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newspapers : 1899 

Newspapers : 1899.


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Evening News
Sydney,  4 January 1899, page 2


The Manly aldermen at their last meeting had a discussion as to the usefulness or otherwise of the gentlemen's bathing shed on the ocean beach.
Alderman E. W. Quirk wished notices warning people of the danger of bathing, and of going out too far.
The inspector of nuisances informed thecouncil that as soon as notices were posted they were pulled downó whether printed on stou calico or painted on tin.
Alderman Montagu questioned the usefulness of the bathing shed.
Where was the need of the building for use of bathers if the council intended issuing placards warning visitors not to bathe?
The inspector said people were drowned at the spot long before the shed was erected.
Even when cautioned, bathers, and especially strangers, went out too far.
Surf bathing at Manly was at all times dangerous, on account of the undertow, the presence of which is not discovered until too late.

1899 'BATHING AT MANLY.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 4 January, p. 2. , viewed 09 Nov 2016,

The Australian Star
Sydney, 9 January, p. 5.

Narrow Escape of Lads.

The danger of lads bathing in the surf on our ocean beaches received a practical illustration at Coogee yesterday afternoon.
The fact that the shores of this colony are infested with sharks during summer has been continually emphasised, but.the Australian youth is so fond of the water that he takes the risk, and all day long the beaches at Coogee, Bondi, and other places are swarming with youthful bathers.
The greater number of these lads content themselves with playing about on the edge of tho water, but others, more venturesome, go out into the surf, and ride back on the top of a wave.
It is said that on New Year's Guy a large shark rushed in at some lads, who were swimming at Coogee, and was actually stranded on the beach, being retained to sea by the succeeding wave.
Yesterday among those who were thus disporting themselves at Coogee were two lads named William Berthey, 9 years of age, residing in Kent-street, city, and William Banning, 11 years old, a resident of Phillip-street, Redfern.
Berthey was some distance out, when Banning, who was on the edge of the surf, saw a shark, 10 ft or 12ft. in length, coming in on a wave, He called out, "Look out for the shark; he'II have you."
The wave then broke on the sand, and the shark was left floundering in about a foot of water.
While splashing about and endeavouring unsuccessfully in turn, Banning bravely rushed out, and got Berthey into safety before the next wave came up, and enabled the monster to get his bearings.
The two lads then dressed them selves, having by this time had enough of the water for the day.

1899 'SHARKS AT COOGEE.', The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), 9 January, p. 5. , viewed 09 Nov 2016,

The Times.
Washington, January 19, 1899, page 8.

The Lecturer Entertains a Large and Fashionable Audience.

Barton Holmes' illustrated lecture on the Hawaiian Islands attracted a large and fashionable audience yesterday afternoon to the Columbia Theatre.
Mr Holmes' keen instinct for gathering beautiful pictures with his camera and gleaning the entertaining and interesting features of the countries through which he travels provides refreshing and instructive, material for his lectures.
Particular interest was manifested in the one on Hawaii yesterday afternoon on account of the recent acquisition ot those islands by the United States, and the audience was greatly entertained as the semi-savage natives were pictured and their peculiar customs described as the doings of some of "our own" people.
The lecture was concluded with a series of motion pictures illustrating travel in Hawaii, the Hawaiian militia, the United States volunteers in Honolulu, the Honolulu fire department, and surf riding in native canoes.

Chronicling America
The times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1897-1901, January 19, 1899, Image 8
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC
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The Hawaiian Star.
Honolulu, February 13, 1899, page 1.


There was more surf riding at Waikiki yesterday afternoon than there has been in a month.
The beach crowd was also much Iarger.
This was due to the warm weather.
In the afternoon Makee Island was crowded for the concert.
All of 300 soldiers were out.
The carriage contingent was perhaps larger than usual.

Chronicling America
The Hawaiian star. (Honolulu [Oahu]) 1893-1912, February 13, 1899, Image 1
Image and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI
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The Independent.
Honolulu, March 6, 1899, page 3.

