Uncovering the History of Shinmachi

October 14, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Lyman Museum
276 Haili St. Hilo HI 96720
Hatada Bakery Ad_small

Advertisement for Hatada Bakery, a Shinmachi favorite. Photo: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, December 17, 1935

Evening Presentation:

Every day in Hilo, locals and visitors gaze at the statue of Kamehameha, picnic in Wailoa State Park, and play soccer on the grass along Kamehameha Avenue.  Only a few may know that between 1913 and 1946, this green space between Hilo Iron Works and Bishop Street was Shinmachi, a thriving neighborhood of pioneering small business owners who beat the odds to establish such Hawai‘i Island mainstays as Hawaii Planing Mill, Atebara Potato Chips (ono!), S. Tokunaga Sports, Hilo Transportation, and Hilo Macaroni Factory (makers of the original Saloon Pilot Cracker).  The Hawaii Consolidated Railway helped maintain many business and family ties between Shinmachi and Hakalau to the north … but the tsunami of April 1, 1946 disrupted these connections when it destroyed the mill at Hakalau Plantation and swept Shinmachi off the map.  Yet the memories, legacies, and spirit of this place live on in the tsunami survivors and Shinmachi descendants who still reside in our community.  Historian Heather Fryer gives us a very special presentation of Shinmachi history, stories, and photographs, highlighting the ways in which plantation values sustained these small business families through the nation’s Great Depression, World War II, and the destructive force of the tsunami, on two occasions:  Monday evening, October 14, and the following afternoon, October 15.

Admission to these wonderful programs is free to Museum members, and $3.00 for nonmembers.  Please support the Museum by becoming a member, and enjoy all Saigo Series programs, all year round, at no charge!  Seating is limited; first come, first seated.  ON MONDAY EVENINGS ONLY, additional parking is available next door at Hilo Union School, Kapiolani St. entrance; park, then walk through our green gate in the rock wall

On Monday evenings, doors open at 6:30PM.  E komo mai!