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Project will spruce up Baldwin Home

By Staff | Oct 15, 2009

The Baldwin Home Museum is recorded in the Historical American Buildings Survey located in the archives at the Library of Congress.

LAHAINA — Lahaina Restoration Foundation has closed the Baldwin Home Museum for two weeks (Oct. 12-25) while some of the interior is being restored.

Foundation Operations Manager Terry Morgan will oversee the project.

“We are excited to breathe a bit of fresh air into our museum,” he said. “This home has a lot of memories for many people, and Lahaina Restoration takes pride in keeping it in the best shape possible."

The Baldwin Home is the oldest house on Maui. The original four-room, one-level structure was built by Rev. Ephraim Spaulding from 1832-35. When Spaulding became ill in 1836 and returned to Massachusetts, Rev. Dwight Baldwin and his family, who had been living in a grass hale on the property, moved into the home in 1837. 

In 1840, two rooms were added downstairs, and in 1849, a second level was added to accommodate the growing Baldwin family.

The house faces the prevailing winds from the ocean with larger windows in the front, and 24-inch-thick walls constructed of coral, sand and lava rock with rough hewn timber framing. Dutch doors and high ceilings create a cool interior. There is no inside plumbing.

The Baldwin Compound was deeded to Lahaina Restoration Foundation in 1967 by the Baldwin heirs. In the 1960s, the home was restored to its 1850 design based on careful documentation and archaeological research.

In the home are original photographs and artifacts, as well as donated furniture and furnishing pieces representative of the 1850s period. The Baldwin Home will remain in the public domain in perpetuity as a fascinating tribute to Dr. Baldwin and his outstanding contributions to the Maui community.

A grand reopening of the renovated Baldwin Home is planned for November.

The Baldwin Home Museum — located on the corner of Front and Dickenson streets in Lahaina — is usually open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information,  call 662-3262 or visit www.lahainarestoratoin.org.