Stories in Stone

(Excerpts from book “Oahu Cemetery” By Nannette Napoleon)

THE WRECK OF THE SAGINAW October 29, 1870……“In plotting his return voyage from Midway, Capt. Sicard decided to make a short trip to Ocean Island (now known as Kure Atoll), forty-five miles westward of Midway, to see if any-one happened to be stranded…Captain Sicard mustered the crew, reversed all engines and dropped the sails. But their momentum carried the ship towards the atoll, where she was impaled on the razor-sharp reef…..Twenty days after the wreck, the captain called for five volunteers to set off in the gig for Kaua’i more than a thousand miles to the Southeast...Between two and three in the morning, the boat entered the surf line and was immediately struck by a large wave causing it to roll over 360 degrees. At dawn Halford awoke to find himself alone on the beach….he found a group of “natives” standing over the body of James Muer …..the men searched for other survivors, but found only the dead bodies of Andrews and Talbot…..The King immediately dispatched the steamer Kilauea to rescue the Saginaw men…eleven days later, and sixty four days since the shipwreck…To their utter amazement, all the crew and engineering party were on the shore to greet them.

SHOOT-OUT AT KALALAU VALLEY…….”In the section of Oahu Cemetery on the Diamond Head (east) side of Nuuanu Avenue, three tombstones stand side by side….They mark the graves of Louis Herbert Stolz, John Andrews and J. Husberg. This story details the dramatic and controversial events which led to their untimely demise, as well as that of three other people caught up in the leprosy outbreak in the mid-19th century….In 1865, at the height of the epidemic….the Legislative Assembly passed “An Act To Prevent The Spread Of Leprosy,” which the King Kamehameha V approved. This law provided for…the isolation and seclusion of leprous persons….A third (quarantine hospital) was established on the island of Molokai at Kalawao...