A party of venturesome tourists were capsized on Saturday afternoon afternoon while taking a canoe surf ride in deep water.
Happily they escaped with their lives after a thrilling experience which will suggest precautionary measures in the future.

Chronicling America
The Independent. (Honolulu, H.I.) 1895-1905, March 06, 1899, Image 3
Image and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI
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The Hawaiian Gazette.
Honolulu, March 10, 1899, page 8.

Native Writes on Beach Affair of Saturday.
Claims He is a Capable Man and There was no Danger - Outrigger -Depth of Water.

Following is a translation of the statement of the Hawaiian concerned in the caneoing mishap of Saturday last:

On Saturday afternoon last I was called by the white man in charge of the Hawaiian Hotel at Waikiki, to take a party out surf-riding in a canoe.
The party consisted of two men, one lady and a young girl of 12 or 13 years of age.
The surf was quite heavy and the wind blowing quite strong no myself and a helper, one Kumukahi, took the inside line of breakers where the surf was only moderately high.
One of the men, the largest sized one, said that he wanted to take the larger breakers outside, but I objected because they were too large and from the further fact that there were women in the canoe, for I did not think it prudent to take the heavy breaker, fearing a "swamp" might result.

The large man insisted upon going out further and I did so.
On account of the strong wind blowing I found it difficult to turn the canoe around shoreward, and the breaker taking us before we were pointed right, threw be canoe sideways, burying the outrigger down and striking the reef, which immediately broke the outrigger short off when the canoe at once turned over.

This all took place on the ahua (shoal) where it was not over 4 1/2 to 5 feet deep, and not 25 feet deep as stated by the gentleman in the newspaper interview.
If the water had been  25 feet deep at that point how was it possible for the outrigger to strike bottom, and those who are familiar with canoeing in the surf know that an outrigger could not break off excepting from striking against the bottom.

Immediately upon capsizing the young girl was taken hold off and was borne to the shore by my helpmate, Kumukahi, while I remained to bring in the men.
I then set to work to right the canoe, but the party were frightened that I could not get them to let go of it, although I told them that they could touch bottom, an it was not over their heads.
I don't know how the gentleman could make the statement that it was 25 feet deep.
It was dead low tide at this time (half past 3 pm) as can be seen by reference to the tide records, and was not high water, as stated by him in the interview.

He further stated that he was informed that I am not a competent man in the managing of a canoe in the surf, and seeks to detract from my reputation as an expert in this business.
I will leave it to such well known authorites in Marshall Brown, Leslie Scott, Ed Macfarlane, Willie Dimond and others who know what my capabilities are in the management of a canoe in the surf.
As to the accident being nearly a fatal one, is all nonsense.
I repeat that the water was not over 4  to 5 feet deep were the canoe capsized can be proved at any period of low tide at that point.

I think injustice to myself and the other natives who are employed in this line of business, that you should publish my side of this story, for if the report of surf-riding is proclaimed as dangerous to life, it will be very damaging to us who are dependent in a great measure on this sport for a living.
Honolulu. March 8th 1899

Chronicling America
The Hawaiian gazette. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]) 1865-1918, March 10, 1899, Image 8
Image and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI
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The Hawaiian Star.
Honolulu, April 13, 1899, page 8.

There is fine surfing at Waikiki to day.
There is a heavy roll toward shore, and an easterly wind, which which makes it not only a magnificent sight to look at, but splendid for surf boat or surf board riding, or for swimming.
The indications are that these conditions will last for two or three days.

Chronicling America
The Hawaiian star. (Honolulu [Oahu]) 1893-1912, April 13, 1899, Image 8
Image and text provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI
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The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 26 April 1899, page 6.
Every visitor to Sydney goes, as a matter of course, to Manly and as a residential suburb it has grown from a village, proudly referered to as "Our Village", to a considerable town.

