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::: Island of Hawaii Postmarks, Part 1 - Alualu to Hilo :::

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UPSS10 88 - Mar 17 Hilea 282_016

An example of the rare Hilea 282.016 postmark on a cover to Yokohama, Japan, sent from Hilea on March 17, 1888.

Alualu, Ka'u District
Landing near South Point, used for Waiohinu and connected by an overland route established by the Waiohinu postmaster, but never an actual post office; took the name Kaalualu in 1873.
No postmark known.

Hakalau, South Hilo District
"400 perches"
1883-1890; 1892-1900
Postmasters: J. F. Morrison (1883-1887), C. Lehman (1888-1890); A. V. Patten (1892-1893), George Ross (1894-1900)
Hakalau post office was located at the plantation and the later postmasters were employees of the plantation, Patten as bookkeeper and Ross as manager. D. Mackenzie was a clerk who performed postal duties for Ross. Mail service was by the overland carrier between Hilo (15 miles south) and Kawaihae but in the 1890's, the steamer Hawaii sometimes brought mail directly to the landing at Hakalau. The overland carrier service at first was weekly but by 1892, it was daily from Hilo. Letter volume was only 278 letters in 1892 but jumped to about 6,000 annually in 1894. Stamp sales amounted to about $600 in 1899.

29mm single lined circle
Color: Purple
Scarcity 2
Usage: October 17, 1892 August __, 1894
Many uses appear to be cto or at least philatelic; late uses noted with indistinct dates on Republic Issue stamps, first issued in February, 1894
Five strikes, including three on cover, are in my collection.

Hakalau 237_02 93 - Jul 27

July 27, 1893

Hakalau 237_02 93 - Aug 28 Peters

Aug. 28, 1893

30mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle
Color: Purple
Estimated: 7
Usage: March 7, 1895 May 14, 1900
Some uses appear to be cto or at least philatelic; noted on the $1 Scott No. 49, a presumed philatelic use.

Hakalau 281.02 95 - Mar 7

March 7, 1895

Halawa, North Kohala District
"curve" [Pukui]; "watering trough" [Davey]
Site of the Halawa Mill and Plantation Co. and location of the Kohala post office from about 1880 (perhaps as early as 1878 when J. Wight became postmaster) until about 1887, when the office was moved to Kapaau. Halawa was also the site of the Kohala Catholic Mission which produced a private auxiliary mark.
No postmark known but all Kohala strikes dated at least from 1880 to 1887 were made in Halawa.

Hamakua, Hamakua District
short corner" [Pukui]; "the back of the island" [Davey]
1854-1867; 1878-1882
Postmasters: J. H. Morrison (1858-1860), George Kenway (__ to 1864) and J. Jones (1864-1865)
This office was located at Paauhau. Two cent Numerals were sent to the office in July, 1859 (10 sheets at 50 stamps to the sheet) and two cent Bank Note stamps and five cent Boston Engraved stamps were sent in 1864.

Color: Black
Rarity: 1RRRR
Noted on Scott 31

Hamakua 801, ex-Golden

Hamakua 801, ex-Golden detail

Hilea, Ka'u District
"careless" [Pukui]; "lazy" [Davey]
Postmasters: C. N. Spencer (1882-1887), G. S. Patten (1888-1890), A. J. Ivers (1891-1893) and J. C. Searle (1893-1900)
Until about 1891, the postmaster of Hilea also managed the Honuapo post office. Hilea dispatched about 750 letters in 1892 and about 1,000 letters in 1894. Stamp sales in 1899 were a mere $18.

Color: Black
Rarity: 1RRRR
Noted on Scott 31 about 1866
One strike is in my collection.

Hilea ms 31

32mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle; 8 ray sunburst ornaments
Color: Pink, Magenta, Purple
Rarity: 1RRR, nine strikes are recorded
Usage: December __, 1883 October 17, 1888
In January, 1892, the postmaster reported the postmark device had been in use since 1882 and was "entirely worn out."
One strike, on cover, is in my collection.

Hilea 282_016 88 - Mar 17 \

December _, 1883 December 17, 1888

33mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle; large sunburst ornaments
Color: Black, Purple; some oxidized purple marks seem brown.
Scarcity: 4
Usage: January __, 1888 July 25, 1898
The July 25 last use noted is on a Scott No. 75 from the December 21, 1897 printing. I note purple strikes from January to May, 1898. Can anyone confirm uses before 1897?
On November 26, 1898, the postmaster reported his postmarking device was "broke so that it will not hold the date mark" and requested a new one.
Five strikes are in my collection and I suspect this mark is scarcer than a 4.

