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Mission Houses Museum

553 South King Street
Honolulu, HI

Phone: 808 531 0481

Statement of Purpose:

A Registered National Historic Landmark since 1967.Accredited by the American Association of Museums

We are a historical museum and library existing to promote an understanding of 19th century social history as a critical element in the formation of modern Hawai’i. Our restored houses, furnished with original artifacts and reproductions, are used to interpret the lives of American missionaries and native Hawaiians in the turbulent years of the early 1800s.


Historic site, oldest house in Hawaii. Dramatic 19th century story of cultural encounter of missionaries, Hawaiians and foreigners.


Step back in time to Honolulu of the 19th century. A visit to the Mission Houses Museum transports you to another century when American Protestant missionaries established the Sandwich Islands Mission in the village of Honolulu in 1820. Tour the three remaining historic houses of the mission and watch history come to life through guided tours, living history, and exhibitions.

Frame House: Erected on the site in 1821, the wood frame of this house was shipped around Cape Horn from Boston. It was home to many missionary families, who shared it with visitors and boarders. The oldest existing wood frame building in Hawai’i today, the Frame House has been restored to reflect its original 1820’s architectural style and is interpreted to the busy early years of the mission when it first served as a multi-family dwelling.

Chamberlain House: Explore the home of the mission’s business agent, Levi Chamberlain and his family. Built in 1831 of coral blocks, this building also served as a storehouse and depository for mission goods. Our annual Hawaiian Quilt Exhibition is installed in the Chamberlain House every summer.

Printing Office: In this representation of the home of the original Mission Press, visitors will be able to imagine how American missionaries and native Hawaiians labored to produce a wide variety of books and other printed materials in the Hawaiian language.

Collections and research

The Museum collects and preserves the documents, artifacts, and other records of the “missionary period” of Hawaii’s history (1820--1863) and makes these collections available for research and educational purposes. The Museum Library resources include more than 12,000 books and pamphlets, as well as distinctive manuscript and pictorial collections. The Hawaiian Historical Society shares the reading room with the Museum library, making visits to both collections convenient for researchers.

Library Hours: Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society Library

Tuesday--Friday 10:00 am -- 4:00 pm

Hawaiian Historical Society

Monday--Friday 10:00 am -- 4:00 pm

Museum Shop

Browse through our vast selection of books about Hawai’i and it’s history. Custom order your own hand stitched Hawaiian quilt, or buy a pattern and make your own! The Museum Shop offers an appealing selection of unusual gifts including genuine tapa cloth, handwoven lauhala hats, calligraphy sets, vintage toys, and so much more!

Shop Hours: Tuesday--Saturday 9:00 am -- 4:15 pm


Winterbourne Tea Parlor

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea right on the grounds of the museum. The tea parlor offers a variety of yummy homemade scones, pastries, sandwiches, salads, coffees, and of course tea!

Reservations are required. Please call (808) 537-3806

Tea Parlor Hours: Monday--Friday

Breakfast 9:00 am--11:00 am

Lunch 12 noon -- 1:30 pm

Afternoon Tea 2:30 pm--4:30 pm


Calendar of Events

Ongoing: Historic Capitol District Walking Tour (3 hrs.) Thursdays 10:00 am

(24-hr. advanced reservation required)

Hawaiian Quilting Classes Wed. & Sat. 9:00 am--11:00 am

Docent Training Classes Tues. & Thurs. 10:00 am--12 noon

We also offer a variety of school tours and programs year around as well as Girl Scout workshops. Please call our Education Department for information and fees. 521-0481 ext. 17



Upcoming: Saturday Morning at the Library

Saturday, September 22, 2001 9:00 am--11:00 am

Head Librarians Marilyn Reppun and Barbara Dunn will talk about two of Hawai i’s most important libraries, the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society Library, and the Hawaiian Historical Society. Learn about the collections and gain access to them. Current publishing ventures and research projects of the respective libraries will be discussed. Please call the library to reserve a space, 531-0481, ext. 24. Free

N~ H§ meni Saturday, Sept. 29, 2001 9:00 am--12 noon

Meet on the historic grounds of Mission Houses Museum and listen to our guests speak about the legacy of n~ h§ meni in Hawai’i from the earliest translations of hymns brought by the missionaries, to the mele composed in the h§ meni style.

