Friday, June 18, 2010

A Celebration of Pearl Harbor's History

Yesterday we unveiled nine new wayside exhibits around the naval station at Pearl Harbor.

Wayside exhibits have been referred to as "captions on the landscape".  When you visit a museum you see documents, photographs or objects on display and there will generally be some kind of signage that will describe what you are looking at.  A wayside exhibit accomplishes the same function but on a much larger scale by describing an entire area. 

Each exhibit highlights an area of Pearl Harbor's century long history.  It is hoped that the wayside exhibits will educate and inform the public who visit the base, as well as the civilian and military employees who live and work here.

Features a brief synopsis of Pearl Harbor's history and a description of the area before Western contact. Probably one of the more frequented areas on the base.

In many ways where it all began.  The coaling station was designed to provide ships with the needed coal to continue their transit across the Pacific.  Fully completed in 1918 as ships were beginning to make the transition from coal to oil, the USS Nevada (BB 36) commissioned in 1916 being the first American battleship to be built soley as an oil burning vessel.

Originally the area known as Hospital Point  contained a high powered radion station as well as the naval hospital.  The hospital eventually moved ts operations to Aiea Heights, but the homes once occupied by the commanding officer, surgeons and pharmacists are still here.  Inceidentally this was the site of the unveiling ceremony.

Known as Moku'ume'ume to the native Hawaiians, part of the island was eventually purchased by the War Department in 1917 for the construction of Luke Field.  In 1923 a naval air station was established which functioned until 1962.

For over 100 years, the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard has been servicing vessels for the U.S. Navy earning the motto, "We keep em' fit to fight."

Established between 1914 and 1916, this area has been a welcome respite for officers and their families in times of peace and war.  Hale Alii means "Royal Homes" in Hawaiian.

Originally a "swamp and cactus covered wasteland" these piers have been home to submarines of the pacific Fleet since its construction in the 1920s.

Once an island similar to Ford Island, the area now known as Kuahua Peninsula has seen the transformation from a naval magazine to a supply center.

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