Martha Turner Peterson

Martha Turner Peterson
Age: 79
Birthplace: Lanai City, Hawai`i
Photographer: Sarah Lewers Peterson, Age 17 (Great Grandniece) ~ Leilehua High School
Mrs. Peterson has lived in Wahiawa for nearly 80 years.  She was born on Lanai in 1936 and moved with her family to Wahiawa a few years later when her father began working on the pineapple plantation. She went to Leilehua High School and attended Skidmore College in New York for two years but returned to the Hawai`i she loved to complete her degree in nursing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. During this time, she married Alan Peterson.  They have four children.
I used to ride bikes with friends to Castner’s store where we would buy little red cinnamon candies for a few cents. We would explore all of Wahiawa with the neighborhood kids. We went to Camp Maunawili where I played the bugle and to the most beautiful place there called the Queen’s Bath, a spring-water, moss rock pool. As a teenager, I rode horses all around Wahiawa Heights where I lived. I would feed my horse in the mornings and then go off to Leilehua for classes. I kept my horse at the Peterson’s farm and started dating Alan, one of the Peterson brothers, who I later married.  After school, I went off to college in New York but missed Alan and Wahiawa, so I came home and finished my degree in nursing from the University of Hawaii.
I wish that the younger generation could experience the freedom of exploring Wahiawa like we were able to do many years ago.
Never hold grudges and appreciate the best thing in life…your family.

Sarah Lewers Peterson(Granddaughter)

It only seemed right for me to “cross the bridge” by doing this ProjectFocus internship especially since I was born in Wahiawa and my family roots are strong and very closely tied to this community. My family has been very influential in my life (and in the lives of others), and I felt my grandparents’ memories of life in Wahiawa should be treasured forever. It is vital to learn about the history of Wahiawa and capture the essence of the people who helped build it into a thriving town. I learned through this project that kids had much more freedom back then and could roam the town, forest and creek while their parents were working.  It’s much different now. Sarah Lewers Peterson(Granddaughter)
Age 17
Leilehua High School
Photographer: Lisa Uesugi
Martha Turner Peterson
Ages 79
I love going to the creek behind my house, getting strawberry bubble drinks at Lynneʻs and running with my dogs down Royal Palm Drive. Outside of school, I care for and ride my horses and read about medicine. I plan to attend the University of Washington and medical school to become a psychiatrist.

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