The NHERC Heritage Center is located at NHERC and is open to the public!
- Hours of Operation
- Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The Heritage Center offers the following resources & services
- Archive and Resource Center for Hāmākua and North Hawaiʻi History
- Changing Exhibit Gallery on Area History
- Research Family Ancestry
- Talk Story with Donnie DeSilva 9-11 on Tuesday Mornings
- Paid University Internships
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Coming Soon: Permanent Exhibit Gallery Showcasing Area History
The Paul Christensen photo collection
The Hal Yamato photo collection
The Okada Collection
Plantation Era Artifacts, Historical Documents and Maps
- Reference Library of Local and Hawaiʻi History
- Growing Collection of Local Family Photos and Genealogy
Changing Exhibit Gallery on Area History
The links below lead to a slideshow of each exhibit.
An Historic Did You Know?
With all the talk about the importance of recycling today, sometimes we forget about how people used to recycle such things as glass bottles in the not so distant past. Do you remember when milk was delivered in glass bottles and how we would leave the empties out on our front porches for the milkman to pick up to be sterilized and refilled? Likewise, soda bottles were also recycled, cleaned and refilled. The NHERC Heritage Center has an impressive collection of over five hundred antique bottles and most of these are from the Antone Gomes, Jr. collection.
Hiroo Sato, who grew up in Pāhoa, wrote about the how prior to World War II a seven ounce bottle of soda cost five cents. He noted that soda at that time was a once-in-a-year drink general at Christmas or for ones birthday. So children would punch a hole in the metal cap with a nail and sip the soda to savor the taste. When it was about half empty, they would shake the bottle causing bubbles to rise so they could prolong the treat.
Glass bottles were not produced in Hawaiʻi and most were made on the mainland U.S. and on the bottles those glassworks would emboss or stencil the names of the Hawaiʻi businesses. If you have an antique glass bottle, the base of it has a maker’s mark that can tell you where the bottle was manufactured. The glass industry was controversial and in the mid-1800s to the early 1900s they were noted for employing under-aged boys, some as young at eight years old, in the foundries. It wasn’t until 1938 when the Fair Labor Standards Act passed that there was a federal regulation against child labor. We recently heard from a person here for the Honokaʻa High School class of 1955 reunion that when he was young the plantation hired kids in the summer as young as nine to pick up macadamia nuts prior to the federal child labor laws.