Hilea 282_011 94 - Jun 21

June 21, 1894

Hilea 282_011 8Mar97

March 8, 1897

27mm double lined circle
Color: Black
Rarity: 1RRR, seven strikes recorded.
Usage: December 15, 1898 June __, 1899
Later strikes have a single outer circle from ink clogging.
One strike, off cover, is in my collection.

Hilea 253.01

December 15, 1898

Hilea 253_01 Burns

From Burns photocopy

Hilo, Hilo District
name of an ancient hero
Postmasters: B. Pitman (1846-1866), sheriff J. H. Coney (1866-1870) and Luther Severance (1870-1900)
Hilo was the largest town on the island and by the 1880's was second only to Honolulu in the entire island group. Postage stamps of the Boston Engraved Issue were furnished to Hilo starting in December, 1853. Thereafter, Hilo received a full compliment of stamps, stamped envelopes and postal cards soon after a new issue was available. The pace of stamp sales in 1865-1870 was about 20 sheets of 2 stamps (at 50 stamps per sheet) each month and about 20 sheets of 5 stamps per year. Letter volume from Hilo in 1888 was about 30,000 letters annually and in 1890-1894, the volume was about 35,000 letters per year. Stamp sales in 1899 were about $6,000.

manuscript; four different styles reported
Color: Black
Rarity: 1R
There are at least five distinct styles. Although three styles are in a similar script, they appear to have been written by different people.

Hilo 801(II) 28 - Hilo ms

Hilo ms on 27

On Scott No. 27

Hilo 801 III ex-Twigg

May 27, 1865

Hilo ms Hayashi

Hilo 801(I) Golden

manuscript; three different styles are reported
Color: Black
Rarity: 1RRRR
Noted on Boston Lithographed stamps.
Three styles of Hilo/Post/Office are noted. The third style also has a date. One style of Hilo/P.O. is noted.

Hilo 802(I) ms Hilo Post Office 27

Hilo 802(II) ms Hilo Post Office Peters

Hilo 802(III) _ - Oct 29 Twigg, Siegel 631, lot 4460 detail

Courtesy of RA Siegel Auction Galleries

Hilo 802 ms on 28  Decker

Courtesy of Barry Decker

oval 45mm x 28mm
Color: Black
Scarcity: 2
Usage: August __, 1859 May 27, 1865; strikes are seen on notepaper in the 1870's
Burns downgraded this mark from a 1R.
Four strikes, including one on cover, are in my collection.

Hilo 211 3-A-I

Plate 3-A-I (Used from August, 1859 to January, 1860)

Hilo 211 3-D-III

Plate 3-D-III (Used from December, 1859 to April, 1860)

Hilo 211 27May65

May 27, 1865 LKU

34mm single lined circle; after 1866, strikes lack the cross-bar in Hilo.
Color: Black
Scarcity: 3
Usage: June 16, 1866 May 2, 1879
The device was made in May, 1866 by Thomas Tannatt of Honolulu, who also made a similar device for Lahaina. The material was probably quality steel because it lasted through a long usage period.
Fifteen strikes (fourteen are on cover) are in my collection. This mark usually was placed away from the stamp.

Hilo 242_13 16Jun66

June 16, 1866 EKU

Hilo 242_13 _ Feb 18

February 18, __

30mm single lined circle
Color: Black, Blue, Purple
Scarcity: 3
Usage: June 27, 1879 February __, 1888; and July 8, 1894 - December 7, 1894; the device was sent to Hilo in June, 1879. It was sent for repair in November, 1886 and was lost in February, 1888. In July, 1894, it was found and used briefly. Used as a fiscal cancel in 1882 and 1885; examples of this usage are quite scarce.
Blue strikes are recorded in October, 1884 -1886 and perhaps into 1888; the 1894 strikes are purple.
Thirteen strikes, including nine on cover and two fiscal strikes, are in my collection.

Hilo 238_02 3Oct79 EKU

October 3, 1879

Hilo 238_02 4Feb86 blue

February 4, 1886 blue

Hilo 238_02 8Jul94

July 8, 1894

Hilo 238_02 2Oct82 R3

October 2, 1882 on R3

281.01 (I)
30mm double lined outer and single lined inner circles; inner ring is 18mm; by January, 1888, the outer circle broke below the "O," (see comparison detail at the end of Hilo entries).
Color: Purple, Blue, Black
Estimated: 6
Usage: March 12, 1885 September 26, 1889
Late strikes of this mark have single lined outer circles from ink clogging or wear and were mislabeled as type 274.01. I note blue strikes from March to April 15, 1886. I have black strikes from January to March, 1888 and purple from June, 1888 to February, 1889. The latest strike (September 26, 1889) reverts to blue.

