I love history and thanks to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation the beautiful Baldwin House was open for tourists like me to come in and learn all about a fascinating story. The Baldwin House offers the entrance a group of individuals that had a profound effect on the island and Hawaii, missionaries. The first missionaries arrived from New England when King Kamehameha I’s son overthrew the ancient religion in favor of Christianity.
Coming to spread the gospel and to build churches and schools, missionaries were allowed to settle in Lahaina in 1823 at a time when the islands were referred to as the Sandwich Islands rather than Hawaii.
In 1830 Dr. Baldwin along with his new bride set sail for Waimea, Hawaii where this physician and missionary served as a pastor. In 1838 he was assigned as Pastor to the Lahaina Wainee Church. At that time, the Baldwins moved into the original section of the house. They arrived in 1838 and stayed until 1871.
The Lahaina Restoration Foundation profiled Lahaina in the early 1800’s. “Lahaina was then a major whaling port, a scene of violent struggles between the forces of vice and virtue. In1827, his immediate neighbors, the Rev. William Richards and his family, had been forced to cower in their cellar as cannon balls whistled overhead. A whaling captain was outraged because the Rev. Mr. Richards had persuaded royal authorities to forbid village maidens from visiting the ship.”
Dr. Baldwin and his wife had six children and expanded their home several times. He is credited with not only bringing the gospel and educational opportunities too many islanders, but this Harvard educated doctor also saved many from the small pox epidemic that hit the island in 1853.
I loved the doctors tools, the lovely furniture and the beds covered in netting. The museums provided history of the islands and reminded us of who had come before and how the island history ties into the island of today. For more information, log onto http://www.lahainarestoration.org/baldwin.html