (Marine Corps Drive) next to the main gate of Naval Base Guam. Directions to the other units of the Park may be found here. The visitor center is open Sunday to Saturday, 9:00am to 4:30pm. It is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's day. Please note, visitors to the Park should not enter caves or tunnels, as they may contain hidden explosives. Unexploded ordnance may be found on land or offshore in the Park. Visitors should not disturb any found ammunition, but should report its location to a National Park Service ranger. For more information, visit the National Park Service War in the Pacific National Historic Park website or call 671-333-4050.

War in the Pacific National Historical Park is featured in the National Park Service Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures Travel Itinerary. Components of the Park are listed separately in the National Register of Historic Places. Click on the individual links for each components' file: Agat Invasion Beach (text and photos), Asan Invasion Beach (text and photos) including Memorial Beach Park (text and photos), Asan Ridge Battle Area (text and photos), Matgue River Valley Battle Area (text and photos), Piti Coastal Defense Guns (text and photos).

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Washington Place, Honolulu, Hawaii

Washington Place is significant for its association with the changing role of the United States in the world community and as the residence of the last ruling monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili'uokalani. From the 1840s through the 20th century, Washington Place has been at the center of pivotal events in Hawaii, including the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 that led to Hawaii becoming a territory of the U.S. It continued to be important later as the executive mansion for the territorial governors (1919-1959), and, after Hawaii became the 50th U.S. State, the governor's mansion of the State of Hawaii (1959-2002).

Captain John Dominis, a wealthy American merchant, built the home near the Iolani Palace in Honolulu on the Island of Oahu. When Captain Dominis had his two and a half story Greek Revival home constructed between 1844 and 1847, he spent lavishly to create the grand mansion. He instructed the builders to use the finest materials and hired the most skilled carpenters, masons, and painters. The master carpenter in charge of the labor was Isaac Hart, who was also responsible for constructing the first Iolani Palace. Despite changes to the building over time, the stately mansion still retains its lower level coral stone walls, columns circling the house, verandas, Tuscan columns, fanlight and sidelight entrance, Georgian floor plan, wood frame upper floor, and hipped roof.

Unfortunately, Dominis would never enjoy his luxurious residence, because the ship carrying him to China was lost at sea in 1846. After his death, his wife converted a section of the house into a private apartment to provide an income for the family. One of the first residents was Anthony Ten Eyck, a U.S. Commissioner appointed by President James K. Polk. Eyck named the building "Washington Place" in honor of the first U.S. President George Washington and established the American Legation in the house.

Another important resident was William Little Lee who, with his wife Catherine, lived in the apartment from 1849 until 1854. Lee became the first Chief Justice of the Hawaiian Supreme Court and was in charge of the Kingdom's Judicial branch. He was also the President of the Board of Land Commissioners and the first President of the Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society. Lee was responsible for the Great Mahele of 1848, the change in the Hawaii land system that allowed private and foreign land ownership in the Hawaiian islands.

Washington Place became the private residence of Queen Lili'uokalani from when she married Captain Dominis' son in 1862 until her death in 1917. John Owen Dominis, the queen's husband, held several prominent positions with the Hawaiian government including General and Commander of the Armies and secretary under several kings. He passed away several months after Lili'uokalani became Queen in 1891.

After Lili'uokalani became the sovereign ruler of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, she proposed a new Constitution that would return more authority to the monarchy and replace a Constitution passed in 1887, which had given considerable power to the Euro-American dominated legislature. This proposal followed on the heels of passage by the U.S. Congress of the Tariff Act of 1890, which ended the favored status of sugar imported from Hawaii, raised import rates on foreign sugar, and crippled the Hawaiian sugar industry. Facing economic hardship and potential loss of power, American missionaries, business entrepreneurs, and European and American politicians began to seriously consider the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and annexation of the islands by the U.S. If the Hawaiian Islands became a U.S. territory, Hawaiian sugar producers would be provided with the same economic and monetary benefits as those enjoyed by U.S. domestic producers. In 1893, a group of European and American citizens and native-born subjects of the Kingdom of Hawai'i staged a coup d'état to overthrow the monarchy. Backed by the U.S. government and with the aid of the U.S. military they were successful and the Queen was forced to yield her authority.

Lili'uokalani continued to live at Washington Place until 1895, when weapons were discovered buried in the gardens at the house. She was subsequently arrested at Washington Place and tried for aiding in the short-lived attempt to restore the monarchy known as the "1895 Counter-Revolution in Hawaii." At her trial she denied any knowledge of the Counter-Revolution, but was found guilty, fined $5,000 dollars, and sentenced to five years hard labor. The sentence was commuted and she was placed under house arrest at Iolani Palace. She was made to live in one bedroom and was allowed one lady-in-waiting during the day, but no visitors. While under house arrest, Lili'uokalani abdicated her throne in return for the release and commutation of death sentences of her jailed supporters.

Lili'uokalani was released in 1896, after completing one year of house arrest at Iolani Palace, and was allowed to return to Washington Place where she endured five more months of house arrest before being given a full pardon. She continued to live at Washington Place and serve as the leader of her people until her death at the house in 1917.

The United States annexed Hawaii in 1898 and made it a U.S. territory in 1900. After the death of Queen Lili'uokalani, Washington Place became the executive mansion of the territorial governors from 1919 until Hawaii became a State in 1959, and after that served as the state governor's home until 2002. In 2002, Washington Place became a historic house museum. Washington Place became a National Historic Landmark in 2007.

