Category Archives: Historic Sites

The “Painted Church” – 2

St. Benedict’s Catholic Church
Honaunau, Hawai’i

While the interior of the little “Painted Church” is lavishly colorful, the exterior is a simple white structure. I could feel the history surrounding the church through it’s old, but well maintained, grave yard and gardens. It is a beautiful and peaceful site on the gentle sloping sides of Moana Loa.

Little “Painted Church”

St. Benedict’s Catholic Church
Honaunau, Hawai’i

The “Painted Church” is a must see little gem in the heart of Hawaii’s Kona coffee plantation area in South Kona. The church is on a peaceful hillside overlooking the coastline below. It was built by Belgian Catholic missionary Father John Velghe from 1899 – 1902. Father Velghe painted scenes of biblical stories along the church interior walls. He used the scenes to deliver his messages since most of his native Hawaiian parishioners could not read.

A history of the church can be found at the following link: https://keolamagazine.com/art/painted-church/

The Little Blue Church

St. Peter’s Church By The Sea
Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i

This little church was built in 1888 next to an ancient Hawaiian heiou. It is currently a Catholic mission and holding Sunday services.

When I drove past the church, it was late afternoon. The front of the church was in deep shadows. The sun glare dominated the background as it reflected off the ocean. It was a great opportunity for a B&W photograph.

Silent and serene the little church stood
against the brilliant glow from above.
What history does it have to tell?

There’s a Story Somewhere

Old Schoolhouse Window, Yakima Valley, WA

I love to drive around without any specific destination.  I am amazed what I have missed over the years as I have just driven from point A to point B thinking about how long it will take me to reach my destination.  This day a few weeks ago, I was just driving backroads where I had not been before … just driving along.  I saw this old school house somewhere north of Zillah (I think), I really did not where I was.  I stopped and just gazed for a while, contemplating what stories this old building amongst farm lands had to tell.  How long had it been since the last student walked through its doors?  Was it a grade school, high school, or an all inclusive country school?  After a while of just looking at it, I got out of my car and walked around with my camera.  

Many stories, many questions … time for a little research to satisfy my curiosity.

History in My Backyard

Selah – Naches Irrigation Flume

A few days ago we had a light snow.  I gazed our from my kitchen window and became fixated on the wonderful piece of history in my backyard.  The snow provided a nice contrast between the irrigation flume’s wood structure and the sagebrush speckled background.

This piece of history was built in 1892 to provide irrigation water to the Selah Valley.  Over the years, much of the canal has been upgraded and the wooden flumes torn down.  I am lucky to have one of the few remaining sections above my home.  I currently get my irrigation water directly from this flume.  Sadly, it won’t be for too many additional years.  Plans are to replace this section with an underground pipe.  So until funds are available, I will enjoy what remains of our little bit of history.

I Can Never Get Enough

US Capitol, Washington DC

Every time I visit Washington DC and walk around the Capitol, chills run through my body.  Being there gives me a perspective of our history and what our Nation represents.  Looking at the Capitol reflecting on the water, caused me to reflect in turn about how our Nation has grown and changed over the years.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Capitol with my Aunt.  It was her first trip.  Visiting Washington DC was one thing that she wanted to do before she passed.  Walking with her, I could see the sparkle in her eyes and the pride she had on her face.  Her parting remark was that every child should visit Washington DC to gain a perspective of what our Nation is really about.

I have been lucky over the years to have had the opportunity to live in the Washington DC area and visit the Capitol many times. Prior to 911, access to the Senate and House chambers was not restricted.  I recall sitting up in the galleries listening to various sessions.  What a great experience that was.

I still try to visit Washington DC on a relatively frequent basis.  I can never get enough!

Related Images:

How Lucky We Are!

Civil War Monument and Capitol, WDC

How lucky we are to live in such a great Nation! The current time is extremely challenging and full of discord.  But it is not even close to the times our Nation bas persevered in the past.  On a recent visit to Washington DC, I walked by this Civil War Memorial sculpture with the Capitol in the background.  It stimulated me to think about what our Nation was going through over 150 years ago.  So no matter how bad we may think things are now, lets have the strength and confidence that we all will survive together as a united Nation.

Related Images:

Tying Things Together

A.E. Larson Building Entry Foyer, Yakima, WA

This image ties the images from the two prior posts together.  The contrast here are the differences in the design elements (triangular geometric vs. sweeping curves, color vs. monochrome, and smooth marble vs. sculptured metal).  The horizontal (diagonal) lines of the cornice moulding and the vertical lines of the wall designs also provide a geometric contrast.

Looking at Details

A.E. Larson Building Entry Foyer, Yakima, WA

This post continues my self-assignment to look for contrasts.  This image was taken from the same location as my previous post.  It is the corner of the wall/ceiling cornice moulding.  I saw the contrast of colors, shapes, lines and light/shadows. The foyer of this historic building is full of “eye candy”.

Memories of a Long Time Ago

Old Northern Pacific Train Station – Yakima, WA

The bright red-orange roof against the blue sky caught my eye as I was walking down Front Street.  The color and shape of the building. looking through a street tree caught my interest.  But ofd memories kept my attention.

When I was just a little boy, I remember my grandfather taking me down to the train station to see Uncle Ben off and to pick him up from his annual winter trip back to Pittsburgh.  I became fascinated with the idea of riding a train across the country.  When I was five, I had my opportunity for such a grand trip.  My grandfather took me back to Pittsburgh to see the “Aunts”!  I remember anxiously sitting in the “grand train station” waiting for the train to stop and pick us up.  It seemed like an eternity, the ceiling was so high, and the room so large.  I could not sit still.  It seems like just yesterday.

My last trip through the station was in the late 70’s. My wife and I decided to take the train from Seattle to Yakima instead of driving.  It was a wonderful trip over the Pass and through the Canyon.  My father and a brother picked us up at the station.  It was still such a great place.

So many wonderful memories.  I am thankful that the old station has been put back in productive use.