CAA Colony

Dublin Core

Title

CAA Colony

Description

From 1948 to 1949, a few dozen American families, around 100 people in total, lived and worked on Palmyra under the employ of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (forerunner to the FAA). When the Navy abandoned Palmyra at the end of World War 2, all of the buildings and materials they used were simply left to rot and rust. The colonists used this to their advantage, turning barracks into family living quarters, offices into a school, refurbishing the mess kitchens and laundries, rebuilding vehicles, and even putting on plays in the old recreational facility.

This collection of photos, letters, and documents, show the daily life of those residents. There's a graduation ceremony, copies of the "Palmyra Circle" (a daily newspaper produced on the atoll), a Christmas gathering complete with Santa, their makeshift "Main Street", and personal letters sent from one of the residents to her mother, who lived in California.

We're especially grateful to Eugene Norton for maintaining and donating these materials to our archive, via the Nature Conservancy in Hawaii. Eugene was a member of the colony as a child, and the only known person to have graduated from its school (or any school on Palmyra for that matter).

Source

Eugene Norton

Date

1948-1949

Rights

Public Domain

Items in the CAA Colony Collection

Photo Collection: Fullard-Leo visit to the CAA Colony
For several years, starting in 1948, a small colony of Americans lived on Palmyra under the employ of the CAA (forerunner of the FAA). These photos show a visit to the colony by the atoll's owners, the Fullard-Leo family.

They had just recently…

Palmyra Island School Graduate Certificate for Eugene Norton
During the CAA occupation of Palmyra, a school was setup for the children of the families living and working there. This scan of the first awarded grammar school graduate certificate belonged to Eugene Norton, who went back and visited Palmyra in…

Photo Collection: CAA Colony Reunion Visit
In 1980, members of the CAA families who lived on Palmyra from 1948 to 1949, reunited for a visit the atoll. These photos show them wandering the atoll, exploring the few buildings and structures to survive the years of exposure in the Pacific. …

Photo Collection: CAA Colony (Buildings and Nature)
From our photo collection of the CAA Colony who occupied Palmyra from 1948 to 1949. All materials were generously donated to us by Eugene Norton's family, by way of the Nature Conservancy in Hawaii, to whom we are very grateful. For more…

Photo Collection: CAA Colony (Portraits)
From our photo collection of the CAA Colony who occupied Palmyra from 1948 to 1949. All materials were generously donated to us by Eugene Norton's family, by way of the Nature Conservancy in Hawaii, to whom we are very grateful. For more information…

Photo Collection: CAA Colony (Island Life)
From our photo collection of the CAA Colony who occupied Palmyra from 1948 to 1949. All materials were generously donated to us by Eugene Norton's family, by way of the Nature Conservancy in Hawaii, to whom we are very grateful. For more information…

Issues of The Palmyra Circle
From 1948 to 1949, a colony of several dozen families working for the CAA (forerunner to the FAA) lived and worked on Palmyra. While there, they published a weekly periodical with news and highlights on events around the atoll.

The small paper…

Collection of Letters from Alta Norton
Alta Norton was a member of the CAA colony who occupied Palmyra from 1948 to 1949. One of her sons, George, was the first (and only) graduate of the short lived school program created during the time of the colony. He also maintained a large…

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