This Is What Hawaii Looked Like 100 Years Ago… It May Surprise You

From the first Europeans visiting the islands in 1778 and the establishment of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1795 to Hawaii’s admittance to the United States of America in 1959, the Hawaiian Islands are steeped in history, and there’s no better way to discover said history than with vintage photographs like these. Do you ever wonder what Hawaii looked like 100 years ago — long before tourism was the islands’ larget industry and even before Hawaii became an American State? Back when sugar and pineapple were king? Well, you’re in luck, because these ten photographs taken in the early 1900s show us what Hawaii used to look like.

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What do you think of these photographs that showcase what Hawaii looked like 100 years ago? Tell us, would you travel back in time to this era if you could? If not, which decade of Hawaiian history would you like to be present to experience? The 1950s, perhaps?

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The OIYS Visitor Center

Hawaiian History

September 21, 2020

How long were the islands united as the Kingdom of Hawaii? 

The Kingdom of Hawaii was established in 1795 by King Kamehameha the Great through a series of conquests that brought all of the Hawaiian Islands except Kauai and Niihau under his control. The islands of Kauai and Niihau were ceded to Kamehameha through peaceful negotiations in 1810 and he became the undisputed ruler of the entire island chain. The Kingdom was overthrown less than 100 years later on January 17, 1893.

When did Hawaii become an American State? 

Hawaii became a United States Territory in 1900, though it wasn’t until August 21, 1959, that the island chain became America’s 50th State. The history of the Hawaiian Islands dates back much, much further though: the island chain was inhabited for more than 1,000 years before English explorer Captain James Cook “discovered” the islands in 1778. Later, in 1887, the United States government was granted permission to establish a naval base in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor, but it wasn’t until after World War II that Hawaii would begin its long journey to statehood.

Where can you go to experience the history of Hawaii?

With such a storied past, the Hawaiian Islands are undoubtedly home to countless incredible sites that tell the history of these beautiful islands. From Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, a place of refuge nestled along the coast of Hawaii Island to the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, where leprosy patients were sent to live in isolation, these 13 spots are some of the most unique historic sites in the Aloha State. And if you’d rather journey back in time to the Hawaii of yesteryear for yourself, here are 13 places where you can still experience old Hawaii.

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