History of Pearl City, Hawaii

Pearl City is situated north of the famous Pearl Harbor; to the east of it is Aiea and to the west is Waipahu.

In the early times of the area in which Pearl City was situated, the community relies heavily in fishery as their source of food. The Pearl River boasts bountiful shellfish and different species of aquatic animals and people made fish pens as a way to further increase the amount of fishes caught. When travelers from the west discovered the shores of Oahu Island, they learned that the area was teeming with oysters that bore magnificent pearls, and so King Kamehameha I was told about the Pearl River and its bountiful oysters. In 1815, the King ordered Francisco de Paula Marin, a Spaniard that the King trusts, to lead the pearl trade in the region, since doing this would help in his cause to combine all the Hawaiian islands and him as its ruler.

In the mid-1880s, people started to raise cattle and water buffalos, using them to plow their rice paddies and fields that now cover the mountain areas of the Pearl City. However, the cattle caused the forests and grasslands in the mountains to be severely defiled, causing the prosperous oyster population of the Pearl River to quickly decline.

Benjamin Dillingham, a business man and industrialist, has plans for this dwindling city. He wanted to convert the western lush areas, including Pearl City, into fields that can grow and produce crops. He made Pearl City a final stop for his Oahu Railway. In the early 1990s, this was the beginning of Hawaii’s sugar manufacturing business which was now prospering rapidly. However, in mid 1990s, the sugar factories and plantations in Oahu had to close because of the World War II. The citizens of Pearl City had to find other ways for a living and support.

The citizens discovered that the commerce and tourism of the city can still be developed so they focused on them. This started the booming tourism of Pearl City Hawaii with the popularity of Hawaii to travelers.  Several establishments have opened up along the shores of the Pearl City. The Pearl City is now one of the cities in Hawaii that enjoys booming local trade and tourism industry all throughout the year.

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