Dig Through the Bailey House MuseumMaui

Hawai‘i’s missionary era is well defined at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. Conveniently located on the way to ‘Iao Valley, the house was constructed from limestone coral on land given to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1832 by Governor Hoapili and King Kamehameha III. One of the first Western-style houses in Wailuku, it first served as the Central Maui Mission Station, then as a boarding school for girls called the Wailuku Female Seminary, and finally as the personal home of Edward and Caroline Bailey.

The Baileys sailed from Boston to Honolulu in 1837 and moved to the Wailuku building overlooking the natural harbor of Kahului in the early 1840s to teach at the Wailuku Female Seminary. They lived there for the next 45 years. Edward Bailey was an artist as well as a missionary, teacher, builder, musician, writer, botanist and entrepreneur, and today, a collection of his oil paintings provides museum visitors a visual image of what his life was like. In addition, Caroline Bailey created a home that combined the culture of two very different worlds, and the museum boasts similar furnishings today.

The museum houses an incredible collection, including a wooden statue of Hawaiian demigod Kamapua‘a (which is the only statue to have survived King Kamehameha II’s 1819 purge of indigenous religious representations), Duke Kahanamoku’s 1919 redwood surfboard and one of the last koa fishing canoes made in Hawai‘i. The museum’s collection of pre-contact artifacts is one of the largest public collections on Maui and shows the ingenuity of early Hawaiians in their use of the indigenous materials.

The museum also is host to monthly public events. For more information, call (808) 244-3326 or log on to www.mauimuseum.org.