Historic Marine Base Housing Turns 100

JOINT PEARL HARBOR – HICKAM, Hawaii -- The former Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor Officers’ Quarters, which includes the historic home affectionately known as the “Chesty Puller House,” celebrated their centennial here, Sept. 15.   The Puller House is one of the three homes on Russell Avenue constructed in 1913, and was one of the first permanent structures on Naval Base Pearl Harbor and was part of Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor, the oldest Marine garrison in the state.   Unique in Hawaii for its Italian Renaissance style, the Puller House earned its nickname from former resident Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, who lived there from 1948 to 1950 while he was a colonel in command of Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor.   “A real Marine hero, larger than life, legendary to those who have followed his footsteps,” Lt. Gen. Terry G. Robling, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, and current resident of the Puller House, said of the iconic Marine, expressing an appreciation of the home’s history.   Prior to the general’s remarks, the MarForPac Band kicked off the ceremony by playing a march, the “Circus Galop,” by John Philip Sousa, followed by a prayer from Rev. Ed Sproat, a traditional Hawaiian minister (or “kahu”) who blessed the grounds in both English and native Hawaiian.  

The ceremony concluded with children from Halau Ulumahiehie O’eo Kalani, based out of Iroquois Point Elementary School hula academy performing hula kahiko, an ancient form of hula.   While the kahu and hula dancers gave attendees a glimpse of Hawaiian tradition, pageant Marines played a role in telling the story of Marine Corps history, wearing uniforms that had been in the Marine Corps over the neighborhood’s 100-year history.   “Our history and traditions define us and guide us, and we guard and protect them, and that’s another good reason to celebrate the (centennial) of these homes tonight,” said Robling.

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