A pre-WWII picnic

Here’s another intriguing old photo. It shows my mother in the upper right, sitting up on part of the old tree, hand to her forehead, and a group of friends spread out for a picnic lunch. Note the bare feet and what looks like sand in the foreground, but no one is dressed for the beach. Meanwhile, there’a building in the background on the left. To the far right, a set of windows. Windows on an old train, perhaps the one that went around Kaena Point to the North Shore? The group does appear more dressed for a day-trip on the train than a picnic on the beach. But it’s hard to say.

Click on the photo for a larger version to examine details in the photo. If you’ve got any good ideas of where this might be, please share!


7 responses to “A pre-WWII picnic

  1. Any chance it is Haleiwa Beach Park?

    • Constantinos Papacostas

      The railroad car appears to be identical to the green passenger cars employed by Dillingham’s OR&L (Oahu Railroad and Land Company).

      Notable facts:

      1. Railroad went around Kaena Point all the way to Kahuku
      2. Made possible the development of sugar plantations in the Ewa plain (Dillingham subleased James Campbell lands to sugar growers after artesian well provided the needed water)
      3. Supported the first suburban development at Manana (later renamed Pearl City after a contest); the “L” in OR&L implies “land development.”
      4. Developed the magnificent Haleiwa Hotel and took visitors from Honolulu Harbor there for their vacations (another investment).

      More at:



  2. This group could well have been on the train that went around Kaena Point because those were leisurely rides with frequent unscheduled stops. On the “pay train” where my Dad disbursed the OR&L payroll to the various stations’ employees, he would often bring along his family, my older sisters told me, and stop at Kaena for a picnic.

  3. Observations:

    The building appears to be a store, with a sign hanging over the front door, and a large sign above the roof facade.

    The “train” looks like a school bus to me.

    I don’t think there were any stores or buildings around Ka’ena Point.

  4. That might well be the “cane train” that unbekownst to posterity indeed took passengers through Hauula on its way to Kahuku until the 1950s. That could be Hauula-mauka in the upper left.

  5. Love the old photos, Ian. One of my calabash aunties told me her dad was engineer on the train that picked up pineapples in Wahiawa then on around Kaena headed for cannery. The leeward coast kids were waiting for their share of fruit as the train went through and always got tossed a few ripe ones. Wonder if they exchanged for dry opelu? jk

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