Hilo 281_01 I 12Mar85

March 12, 1885 blue, EKU

Hilo 281_01 I 20Mar88 black

March 20, 1888 black

235.9a2 (duplex target cancel)
27mm single lined circle
Color: Purple, Blue
Estimated: 6
Usage: December 2, 1886 November __, 1890; the date type was a problem and the dater was sent to Honolulu for repair in February, 1891. The postmaster reported the entire device was lost later that month.
I have blue in December, 1886, purple from May, 1888 to March, 1889 and blue again, starting in December, 1889.

Hilo 235_02 23Mar88

March 23, 1888

Hilo 235_02 12Dec89 duplex

December 12, 1889

33mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle; large sunburst ornaments
Color: Purple, Black, Blue
Estimated: 8
Usage: November 7, 1889 April __, 1900
I note blue strikes from November 7, 1889 to May, 1890; purple from July, 1890 to October, 1892; black from November, 1892 to July, 1893; and purple again from January, 1899 to September, 1899 (my latest date). I record no strikes from July, 1893 to January, 1899 and wonder whether the device was not used then.

Hilo 282_011 11Dec89

December 11, 1889

Hilo 282_011 29Sep99 purple

September 29, 1899

281.01 (II)
30mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle; 17.5mm inner circle; no break below the "O," as in later strikes of type (I); in mid-1892, breaks occurred in the outer circle above the "H" of "Hilo" and beneath the first "I" of "Hawaii" (see comparison detail below).
Color: Purple, Black, Blue
Estimated: 8
Usage: June 8, 1891 January __, 1896
I have purple strikes from November, 1891 to September, 1892; blue strikes in October, 1892; black from November, 1892 to January, 1894; and reverting to purple from February, 1894 to January, 1895 and reverting to purplish black and black from July to September 1895 my latest strike). Late strikes of this mark have single lined outer circles from ink clogging or wear and were mislabeled as type 274.01.

Hilo 281_01 II 91 - Dec 28

December 28, 1891

27mm double lined circle; the rubber in this device must have been soft as many strikes, particularly from January, 1899 on, are misshapen and spread out with wear; the dates are often oriented oddly. Strikes in 1900 have 29mm circles and the letters are taller and wider, all attributed to distortion of the device.
Color: Purple, Blue, Black
Estimated: 9
Usage: August __, 1894 March 14, 1900;
Infrequent use between January, 1897 and January, 1900
I have purplish-brown strikes in September, 1894, black from late September, 1894 to February 14, 1895; purple from February 21, 1895 to July 6, 1898; blue from February 25, 1895 to May 9, 1895; purple from May 14, 1896 to January 2, 1897 and January, 1899 to January 18, 1900; black again from January 22, 1900 to February 2, 1900 (February 2 strikes are a dark, blackish purple); and purple again from February 5, 1900 to March 14, 1900.

Hilo 253_03 2 Oct94 black

October 2, 1894

Hilo 253_03 19Jan00

January 19, 1900

281.01 (III)
30mm double lined outer and single lined inner circle; none of the breaks noted in type (II) are evident in the much neater strikes of type (III). The innermost line of the double lined outer circle is wavy (see detail below).
Color: Blue, Black
Estimated: 6
Usage: December 13, 1894 March 31, 1896
I have black strikes in December, 1894 and blue strikes thereafter.

Hilo 281_01 III 95 - Dec 3

December 3, 1895

26mm single lined outer and single lined inner circle; fleur de lis ornaments; steel device
Color: Black, Purple, Blue
Estimated: 10
Usage: August 1, 1895 December 29, 1899; the postmaster complained in August, 1895, that the device was illegible and indistinct.
Earlier dates are seen, but they are believed to result from errors by the clerk in setting the date. Possibly, some early dates are philatelic favors made after the fact. Marks with an 1883 year are seen on 1898 covers. A stamp is known bearing a March, 1893 date on Scott No. 30. This postmarking device arrived in Hilo in 1895, so either the stamp is evidence of another mistake or was applied as a favor cancel sometime after the device was in Hilo.
I have a black strike dated August 1, 1895; steel blue strikes in October and November, 1895; black strikes from January, 1896 to May, 1899; purple strikes from June, 1899 to December, 1899.

Hilo 271_035 11Oct95 blue

October 11, 1895

Hilo 271_035 29Sep98 -83

December 29, 1898

Note the year in the mark is '83, but the cover is an 1898 cover. Marks sporting an '83 date in fact were used in 1898.

253.01 (I)
Double lined circle
Letters of HILO spaced narrowly ("Hilo," is 13.5mm long and letters are spaced 0.5mm apart); later strikes have single outer circles from wear (see detail below).
Color: Purple
Estimated: 6
Usage: January __, 1897 - March __, 1900

Hilo 253_01 I 98 - __ 5, ex-Davey

__, 5, 1898

Two lines are distinguishable in the circle.

