About Us » History


Pearl Harbor Elementary is located on Moanalua Ridge near Pearl Harbor. The school lies within the Moanalua Ahupua'a. (ahupua'a--a large section of land from the mountains to the sea) This ahupua'a belonged to the Kamehameha Dynasty and was willed to Samuel Damon in 1883 by Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The site where the school is located was leased from Damon to grow sugar cane.

On April 29, 1952 the United States approved $800,000 to construct the school at its present site. Pearl Harbor Elementary was originally located where Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary is now. At that location, quonset huts were used as classrooms. A former student recalls that the huts were "hot, long, narrow and hard to furnish." In 1955, all the students were walked over to the new Pearl Harbor Elementary with its' "modern buildings". The first full school year was in 1956-1957 with Mrs. Katherine Gomes as principal.

During the late fifties the entire area around the school was military housing. Former students remember listening to a weekly standard school broadcast which played symphonic music. They also remember buying ice cream bars on Fridays.

During the sixties through the seventies, enrollment decreased due to a number of other schools that were built in the area. For example, the children in the Foster Village area were reassigned to Makalapa Elementary. The housing surrounding the school slowly became a shopping center with many fast food restaurants and other businesses.

The present enrollment is 600 students with 35 teachers.

(Oral History Project, GT Class of '90)