Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Maui: Baldwin House, Part 2

Just off the main room is the master bedroom. Note the mosquito netting to protect the sleepers. An interesting side note — there were no mosquitoes in Hawai`i prior to 1826 — thus the natives previously had no need for protection against those biting buggers. They were unintentionally introduced by the European sailing ships which carried water in large barrels that hid mosquitoes. As one would expect, they jumped ship and found they loved Hawai`i immensely and quickly spread across the islands.

Humans were not the only inhabitants of the islands impacted by mosquitoes. I found the following information from the University of Hawai`i — "Early naturalists in the islands reported the first large scale epidemics in native bird populations in the late 1800’s, but it wasn’t until the early part of the 20th century that we think that the second pathogen, a species of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) reached Hawaii. Similar to human malaria in many aspects of its life cycle, avian malaria probably reached the islands in imported cage birds that were released to replace declining native birds. With mosquito vectors already in place, it is likely that avian malaria spread quickly into native birds. With no prior exposure or natural immunity to this disease in native species, we think that it probably swept through remaining lowland native bird populations, further hastening the extinction of several species and decline of many more. Only high on the volcanoes, where colder-temperatures limit the spread of mosquitoes, do native forest bird communities remain relatively intact".

Next to the parents' bed was this lovely crib. I do not know for sure but I expect that the furniture was produced in the islands matching designs from the missionaries' native New England. The cabinet makers were likely ship's carpenters who decided they liked the islands and could make a living with the skills they brought with them.

Displayed here is a doll, probably handmade. Also note the tiny bonnet on the doll's lap.

This chest was obviously used for clothing. As a former woodworker I am just in awe of the beautiful grain of the koa wood used for much of the furniture in the Baldwin House. Note that if you want to purchase a similar chest today, Martin and MacArthur sell one for $2,950 (plus tax and shipping). If I ever win the lottery, my home on Maui will be filled to the brim with their gorgeous koa wood home furnishings. If you are curious, click here.

In the corner one finds a small desk which the good Reverend probably used to draft his sermons as well as composing correspondence.

Much to my surprise there was an indoor bathroom which included this toilet. It did not have a plumbing hookup but I guess it was still better than having to visit the outhouse.

In another corner of the bedroom was this chair that reminded me very much of the chairs which were part of my parent's dining room set as I was growing up. I noticed the twine to prevent visitors from sitting on the chair — standard stuff in a museum. However, a second glance shows the cross piece that is supposed to connect the legs (for stability) is no longer connected. Sitting on this chair might break the chair and leave you sitting on broken pieces of wood on the floor.

The dining room was fully furnished not just with furniture but with china as well.

The china pattern is a famous design called "Blue Willow" which was popular in 18th century England. According to Wikipedia, "Willow refers to the pattern, a specific treatment, either applied transfer, or stamp, known as transferware. Background colour is always white, while foreground colour depends on the maker; blue the most common, followed by pink, green, and brown".

Here another china cabinet next to the stairwell leading to the second floor which is closed to visitors.

I really liked the china shelf above the doorway. Fortunately, Maui does not experience many earthquakes otherwise the china would not have survived to modern times.

Last for this week is a very interesting serving tray that was made out of paper maché. I always think of paper maché as the paste and paper mixture that we used as kids to make art projects. This display shows that it can have practical uses as well.

I also love the bucket under the table.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com