There are about 200 photos and postcards in total both in a 10" x 12" photo album and loose photos that are placed in slots of a contemporary album. The photos were kept by Marie Mae Reaston (1877-1975), who was a housekeeper at the Moana Hotel in Waikiki, Honolulu from 1927-1937
Several of the photos are by well-known photographers in Hawaii from that era, including, seven real photo postcards of hula dancers by Baker, three by JJ Williams, three by Tai Sing Loo and two by Edgeworth. There are twenty larger professional photos of the interior and exterior of the hotel, and other notable photos include a card from Mr and Mrs E. Norman from the Waialae Golf club, a funeral, many beautifully hand-tinted images and one large photo from a New Year’s show at San Quentin Prison in California. The photos are interspersed with hotel views and personal snapshots and postcards featuring hula dancers, volcanoes, exotic flowers, etc.
It appears that Reaston made notations on the back and front of some of the photos at a later date, and it seems like these photos were all in this album or different albums, at a certain point, as some of the loose photos have paper remnants on the back of them.
Reaston, a Canadian citizen, described the place as a “A Garden of Eden, truly.”
Some interesting notations on some of the photos include:
“My Honolulu manager. So handsome and nice. Gave a party and I am at back with front office manager and Hula Dancers. 1927-1937.”
“Ho Hum, young Front Office boy. HIs first year and a daughter of a wealthy guest fell for him and they married when season over. Hawaii used to be full of romances.”
“This handsome was best and best looking as well, and called to all the millionaires parties.”
“Our Moana cottages for marrieds. Lovely spot across from Moana. All torn down now.”
“Guinto, a Filipino boy. Very good looking. One guest used to take him driving, once kissed him and he came to me about it.”
“Honolulu Hotel. I was housekeeper 10 years."
The black cloth photo album has a color illustration pasted on the front. The spine ends are torn and the illustration corners are chipped. The first photo on the inside cover is badly torn. Several pages are detached or loose and several photos from the album are loose are detached and some are missing, but may be in the other album.
A different look at Hawaii in its heyday.