What this progress has been is bought home in a very fine series of illustrations in this week's "Mail," which show not only the familiar Manly steamers and the sights of the "Brighton of the South," but include a striking picture of the surf bathing which is indulged in in the early mornings on the ocean beach.

1899 'The Sydney Morning Herald.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 26 April, p. 6. , viewed 09 Nov 2016,

The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser
29 April 1899, pages 982-983.


THE most popular of the numerous harbour pleasure resorts with which Sydney is so lavishly endowed is undoubtedly Manly.

Many things have conspired to effect this.
In the first place, the trip there, with the breath of the ocean and its seven miles in an admirably appointed harbour steamer, is in itself a delightful change from the clcsaness of the city streets and byways.
Then the place itself enjoys such a combination of harbour and ocean, and the beaches must have been made by nature far the pleasure of the little folk.
Then, too, there are the fine harbour baths, and the somewhat risky, but much enjoyed, surf bathing on the ocean beach.
And beyond all these attractions of the bright, tree-shaded village, there are the charming rides and drives of the Narrra
(page 893)
been-road, and the road to ihe city by Middle  Harbour, and various other roads through the bush and scrub to magnificent views of land and sea.
Of this ocean beach we have still other pictures, notably a characteristic scene with the children on the white sands, and a striking picture of the surf-bathing, which is a feature of early morning at ' The Village.'
About 6 a.m., through the summer months, this beach is alive with bathers disporting in the cool surf.
It is bathing rather than swimming, because the dread of sharks usually keeps the crowd within the surf line; but it is very healthful and enjoyable for all that.
And it has, too, its  tragic side, for there is an eddy round one point so strong, that strong swimmers who have rachly ventured into it have bad the utmost difficulty in getting back to shore, and those Iess strong have given up their lives in the struggle.
The last victim was a member of the Salvation Army during the recent encampment.
There is of course no need to go into this ocean tide rip, and experienced bathers carefully shun it. 

1899 'MANLY, "THE BRIGHTON OF THE SOUTH."', The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), 29 April, p. 982. , viewed 09 Nov 2016,

The Record-Union.
Sacramento, California, May 17, 1899, page 5.


H. Thorp Tells of His Experience in the Paradise of the Pacific.

"Native canoes dart in and out from Shore like so many living things.
Three stalwart Kanakas row the pilot out to, and soon we are heading toward the narrow channel that leads to our destination.
As we near the wharf nine or ten brown-skinned native boys are seen sporting about in the emerald waters below, like so many fish waiting to be fed.
A five or a ten-cent piece thrown in any direction sets them in rapid motion.
They dive like fish and never fail to catch the coin thrown carelessly to the winds be fore it touches the bottom.
"Once outside the city limits, the beautiful roadway is hemmed in on both sides with ideal residences, tall swaying cocoanut trees, banana trees loaded with fruit, acres of pineapples, and green fields of waving rice.
Here you see the far-famed swimming of the Kanakas, men and women sporting in the water like so many fish, or dexterously riding tho surf board
on one of the incoming ocean swells.
About 5 o'clock in the afternoon is the best time for canoeing; the waves are higher and to those who have never enjoyeel the excitement of riding in a native canoe on the crest of the great billows as they foam and roll, angrily racing with each other for the first place on shore, we must say, you must see it to under stand it.
Although boats are frequently swamped in their struggle for supremacy against these huge breakers, it is to the credit of those expert Kanakas that life
is seldom endangered.

