The Annotations of Oral History: The Fort Street Mail

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My grandma lived in a very different time, a simpler time. She lived also in a very different Hawaii. She lived at a time before Ala moana was the main mall, a time when Fort street mall was the most prominent. She lived at a time when old Honolulu Stadium still existed and when it, not Aloha Stadium was the main attraction. Not to mention but to go along with that she lived at a time when minor league baseball still existed in the Hawaiian islands. Looking back at what Hawaii was and what it is now her and I most likely wouldn’t even recognize the two as the same place. Hawaii has changed a lot over the years but still we must remember what it was and what it came from. So yeah I’ll be doing my interview with my grandma on this older, much different Hawaii.

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Fort Street mall is and always will be one of the most famous malls in Hawaii. It was one of the first malls in Hawaii and in my grandmas time was the most prominent of them all. It housed and included many different stores and shops. Whatever you needed was most likely there. It was much different then what it was when it was first constructed back in 1816, a military fort, a Russian military fort. Yes Fort street mall used to be a Russian military fort, one with a lot of history and along with that a lot of nicknames. It went by Keakuanohu, Kepapu, and the street itself went by the name Alanui papu. A lot of this might have to do with the many guns positioned around the fort at that time resembling a prickly pufferfish almost, pointing here and there. Like I said a lot has changed about over the years, even up to the time my grandma walked the grounds of that mall. Anyway back to the mall. One of the more popular stores it housed was Woolworths. It sold all kinds of merchandise and along with the home like feeling the stores themselves provided as a result the store and many others like it prospered. With all the success the stores had and the, at that time continuous growth of the mall Fort Street mall flourished and was like I said one of the most popular malls and will go down as one of the most famous malls in Hawaii.

Aloha Stadium wasn’t always the most popular Stadium and wasn’t even the first of them. Before Aloha Stadium came old Honolulu Stadium. Old Honolulu Stadium used to be the most popular Stadium and along with that was one of the most popular attractions of the whole island. First off old Honolulu Stadium was constructed way back in 1926. Obviously like I said it was much older than Aloha Stadium but also being that old it had much different events, a much different pull. It was the site of many polo matches, the site of many stock car races, the site of many high school football games, the site of many high school baseball games, and even the site of many minor league baseball games as well. It was even the site of games including the famed Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, even Barry Bonds. Not to mention it also was the site of many concerts including concerts of the famed Elvis Presley in 1957. In fact this is only some of the people that walked the grounds of old Honolulu Stadium. Anyway aside from being connected to the fame of these people the Stadium itself also had a quite famous history. Over the years it was not just called Honolulu Stadium but it also took on the nicknames of the Termite Palace and the peoples Stadium. The Termite Palace although taken from the deteriorating, aging state of the Stadium wasn’t made in vain but rather out of jokes and the memories people had with the Stadium. The same came with the peoples Stadium. People living in the vicinity of the Stadium could listen to the game from the comforts of their house and also occasionally would end up with a fly ball, a souvenir in their yard. Anyway to go along with that the Stadium, in comparison to its size only had 87 parking stalls however instead of discouraging people it brought them closer together as people now either shared parking with their friends or walked where they would be greeted by fellow friends, fans, even street vendors that would sell you treats. So yeah people bonded over this Stadium in a lot of ways and so when this Stadium, the pride and joy of King and Isenberg street, the pride of Oahu closed in 1976 people were very upset, very sad.

The Hawaii Islanders were an old minor league baseball team organized right here in Hawaii. Not only is it unique in the fact that no longer are there professional sports here but also as a minor league team it was a unique one. They were a participant in the pacific coast league and they lasted from 1961 to 1987. They were also the minor league counterpart of and were associated with many different major league teams. Also like I said before they played in Honolulu Stadium and Aloha Stadium as well. Finally they even included on their roster, at one point or another players such as Barry Bonds and Tony Gwynn.

Mckinley was the first high school ever to be constructed in Hawaii. It was constructed in 1865 and throughout its years it has gone through numerous name changes, names. These include it’s original name, Fort street english day school as well as the name it was then changed to, Honolulu high school, and finally it’s modern day name Mckinley high school. However not only has it had numerous name changes but along with that it has relocated quite a bit as well. It originally started off in the basement of old Fort Street church and then in 1869 relocated to the corner of Fort and School streets. Then from there in 1895 it relocated to Princess Ruth’s palace where along with that it also changed its name to Honolulu high school. Then from there in 1907 it relocated to the corners of Beretania and Victoria street where it also finally changed its name to what it is now, Mckinley high school. Then finally from there in 1921 due to the increasing popularity of the school and the enrollment it relocated to where it is now.

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The Annotations of Oral History: The Fort Street Mail. (2020, December 14). WritingBros. Retrieved February 23, 2024, from
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