Kokopo has seen its characters.It was the mainland base of the 19th century American Samoan trader Emma Coe and her copra empire (she had begun her PNG empire on nearby Duke of York island). She became known as Queen Emma and her sprawling Kokopo mansion and gardens are now the site of the Gazelle International Hotel. Only the concrete front steps of her residence Gunantabu, survive.
Australian writer Geoffrey Dutton has written "Queen Emma of the South Seas", an entertaining account of her exploits. She was beautiful, wealthy, ruthless and independent. She had lovers and a series of husbands and when she finally sold her business holdings in the early 20th century (perhaps sensing the approaching calamatous world war and being intimately connected to German Nue Guinea), she retired to Melbourne and later Europe (where she died), a millionaire.
The main restaurant at the Gazelle International in named after her.