If you’re a longtime resident of Honolulu, you might remember the Schuman Carriage car dealership on Beretania Street, where the new Safeway now stands.
If you ever went inside, you probably remember the actual carriage.
Turns out, there’s a deep history behind that carriage and the Schuman name in Hawaii.
In fact, the Schuman name has been synonymous with transportation on the island of Oahu since 1880, when Richard Schuman’s great-grandfather came to Hawaii to sell horses, and yes, to build and sell carriages.
“Then my grandfather took over and he continued and saw the (Ford) Model T and the Model A, and my father took over and we ended up at the General Motors dealership,” said Schuman.
Schuman Carriage closed its doors in 2004, after 111 years in business, but a piece of history remains.
“This is the real deal. My great-grandfather ended up, he came here, and he was actually a wheelwright at 18 years old, him and his brother came here, and they already had a trade. They made wooden wheels, so they were very skilled at such a young age,” Schuman said. “It’s been in the family ever since my great-grandfather, and it’s been passed down from generation. Most of the people that live here in Hawaii know it for sitting at 1234 South Beretania St. It’s been there for ages.”
Today, that famous carriage sits in the lobby of Schuman Aviation’s tour helicopter business off Lagoon Drive.
“When local people come in here, they see that carriage and go, ‘Hey, I remember climbing in and playing in that when I was a little kid!’ and I said, ‘Yeah, me too,'” Schuman said with a smile. “It’s kind of interesting when I talk to people about how we started in the horse and buggy business, and now we’re in the airplane and helicopter business, and I’m sure back in 1880 and 1893, the thought of a helicopter or an airplane for travel was just something like watching Star Wars.”