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Left to right: Dormitory A, Dormitory B, the Dining/ Kitchen / Classroom Building, Dormitory C.

The Official Prospectus, 1887

     In accordance with the terms of the will, the Boys' School will be established first...It is intended that the school shall have as much as possible the character of a home rather than that of an institution of public charity. To this end as well as with a view to special adaptations to climatic as well as other conditions, a group of cottage-like dwellings has been determined upon, rather than an immense structure of imposing architecture. There will be a central school hall with its large assembly room, and adjoining class rooms, and other facilities for the course of literary and scientific instruction which has been deemed best adapted to the wants of the boys who will enjoy the privileges afforded by the school. There will be a building specially devoted to the industrial department, which is both specially mentioned by the will and especially desired by the trustees. Instruction will be given in the use of tools and materials and some trades may be taught. So far as practicable the boys will have the privacy, the wholesome freedom and the loving watch and care, which are considered such essential requirements of Christian home life...

(The working paper of the new school was prepared by one of the trustees, Dr. C. M. Hyde. The Trustees accepted the prospectus on December 23, 1885. In addition to newspaper advertisements, the purpose was to announce the new school and attract interested applicants. This is a portion of the primary source document.)


A teacher, Uldrick Thompson, describes his experience in 1889

      You who come to Kamehameha and find it as it now is, can not conceive the degree of barrenness that greeted us that day. No rain for two years! Not a blade of green grass or even a weed in sight! The few algaroba trees scattered about were not taller than a man, and seemed as stunted and discouraged as the mesquite of Arizona.And rocks, rocks, rocks everywhere, with cracks in the clay between large enough to put your foot in.

     The walls of Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum were about one story high. Ground for Bishop Hall had not been broken. The principal's cottage and Cottage A, the Dining Hall, Dormitories A, B, C, D; a small wooden structure shared by the classes in printing and the classes in tailoring; a small wood-turning shop; a 12' by 18' blacksmith shop; a 20 x 30' swimming tank, roughly housed; and the Gymnasium, comprised the buildings of the Manual Department...

     School work began the first Monday in September. Mr. Davis was assigned to Dormitory B and I was assigned to Dormitory D. Each was responsible for everything about his dormitory - - the cleanliness of floors and rooms and windows and of the conduct of the boys in and about that dormitory.As Dormitory D had been completed during vacation the first task was to clear up the grounds outside the floors and windows. Mr. Oleson...[the Principal]...came to Dormitory D and found me washing the two windows of my room. He stood a moment then asked in his concise way, "Why don't you have one of the boys wash your windows?"...[I replied]..."Because, if I'm to be responsible for the condition of the boys' windows, I must first learn how to clean windows".

Reminiscences of the Kamehameha Schools by Uldrick Thompson was typewritten in 1922 and bound as a book.This is a portion of the primary source document. He and a friend were recruited in New York by Charles Reed Bishop and Samuel Chapman Armstrong to teach at the school, then called the Manual Department. Arriving on August 23, 1889, he later became the principal from 1898 to 1901. He retired in 1922 after 33 years of service.


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