Our Village History
Sinajana was in existance before the arrival of Spanish Missionaries in 1668 and was bordered by the areas now known as Cha'ot and Otdot, the present-day Ordot village. This ancient village was the domain of Hineti, a Chamorro who was loyal to the Spanish and the Marianas Mission, and was baptized Don Ignacio de Hineti. On July 23, 1684, at the climax of the Chamorro-Spanish Wars. Hineti joined with the Spaniards and recruited about fifty Chamorros, armed with lances, to secure the Spanish stockade and the Spanish flag in Hagåtna from Chomorro homeland defenders. For this he was rewarded the position and title of Sgt. Major by the Spanish Governor Capt. General D. Antonio de Saravia.
The last Spanish census, taken in 1897, kusted 133 residents in Sinajana. There were family names that still exist today, including Quidachay, Fegurgur, Atoigue, Taisague, Concepcion, Agualo, San Nicolas, Dela Rosa, Taimanglo, Gogo, Quichocho, Agui, Naputi, Lujan, Tedtaotao, Achaigua, Mantanane, Navaro, Castro, Crisostomo, Balajadia and Fejeran.
Although Pre-World War II Sinajana was an agricultural village, at one time operating as the coffee capital of the island and supplying all of civillian Guam, much has changed with the modern urbanization. The destruction of Hagåtna during WWII sent thousands in search of homes, and Sinajana absorbed many families when the U.S. military government erected temporary housing in the village. By 1950, the population had swelled to 3,000.
St. Jude Junior High School, built in 1955 under the guidance of Sinajana Pastor Fr. Raymond Demers, had the distinction of being the only school on island built entirely through "Happy Labor." More than five hundred men from the village volunteered for the construction. The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, from Lacrosse, Wisconsin, administered the school at the request of Bishop Apollinaris William Baumgartner, who the school is now renamed after.
Also in the village at one time, was the former George Washington High School campus, which was later moved to MongMong and finally to its present location in Mangilao. C.L. Taitano Elementary School was previously known as Sinajana Elementary School before being renamed after the former educator and village resident.
After Supertyphoon Karen detroyed eirghty percent of the village structures in 1962, the next decade ushered in an onslaught of unimaginable change, as "urban renewal" forced the relocation of hundreds of villagers to other parts of the island, changing forever the lives of those families who lost their link to the old concept of Sinajana village life.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Bishop Baumgartner Catholic Memorial School
This kindergarten to eight grade school is part of the Catholic School System. The school, formerly called St. Jude's Catholic School, was renamed in honor of Bishop Apollinaris William Baumgartner, OFM Cap., DD who came to Guam on October 23, 1945. Bishop Baumgartner was instrumental in laying the foundation of the island's Catholic School System.
C.L. TAITANO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
This school is one of twenty-five elementary schools of the Guam Public School System. it was established in 1958 as Sinajana Elementary School and renamed in 1970 to honor the late Carlos Lizama taitano who was a public servant and civic leader.
ST. JUDE CHURCH
St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, located in the heart of the village near the Sinajana Mayor's Office and Community Center and the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (GHURA), was recently rebuilt and rededicated after Supertyphoon Pongsona partially destroyed it on December 8, 2002.
Ada's Funeral Home
Ada's Funeral Home was the first funeral home to operate on island, and continues to be operated by the Ada family today.
Butler's Emporium is situated on Route 4, next to Leonard's White House. It is the longest continuing business on Guam. Next to the building, the concrete foundation is the only remnant remaining of the Coca-Cola Bottling Factory owned by the Butlers. In the 1920s, founder, Chester Butler was the first person to receive a license to manufacture and sell soda outside the Continental U.S.
The old Won Pat store is located across from the fire station. In the yard, an old Spanish stone oven, or hotnu, can be found.