Plan your visit

Washington Place, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 320 South Beretania St., Honolulu, HI. Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text. There is no admission fee. A 45-minute docent-guided tour is offered Thursday mornings at 10:00am by appointment only. Reservations are required at least 48 hours in advance. There is no parking on the property, however, parking is available at nearby State and City parking lots. For more information, visit the Washington Place Foundation website or call 808-586-0248.

Washington Place has been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, Washington

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, Washington is the only community-based museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the history of pan-Asian Pacific Americans. Located in the heart of Seattle's Chinatown Historic District, the museum is in a historic building constructed in 1910 by Chinese immigrants. It is now an affiliated area of the National Park Service.

The museum's namesake, Wing Luke, was born near Canton, China and, at the age of five, moved with his family to the U.S. He became the first Asian American in the Pacific Northwest to hold elected office, winning a seat on Seattle's City Council in 1962. Prior to this, Luke served in the Pacific Theater in World War II where he was awarded a Bronze Star, earned a law degree from the University of Washington, and received an appointment to the position of Assistant Attorney General of Washington State in the Civil Rights Division. During his time in elected office, Luke was instrumental in the passage of an Open Housing Ordinance (1963), designed to provide greater protection against racial discrimination in the renting or selling of real estate in Seattle. Before his tragic death in a plane crash in 1965, Luke pushed for greater civil rights, urban renewal, and historic preservation. Luke believed that the culture and traditions of Chinese and other Asian immigrants should be preserved and taught and envisioned creating a place to present the history of and issues important to Asian Americans. The Wing Luke Museum was founded to preserve and share the experiences, histories, and contributions of pan-Asian Pacific American immigrants like Wing Luke.

Seattle's Chinatown and the Wing Luke Museum's building share a unique history. Chinatown took shape after 1910 with the completion of a major city regrading project, known as the Jackson Regrade. City officials designed the reconfiguration of the city with the intention of making Seattle's downtown roads more accessible. Over the course of three years, construction workers raised, lowered, and reshaped more than 100 blocks in downtown Seattle before finishing the project. Much of the soil removed from the affected streets became filler material for adjacent tidal flats, which allowed for the city's expansion.

The drastic changes in the city's landscape displaced residents and businesses, forcing them to move to the newly reclaimed tidal flats. Prior to the Jackson Regrade, the Jackson Street area was home to Seattle's original Chinatown located on South Washington Street (Pioneer Square). After the regrading project uprooted their community, Chinese immigrants began to move to nearby King Street. Chinese immigrant entrepreneurs and investors flocked to this new area to open businesses, which fueled the community's relocation process.

In 1910, Goon Dip, a wealthy Chinese entrepreneur and diplomat, established the influential Kong Yick Investment Company, a group comprised of 170 Chinese immigrant investors from Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest. These investors pooled their resources to finance the construction of the first Chinese-built buildings on King Street, the East and West Kong Yick Buildings, which served as the anchors for a "new" Chinatown. Constructed on the 700 block of King Street, the Kong Yick Buildings served as a catalyst for the development of a new Chinatown. The West Kong Yick Building housed the Yick Fung Company mercantile store, which supplied goods and foods to residents, restaurants, and other businesses in Seattle and throughout the Northwest. The East Kong Yick Building accommodated storefront businesses, restaurants, and family association rooms on its lower floors, while housing up to 100 residents in the Freeman Hotel on its upper floors. In Canton Alley, located between the Kong Yick Buildings, former storefronts were converted to apartments for many of the families in Chinatown. Immigrants who arrived from across the Pacific to work in Seattle's canneries, railroads, mines, restaurants, and other businesses looked to the Kong Yick Buildings as places of residency, cultural comforts, and community support. This area, along with the surrounding neighborhoods, would eventually become one of the most diverse immigrant communities in the U.S., as Asian Pacific Americans from China, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, the Philippines, and various Pacific Islands lived together alongside African Americans.

Today, the East Kong Yick Building houses the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. For almost 42 years, the museum was located in a remodeled garage in Chinatown. In 2006, the museum acquired the East Kong Yick building and, after an extensive restoration of the 6,000 square foot historic property, the museum relocated there. In addition to exhibit and educational spaces, the East Kong Yick Building now houses the re-created apartments and communal kitchen of the Freeman Hotel, the Gee How Oak Tin Association room, a Canton Alley family apartment, and a full reproduction of the Yick Fung Company store, one of the oldest stores in Chinatown. Jimmy Mar, the owner of the store, donated its entire contents to the Wing Luke Museum, so that visitors would be able to experience an intact piece of Seattle's immigrant history.

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is a National Park Service Affiliated Area, a designation that recognizes non-National Park Service properties that are privately owned and operated but encompass very important aspects of our nation's heritage. The museum is dedicated to engaging the public about the culture, art, and history of Asian Pacific Americans through its exhibits and its tours of the East Kong Yick Building and the larger Seattle Chinatown-International District.

Plan your visit

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, an affiliated area of the National Park Service, is located at 719 South King St, Seattle, WA. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and the first Thursday and third Saturday of every month from 10:00am to 8:00pm. The museum is closed on Mondays, New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Admission fees vary based on age and student status; children under 5 years old are admitted free of charge. There is no admission fee on the first Thursday and third Saturday of each month. The museum offers tours of the museum building as well as several different guided tours of the Seattle Chinatown and Japantown neighborhoods. For more information, visit the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience website or call 206-623-5124.

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