Chronicling America
The record-union. (Sacramento, Calif.) 1891-1903, May 17, 1899, Image 5
Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA
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The Scranton Tribune.
Scranton, Pennsylvania, July 29, 1899, page 5

Riding the Surf a Most Exhilarating Pastime.
Honolulu Correspondent San Franciso Chronicle

To experience the true poety of motion one must try surf riding.
There is something about going thirty miles an hour on the crest of a white-foamed breaker, ever yawning and surging to overwhelm you and give you a battle for your life, but ever, by the impotence of its own wrath, carrying you on in exhilaration and safety that makes the blood tingle and raises the mere pleasure of physical existence to the plane of intellectual ecstasy.
There is all in it that there is in coasting or tobogganing or shooting the chutes and a great deal more besides; something so subtle that it can only felt, not described, and yet it is so real, so powerful, so embracing that it takes hold of even the most unpoetical nature, fascinates and enthralls it.

The native Hawaiian, in all his conquests in an environmet which did not offer many material aids to advancement, proved his possession of high intellectual qualities and capacity for attainment in no more conclusive manner than when he read in the rolling surf this nature's secret of motive power.
Since the waters were gathered together and called sea the surf has been rolling in in long breakers upon every shore the ocean waves.
But it was the Hawaiian alone of all the sons of earth and sea who discovered its subtle power and the subtle power to control and utilize it.
The art of surf riding is indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands.
To see a frail outrigger canoe, itself a monument to the patience and skill which hollowed and shaped it with rude tools from the trunk of a koa tree, glide with almost the swiftness and grace of an eagle in flight before a white-crested breaker, without a tremor or a jar from the angry waters behind it, is a sight worth a long journey to see.
To be in the canoe, to experience the annihilation of time and space, to be always escaping, is a sensation worth a life's ambition to feel.

But just a little more vivid, just a little more exhilarating, just a little more intense than surf-canoe riding is surf-board riding.
Which of the two pastimes is the earlier in conception and the older in practice it is impossible to say.
Tradition is silent on the subject and both ante-date history.
There is reason to believe that the surf-board, being the simpler implement, came before the canoe.
However that may be, the conditions which admit of surf-board riding are rarer than those of surf canoeing, and though the two have been known and described since Captain Cook discovered these islands, it is only within the last few weeks that actual pictures of surf-board riding by instantaneous photography, showing it as it is and correcting erroneous impressions regarding it, as the same means corrected the traditional impressions of the horse's movements in running, have been procured.

The conditions of surf-board riding require a long, sandy beach, gently and evenly sloping for a long distance into the sea, without rocks or depressions, so that the surf will roll in long, sweeping breakers with a uniform speed from the time they form till they waste and spend themselves on the shore.
Surf-canoeing does not require nearly such uniform nor perfect conditions, because in the canoe the speed can be accelerated or diminished by the use of paddles to keep in exactly the right position with relation to the rolling breaker to get Its forward motion.

For years past there has been no place near Honolulu where the conditions were right for surf-board riding, and It became almost a lost art.
Up to a few months ago there was only one native known In Honolulu who could ride the surf board standlng upon it.
But within the last two or three months a sand spit has formed off the Wakikiki beach right in front of the suburban residence of Colonel George W. Macfarlane, which gives the perfect conditions.
Surf-board riding has, in fact, become a fad, and a large number of people, both whites and natives, have become experts in the art.

The surf board is 5 or 6 feet long and from 12 to 16 inches wide near the forward end, drawn to a rounded point in front and tapering slightly aft.
In general outline is resembles greatly a coffin lid.
It is perfectly flat on the upper side, but deeply beveled at the edges and front on the under side.
To ride it the rider goes out as far as he can get in the water on the shelving beach; then, facing the shore, holds the board up in front of him, point upmost, the bottom or under side resting on his middle.
Just as the rolling motion of an advancing breaker reaches him he gives a spring upward and forward, bringing the board flat upon the water with rather more than half his body upon it.
The springing movement gives a forward motion to himself and the board, which he adds to by kicking against the rolling wall of water behind him until his speed is exactly that of the breaker.
From that point on, when the rider has acquired the art, the rolling motion of the surf carries him till It lands him high and dry on the shore.
There are three points in particular to be observed in surf-board riding:
To spring at the right moment, to acquire the exact speed and direction of the breaker, and to keep both sides of the board level.
If one side gets a little deeper in the water than the other it drags, changes the direction and the breaker is lost.

