Hawaii in 1922: “…some idea of the things we have seen and done…”

What was it like to arrive in Hawaii for the first time in 1922 after several days on a Matson steamship from San Francisco?

The question is answered in the latest treasure found among my mother’s stash of papers.

It’s a small album in which the late UH Professor Carey D. Miller describes the first year in Hawaii after her arrival in September 1922.

The pages of heavy stock, now discolored with age, were in an old manila envelope left drifting anonymously in a storeroom off the garage in my parent’s Kahala home, among the stacks of mimeographed genealogical references from the 1960s, stashes of old newspaper clippings, small mementoes of past trips, dozens of previously used gift bags, empty Harry & David boxes, and other remnants of the century spanned by my mother’s long life.

There’s a brief introduction written in Miller’s longhand, followed by a typewritten narrative accented with small photographs, most taken by Miller and her friends, a few clipped from other publications.

She describes driving around Oahu, visiting sites from Black Point to Haleiwa, visiting Hilo and the Big Island’s volcanoes, and much more.

Miller went on to a distinguished career at the University of Hawaii as a well-known and widely published nutrition researcher who built the Home Economics program and developed a devoted following of former students and co-workers. Miller Hall, in the center of the Manoa campus, is named in her honor. After Miller’s death in 1985, my mother rescued her personal papers, including this gem.

I’ve transcribed this page, and then included an image showing how it looks in her own handwriting.

When you’re done, just click on the handwritten page to read the whole story, a page at a time.

This short chronicle of our trip to Hawaii is not meant to be a work of art nor a piece of literature. It will only be of interest to my friends as it gives them some idea of the things we have seen and done in our play time and a glimpse of some interesting spots in the island. The coloring here is brilliant, so that these little gray pictures can give you no conception of the true beauty of this Paradise of the Pacific.

Hawaii 1922

And I’m also scanning the photos separately, to be posted soon.

3 responses to “Hawaii in 1922: “…some idea of the things we have seen and done…”

  1. Really enjoyed this (and other such findings), Ian. I look forward to seeing the individual photos (in larger format).

  2. Absolutely fascinating, mahalo for sharing. 90 years ago!

  3. It’s great that you are sharing these photos with us – and presumably others who come across them later. Isn’t it so clear how much fun they had, too! Posting those pictures and letting us see these young women in their happy, adventurous youth is like bringing them back to life for a time. I love it.

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