Saipan, Then and Now, Pt. 2


Navy Hill

Sue, first day of school at the old Dependants School on Navy Hill, probably 1958 or 1959.

2005.  The old steps and stone walls are still there.  These were probably constructed by the Seabees in the post-war rebuilding.

 

Navy Hill housing area where we lived, ca. 1960, taken from the area where the island commander lived.  The lighthouse is visible in the center of the photo.

View from the same area today, top of the lighthouse is visible just to the left of center, if you look closely. 

 
View looking down Navy Hill Road.  In the 1960's photo, left, there is not much to see of the town of Garapan in the distance.  The view from the same area in 2005 shows the extent of the development. 
 

Corner of Navy Hill Road and Middle Road.  In the 1960's photo, left, you can see our jeep parked across the road if you look closely.  Today, this is a busy intersection with a traffic light. 


Mt. Topotchau

This is the highest point of land on Saipan and some claim this is the top of the highest mountain on earth.  They are basing this on measuring from some point on the bottom of the Marianas Trench, deep in the Pacific.  I have also heard this same claim for Mt. Lamlam on Guam, although Topotchau is over 200 feet higher in relation to sea level.  However you get your numbers, the view here is spectacular on a clear day.  Even though it is not always evident from these photos, the development on Saipan is very evident from this vantage point.  In the time span shown in these pictures, the population of Saipan has increased by a factor of ten.

Views of Garapan from Mt. Topotchau, early 1960's and 2005. 

 

Looking toward Chalan Kanoa and Lake Susupe. 

 
Kagman.  In  the postwar years, this eastern peninsula was part of the restricted area which was reportedly a CIA training site.  The airfield, built during the war, is visible in the 1960's photo on the left.  Today, the runway is part of a road through the residential homesteads developed in this area.
 

Magicienne (Lau Lau) Bay, Nafutan Peninsula.  Visible in the 2005 photo on the right is Saipan International Airport, formerly Isely Field.

 
View to the north toward Marpi, 1960's and 2005.  When we lived on Saipan, the top of this mountain was an isolated area.  Today, it is becoming a neighborhood for some of the richer residents of the island who seem to need to build huge, multistory homes that can be seen all over the island, dominating the view of this beautiful mountain peak.
Despite all the development on Saipan since we lived there in the 1960's, you can still find places that are almost unchanged.   These photos, taken from Agingan Point over 40 years apart, look much the same.
 
Then and Now- Part 3
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