Hilo 253_01 I 98 - Nov 25

November 25, 1898

253.01 (II)
253.9a1 (duplex target cancel)
Double lined circle
Widely spaced letters of HILO ("Hilo" is 16mm long; the letters are spaced 1.0mm apart); later strikes have single outer circles from wear (see detail below).
Color: Purple, Red
Estimated: 6
Usage: March 16, 1899 - June __, 1900
I have purple in March, 1899 and red from October, 1899 to June, 1900

Hilo 253_01 II 99 - Dec 8 detail

December 13, 1899

Hilo 253_01 II 23Apr00 duplex

April 23, 1900

29mm double lined circle (see comparisons with 253.01 below).
Color: Purple, Black, red
Rarity: 1RR fourteen strikes are currently recorded but other strikes misdescribed as 253.01 may be 255.01
Usage: June __, 1899 May 25, 1900
First listed by Burns in 1988.
Three strikes, one a backstamp on cover, are in my collection.

Hilo 255_01 8Sep99

September 8, 1899

Hilo 255_01 25Feb00

February 25, 1900

26mm single lined outer and single lined inner circle; dash ornaments; listed by Davey/Bash and Burns as type 271.03.
Color: Purple, Black
Estimated: 7
Usage: March 8, 1900 July 8, 1900
I have dark purple strikes from March to early June, 1900 and then the strikes become blackish with a tinge of purple after about June 4.

Hilo 271_03 25Apr00

April 25, 1900

Hilo 271_03 8Jul00 LKU

July 8, 1900

under Territorial Administration

Hilo 281.01 (I), 281.01 (II) and 281.01 (III)

Davey/Bash and Burns listed only two types noting the letters of type II are thinner than in type I. In fact, there were three devices. By the time the first device was discontinued there was a distinct break in the outer circle below the "O," of "Hilo." When type II begins, the outer circle is intact, proving there was a new device. As type II wore, it too developed breaks in the outer circle and was discontinued. A third device was later put in use with an intact outer circle. One way to distinguish the last type is by the wavy inner line of the double lined outer circle. The letters of the second and third types are perceptibly thinner than the first type and the inner circles are slightly smaller in diameter. The first type was discontinued well before the second type was put into use, but there is overlap between the second and third types.

Hilo 281.01 (I)
March 12, 1885 September 26, 1889
inner circle 18mm; letters are spaced 1mm apart;
break in outer circle opens below "O," by January, 1888

Hilo 281_01 I 12Mar85

Hilo 281_01 I 23Aug88 detail -300

Break in circle below and to right of "O," on strike dated August 23, 1888 outer ring is ink clogged

Hilo 281.01 (II)
June __, 1891 January __, 1896
inner circle 17.5mm; letters are spaced 2mm apart;
outer circle begins intact but develops breaks by mid-1892

Hilo 281_01 II 28Dec91

December 28, 1891
outer circle intact

Hilo 281_01 II 2Oct92 blue

October 2, 1892 break above "H" of "Hilo" and beneath first "I" of "Hawaii"

Hilo 281_01 II 28Nov92 black

November 28, 1892 breaks in outer circle widen

Break in outer circle above right leg of Hilo 281_01 II 22Feb94 detail H 300 and break in outer circle below first Hilo 281_01 II 22Feb94 detail I 300 of Hawaii

Hilo 281.01 (III)
December 13, 1894 March 31, 1896
outer circle intact

Hilo 281_01 III 13Dec94 black

December 13, 1894

Hilo 281_01 III 12Jul95

July 12, 1895

Hilo 281_01 III 23Aug95

August 23, 1895

Hilo 281_01 III 13Dec94 detail 300

wavy inner line of outer circle

253.01 (I), 253.01 (II), 255.01

Davey/Bash listed types 235.01 (narrowly spaced letters in "Hilo") and 253.01 (widely spaced letters in "Hilo"), but not 255.01. Burns listed types 235.01 and 253.01 and added type 255.01 in his December, 1988 update. Based on some examples of the so-called type 235.01, I am now convinced it, too, is a double lined circle, type 253.01. I suspect the usage periods for these types have become confused by failures to recognize the distinctions. Type 255.01 is listed as a tentative 1R, but numerous strikes may be mislabeled as type 253.01.

Hilo 253.01 (I)
January __, 1897 March __, 1900

Hilo 253_01 I 12Jun_
Hilo 253_01 I 21Feb98

Narrowly spaced letters in "Hilo" with narrowly spaced outer circle lines, often clogged

Hilo 253.01 (II)
December 13, 1899

Hilo 255_01 13Dec99

Widely spaced letters in "Hilo" with narrowly spaced outer circle lines, often clogged; a target duplex cancel

Hilo 255.01
June __, 1899 May 25, 1900

Hilo 255_01 8Sep99

Larger circle with neat, widely spaced outer circle lines

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