Weheia Ka Home O Na I'a / The Home Of The Fish Is Open

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Weheia Ka Home O Na I'a / The Home Of The Fish Is Open

It Is A Place of Education and Relaxation for Visitors


On Saturday of last week the aquarium of Hawaiʻi was opened in Waikīkī just seaward of Kapiʻolani Park, for touring. This opening was not intended for the public, instead it was opened only for those invited to go and tour it.  The next Sunday was the day the public was let in. 

Prior to this it was advertised in the columns of the Kilohana that a home would be made to care for the fish of Hawaiʻi, and in the end that which was advertised was affirmed by the invited guests entrance into that house, as well as the people of Honolulu this past Sunday.

Many years ago it was suggested that an aquarium should be built here in Honolulu, and Dr. Dorn was the first who brought up this idea.  However because the government held back some resources, the task of this doctor fell through, and this thing laid peacefully until it was brought up again by the Rapid Transit Company. This idea was heavily considered by this company until Mr. James Castle and Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Cooke became interested in this project.

Mr. James Castle gave a portion of the land of Kapiʻolani park where he holds the lease, as a foundation upon which to build this home.  When Mr. C. M. Cooke and his wife became part of the project, that is when the Rapid Transit Company realized the dream that this company had dreamed would be fulfilled.  Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Cooke, with their benevolence, took on the costs to build this structure.  So the task of the Rapid Transit Company was to gather Hawaiian fish for this exhibition hall, and that is how this aquarium was obtained here on Oʻahu.

This is an effort seen in the great lands existing around this globe, and the value of this effort is understood. One valuable thing that is gained from this is that people who seek things about the life of the fish can be obtained, and this is a lesson for education that is being taught in the high schools.  The high schools have graduated thousands of people who have gained knowledge about the parts of the great lands where the fish of the ocean are seen, such as humpback whales, sharks, and fish of the ocean floor, and beyond this, the small fish living near the shores.

At the aquarium of Hawaiʻi shown above, there are all sorts of fish of Hawaiʻi.  Those of the ocean and of fresh water have been separated, and per the reports of those who have gone and seen this new thing and also seen the exhibits of other lands, they have said that Hawaiʻi’s is the best when it comes to the colors of the fish and they say that Hawaiʻi’s aquarium will become a place often traveled to and explored. 

On the day that this aquarium was opened, some speeches were given for the opening, and the people who expressed their thoughts were L.A. Thurston, Prof. W. T. Brigham of the Bishop Museum, Mr. Peck, an American judge, Sanford B. Dole and W. R. Castle.

In Mr. Thurston’s presentation it was seen that $8,000 were spent to build this aquarium.  The true value of the land that James Castle gave was $7,500, and the expenses of the Rapid Transit Company as they gathered the fish and created their habitats was $3,233; so the total expenses for the home of fish reached $18,733. Thurston also reported that seventeen years is the length of the lease for this place where the rented building stands that was bequeathed by James Castle.  For that same amount of time that the lease is in effect, is how long there is to pay the expenses of this building under the Rapid Transit Company. He hopes that after that time this place will transfer into the care of the government and become part of the the government budget.

The doors to this aquarium will be open every day of the week from 10 o’clock until 9 o’clock at night on the weekdays, and from 1 o’clock in the afternoon to 9 o’clock on the nights of the Sabbath days.  On Wednesdays, it is free with no admission fee, but on other days there is a charge of one dime for adults and five cents for children. This thing will become a big thing in Honolulu in these days, so it is not necessary to free-up time but you must go and see this new thing. Some people say that going to that place is like going to the fishmarket as you will see Hawaiian fish.  This is true, but this is better because you are going to see the fish swimming and alive, not at all like the market, where you only see dead bodies. 


(click image for original Hawaiian text)

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, March 25, 1904
, Book: 42, Number: 13, Page: 1