Hakushi Tamura, Minister at the Hakalau Jodo Mission from 1979-1996, shares his memories of Hakalau Upper Camp during the period of about 1982-1985, a period when most of the houses were vacant or had been moved or demolished:
O.K. about Hakalau camp. I don’t remember much but Hilo side of the church were empty lot which became like jungle, then cane field all the way till Hakalau intersection.
There were several houses between the church and manager’s house, which means Hamakua side of the church. One house across Hakalau Post Office, right corner of the road goes up to the church, Hawaiian man named Sam was there alone. One Japanese old lady named Sugino lived few lots(?) above Sam’s. I noticed several houses in the area but no one was there. Houses were demolishing.
The church road went up till the ditch behind the church, then went right side. There was a big jackfruit tree at the corner of the road. Hamakua side of the road became jungle, many tangerine trees, banana trees and other fruits trees. Which means once people lived there and planted fruits trees but they moved out from there and the place became jungle. A Japanese lady lived in the jungle named Kaneshiro, she moved to Pepeekeo later.
The road went in to the jungle toward manager’s house and there was a Japanese family house. Sugino family, they moved to Pepeekeo. His name was Shunichi “Wimpy” Sugino. One Sugino noticed earlier was Wimpy’s mom. In my memory, if I’m not wrong, Wimpy was the last one moved out from there, or Hawaiian Sam.
There were some houses below the post office. Portuguese family and Philippine family.
I don’t know how many houses were there. A Japanese lady named Tabata was there, if I’m not mistaken. She also moved to Pepeekeo.