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First American Survey Map of Honolulu Harbor

Large US Coast & Geodetic Survey map of Honolulu Harbor, based upon surveys conducted by the US Corps of Topographical Engineers and US Navy.

The map illustrates the newly dredged channel into the harbor, along with a plan of Honolulu that shows the customs house, wharves (and wharf owners), streets, buildings (including the Opera House and Government buildings), market, clock tower, library, hotel and other features.  St. Louis College and the Kaumakapili Ruins are also noted.

At the bottom right, tidal information is given.

First major chart of Honolulu Harbor, following the creation of the Honolulu Engineer District in 1905 and the completion of the first rounds of defensive fortifications by the US Military.

Following annexation Hawaii in July 1898, the Corps of Engineers undertook an attempt to appropriate funding for Honolulu harbor to improve its fortifications.  The Fortification Act of April 21, 1904 provided $200,000 as a first appropriation.  The first efforts to dredge the bar at Pearl Harbor had already been completed between March 1902 and August 1093, creating a 30 foot deep and 200 foot wide channel for naval vessels, but it was nice wide enough for private commerce.

From 1905 to 1911, the military worked on fortifying the defenses of Honolulu Harbor.


The map is rare on the market. This is the first example we have ever seen.