In 1883, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop directed that a large portion of her estate of approximately three hundred thousand acres, or almost 8 percent of the total area of the islands, be placed into a trust “to erect and maintain in the Hawaiian islands two schools . . . one for boys and one for girls, to be known as and called the Kamehameha Schools.” Income from the trust would fund operation of the schools and provide for the support and education of orphans and others in indigent circumstances, with preference given to Hawaiians of pure or partial aboriginal blood. Following the princess's death in 1884, Charles Reed Bishop set out to implement his wife's desires.
Initially located in Kalihi, the Kamehameha Schools' campus encompassed the lands on which the Bishop Museum (OA3), the freeway, Wallace Rider Farrington High School (OA5), and the government housing project Kamehameha Homes (1939; 1997 demolished and rebuilt) now stand. The School for Boys opened in 1887 on the mauka (area closest to the mountains) portion of the lands, and the School for Girls followed in 1894 on the makai (area closest to the ocean) side of King Street. By the 1920s, the city had expanded sufficiently that the areas surrounding the schools were being developed for commercial and residential purposes. As a result, in 1931, the School for Girls was relocated to the top of Kapalama Heights; the Great Depression delayed the arrival of the School for Boys for eight years.