The perils of fire in old Hawaii, 1848.

CONSUMED IN FIRE.

Kapalama, July 7, 1848.

O Elele Hawaii, aloha oe. Tell the people and the other Islands of this Nation of the great devastation that happened here in Honolulu last night.

On the 6th of July, at perhaps 1 o’clock at night, three houses went up in flames at the North East corner of town, near the North side of Kaumakapili Church [not where it is located now]. One adobe house and two pili grass houses. The adobe house belonged to Kahehenanui, a member of the church and a widower. One of the pili houses belonged to Kauhema, a church member, and that new pili house was only completed some months ago. The other pili house belonged to Lio and was about three years old.

The fire started at the new pili house of Kauhema on the south side of the structure in the lanai. A candle was burning there and the flame caught on to the wall of the lanai. The fire leaped from the house of Kauhema and caught the adobe house of Kahehenanui on fire, and then the fire jumped to the house of Lio, and those houses were all consumed leaving the house of Uilani located makai of those houses to escape from being burned down; the Church escaped the fire as well. Continue reading

Bad weather on Kauai. 1862.

Great Flooding in Waimea.

During this year, 1862, there was flooding here in Waimea. This is what I saw on the day of the flood, a lot of kindling; it wasn’t like that before in the years since I arrived here to Kauai, that being 1830; in the floods I’ve witnessed, there was only a little kindling. This year is the first time I’ve seen so much wood for fire; people were gathering it up and making piles. A strong man would have a pile and a half or more, and another would have a cord or less. Men would gather, women, and children too; people gathered it up, but there was no end to it; your body would get tired from carrying the wood, and yet the kindling, it would still be remain here and there.

Another thing I witnessed in the flood was a horse, and I hear from some other people that four horses came ashore at Pawehe; all together that makes five horses. And from some other people I hear that a cow died but did not wash up ashore, but was searched carefully for all the way until Kokole, but was not found.

I’ve seen pigs and goats that were dead, laying on the shore, and there are some ducks still alive; there are places which I’ve heard that are obstructed in the uplands of Waimea, and some people almost got in trouble in this flood.

J. W. Kapehe,

Waimea, Kauai, Jan. 3, 1862.

(Kuokoa, 3/22/1862, p. 2)

Wai kahe nui ma Waimea.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke I, helu 17, Aoao 2. Maraki 22, 1862.