From this point the next stage in progression in the art is to be able to rest one's elbows on the board and one's face in one's hands.
To ride standing on the board, the rider gradually moves his body forward on it, then rises on his knees, and finally to his feet, always keeping the edges of the board perfectly level.
As the breakers roll in at about thirty miles an hour and the rider cannot go out into water much deeper than up to his waist, because otherwise he cannot make the necessary initial spring, it can be seen that to ride standing requires not only great dexterity but perfect conditions.

But the triumph is worth the effort.

Skillful riders can ride in conditions not perfect by being able to adjust their speed to the varying speed of the breaker by using their hand as a paddle when they feel they are going slower than the breaker, or use a drag when they fell (sic) they are going faster.

Surf canoeing is exactly the same in principle, but the novice can enjoy it by going out with an experienced canoeist.

Chronicling America
The Scranton tribune. (Scranton, Pa.) 1891-1910, July 29, 1899, Morning, Image 5
Image and text provided by Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA
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The National Tribune.
Washington, October 19, 1899, page 6.

Visit to Our New Possessions in the Pacific
In N.Y. Vols., Spanish War.

In closing the scene upon boating and fishing I will add that the excitement and danger sure to accompany such ventures are just the ones the Kanaka loves.
Every year there are native boat races near Honolulu and I am very sorry I could not witness one, I was told by an American resident that it is one of the pleasant as well as exciting times of the year.
A number of native school and college boys are always in training and much attention and encouragement is given this sport
So truly is the native at home upon the water that no storm can change his calmness, no winds can frighten him he is simply master of the situation and believes he cannot get lost.


For a number of years past surf riding has been greatly on the decline I presume for these two reasons -
First it requires continual practice for about 12 or I5 years to become an expert.
This was told me by a native who has given much attention to the sport .
Second the natives are becoming less fond of the sport which requires keenness of eye strength of muscle and judgment beside a rare steadiness of nerve and head .
These last may be accounted for in a large part by the fact that with amalgamation the native also loses his cunning along these lines.

If boating in these waters requires great nerve certainly surf riding requires a large amount more of it
Think of a man, or woman for both join in the sport, nearly a mile from shore upon large breakers with only a coffin shaped board about 10 feet in length by two feet wide which when a breaker comes along to suit him he quickly places under him and after mounting his steed begins a race shoreward that is to end in almost lightning rapidity.

I will give a few words on this sport from Mr Oleson of Honolulu:
"The exciting pastime of surf riding was greatly enjoyed by both sexes.
To be a successful performer the swimmer required immense nerve and long practice.
The surf board is made of koa wood of light weight kept highly polished and is about eight feet long by a foot and a half wide.
Carrying this before him or under his arm the native rider dives under the huge waves and swims out to sea until ho reaches the outer line of breakers
Here he watches his chance seeking the highest roller on the top of which he seeks to poise.
Lying face downward, afterward to rise to a kneeling or standing posture, he is brought shoreward like a flash of lightning skillfully avoiding the rocks to be thrown in triumph and safety upon the sandy beach
The skill is greatest in mounting the roller at just the right moment and in keeping the right position upon its highest edge
In matters pertaining to horses, wind and wave the native is complete master; alertness, cool judgment, and enthusiasm fill his being, and he is a warrior in strength, a General in coolness, and a machine in action.
The sea is his school master his proa is his best friend and the broadness of the great Pacific his nursery."

Chronicling America
The national tribune. (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, October 19, 1899, Image 6
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC
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13 April 1899 :
26 April 1899 :
29 July 1899 :
Surf Report - Waikiki.
Surf Bathing - Manly.
Hawaiian Surfboard Riding - Honolulu-San Francisco.



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Geoff Cater (2010-2016) : Newspapers : 1899.