Better Days: Old Coast Guard Station

The Old Coast Guard Station near Upolu was constructed in 1944 as a Loran station. Loran was an early navigation positioning system. The original system was Loran A, but this was replaced by Loran C in the early 1960s.

Over the years there were changes to the buildings, staffing, and equipment at the station until, in 1993, the station closed. For many years not much happened. The buildings began a steady decline. The station had been built on two different land parcels and, upon closure, these ended up in the hands of the Hawaiian Homelands and Parker Ranch.

When I first moved to Hawaii, a local policeman used to live in one of the buildings. It was all fairly low key and mellow. When the policeman moved out, Parker Ranch put up no trespassing signs and had security personnel driving by to check the area. They stopped people from walking along the coastline for exercise or to fish because, God forbid that unauthorized people should set foot on any of the thousands of acres they own. (Yes, I was bitter about that attitude.)

Eventually, Parker Ranch sold their slice of the old station and the new owners refurbished the two buildings on that property (the blue buildings in the top photo). Regular people can now walk the coastline again as the very nice owners marked a path with coconut shells.

The rest of the station continues to slowly decay. Owned by Hawaiian Homelands, the chances of anything happening in my lifetime are remote.

For more information about the history of the Old Coast Guard Loran Station near Upolu, go to http://www.loran-history.info/upolu_point/upolu_point.htm. Scroll down to Documents and find the General Information Books for 1969, 1978, and 1988 for some interesting historical information about the station and the area.

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