The program will include talks, discussions and musical performances. Free

The Care of Precious and Rare Books

Wednesday, October 3, 2001 7:30 pm

Rob Lucas, who’s taught bookbinding and book conservation at Mills College in Oakland, California, will speak and take questions on the care and handling of your favorite and precious volumes. Mr. Lucas is well known for his restoration of books and his many classes and workshops in the Bay Area. Free

Hawaiian Cultural Values

Saturday, October 6, 2001 10:00 am--11:00 am

Dr. Bill Rezentes, author of Ka Lama Kukui: Hawaiian Psychology is returning to the museum by popular demand for another informal “talk story” session. Topics will include “What is Hawaiian?” and “Traditional Hawaiian Values.”

The History of Photography in Hawai’i

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 7:00 pm--8:30 pm

The History of Photography journal, published by Taylor and Francis of London, has dedicated their Autumn 2001 issue to Hawai’i. Guest editor and photo historian Lynn Davis will lead a discussion group comprised of the contributing essayists and artists. A limited number of journals will be available for purchase at the Museum Shop. Free


Tea Etiquette for the 21st Century

Tuesday, October 16 5:30 pm--7:30 pm

Fee: $20 (covers lecture, teas, refreshments)

Space is limited; please call ahead for reservations (808) 537-3806

Join Nikki Yasutake, our tea parlor proprietor as she covers the basic etiquette and enjoyment of tea time. She will be joined by Byron Goo of The Tea Chest, importer of fine loose leaf teas served at our own Winterbourne Tea Parlor.

Rose Care Workshops

Saturdays, October 20, November 17, December 1, January 19

9:00 am--12 noon

Fee: $30 / class, $100 for series Members $25 / class, $80 for series

Listen to members of the Honolulu Rose Society talk about the heirloom rose gardens they designed at the Museum. Ask their advice on the planting, growing and proper care of roses.

Holiday Craft Fair

Saturday & Sunday, November 24 & 25, 9:00 am--4:00 pm

Come and experience our annual Craft Fair, a tradition for nearly 30 years in Honolulu! We are known for our high quality selection of goods and craftsmen. Live entertainment, food, and great  gifts. Free

A Candlelight Christmas

Saturdays, December 8 & 15, 6:00 pm--9:30 pm

Admission: Adults $10.00

Children 5-17 9.00

Members 7.00

Children 5-17 6.00

Children under 5, free

The year ends with the glow of candlelight in the historic houses as visitors take guided tours past living history vignettes. This is a long time tradition at the museum and tickets go quickly on a  first-come, first-served basis.



Tuesday -- Saturday 9:00 am--4:00 pm

10:00 am & 1:00 pm / Tours of Visitors Center and 1820s Frame House

11:00 am & 2:00 pm / Tours of Print Shop and 1830s Chamberlain House


Single Tour Double Tour

Adults $10.00 $15.00

Kama’aina & Military 9.00 14.00

Senior Citizens 8.00 12.00

Students 6.00 10.00

Children under 5 Free

Historic Walking Tour including Museum Tour / Admission plus $10.00

Historic Walking Tour without Museum Tour / $15.00

Please call ahead for groups of 10 or more

Historic Walking Tour requires 24-hr. advance reservation


Key Personnel:

Executive Director Deborah F. Dunn ext. 20

Education Director Ruth Newell ext. 17

Education Specialist Jessica Osland ext.16

Docent Coordinator Kim Kahikina ext. 33

Development Officer Dawn Krause ext. 11

Membership Coordinator Marisa Ikemoto ext. 12

Head Curator Stuart Ching ext. 15

Assistant Curator Tory Laitila ext. 14

Collections Manager Alan Miller ext. 32

Accounting & Personnel Emily Murai ext.18

Museum Shop Darrell Chun ext. 22

Head Librarian Marilyn Kanani Reppun ext. 25

Assistant Librarian Pua Fernandez ext. 24


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