Hello Friends and Family,

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Maui: Baldwin House, Part 3

This was the boy's bedroom built to accommodate Reverend Baldwin's growing family (a total of eight children although two died of dysentery before the age of three). Again, I am blown away by the beautiful wood furniture, simple in design but made elegant by the use of koa wood. In particular, I really like the chest — which causes us to recall that homes of this era did not include closets — they used chests and wardrobes instead, all furniture pieces.

Above the bed is a couple of shelves with pegs for hanging more clothes. The display case to the left contains "Hawai`ian Land Shells" collected by David Baldwin, the eldest son, whose picture is in the middle. The picture to his right appears to be David as well, the label says "PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH, MAHALO" so I cannot be certain. The right photo is of Lois Baldwin, David's wife.

Also in the room is another bed with mosquito netting and a rocking chair. Notice the chamber pot at the foot of the bed. For those who do not know, a chamber pot was used as a toilet in the middle of the night so the individual did not have to go outside to the outhouse.

Another wonderful chair with that simple style and beautiful wood.

I love the rocking cradle — the wood appears to be painted but the design is superb.

In the middle of the room is what I would call a wing table (someone will correct me if there is a more appropriate name). It has two hinged panels as part of the top which, when raised, are supported by movable sections of the base. It was very practical since when collapsed, it takes up very little space but provides a good-sized surface when open.

The box on the table contains a croquet set, which appears to be kid-size. Considering that croquet became popular in England in the 1860s, this would have been a very modern pastime during the missionary times in Hawai`i.

Normally, I would not share a photo of a document but this one is quite noteworthy since it is the Reverend Dwight Baldwin's passport. It is handwritten although the cursive is a bit difficult for me to read. However, I was able to identify items such as age, height, eye color and shape of nose which were used for identification prior to the use of photos in passports.

The picture is of the good Reverend.

Another table, this one in the dining room which displayed a number of Hawai'ian artifacts such as a sailing canoe, a `uli`uli (used by hula dancers), a grinding stone and a carving of a Hawai`ian god, among other things. I am a bit surprised at the `uli`uli because the early missionaries did not approve of the hula. I am even more surprised at the carving — since the missionaries were definitely trying to replace the ancient Hawai`ian religion with Christianity. My guess is that the selection of items was modern with a bit more sensitivity to the preservation of ancient Hawai`ian beliefs and culture than was evidenced by the missionaries.

When I got to this cabinet, my breath was taken away. This marble-top cabinet is nearly identical to one that used to belong to my grandmother, later my mom and now (I believe) one of my sisters. It's a small world.

Near the end of my self-guided tour, I encountered this hole in the wall which exposed the exterior wall construction. The house was made of 24-inch thick walls constructed of coral, sand and lava rock with rough-hewn timber framing.

Nearby was a photo from the restoration that was undertaken during the late 1960s under the ownership and direction of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation. We have lost so many historic sites in Hawai`i — we owe much to the good folks of this organization. If you would like to learn more about them and their projects, click here.

And this concludes our tour of the Baldwin House. Do visit, the next time you are in Lahaina. Note that they offer candlelit tours each Friday from 6:00 PM to 11:30 PM. I think that would be a great treat which I hope to enjoy on my next trip to Maui.

Life is good.

B. David

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