ALOHA AND WELCOME
You are invited to use the mission station and house
experience as part of your Hawaiian history adventure.
The site offers a chance for you to learn about 19th
century education, 20th century restoration, and 21st
In 1778 as Hawaii was being discovered by British
explorer James Cook, American colonists had just
succeeded in gaining their independence from British
rule. As Americans were establishing democracy for
themselves, Hawaii was leaping from a Polynesian
civilization to a new island government fashioned after
the British monarchy.
This led to people of many cultures coming to Hawaii for
provisioning or escape, or a new way of life.
Congregationalism had been carried to America in 1620 by
the Pilgrims, and the First Company of New England
Congregational missionaries arrived in the Hawaiian
Islands in the spring of 1820. The Polynesian people
were open to new beliefs after the death of Kamehameha,
and the overthrow of ancient beliefs and Kapu.
In addition to introducing a new religion, the
missionaries recognized the worth and vulnerability of
the Hawaiian commoner.
phonetically developed the written Hawaiian language and
filled schools with island people in order to prepare
them for the changes that were coming to their once
1834, the Reverend William Alexander, his wife and young
son were paddled from Waimea to Hanalei in a double hull
canoe belonging to Governor Kaikioewa, the ruling chief
of Kauai, to start Waioli MissionStation. Reverend
Alexander immediately built a thatched grass roof
“meeting house” and belfry, and two years later in 1836
he built this mission house as his home.
Missionary teachers Abner and Lucy Wilcox arrived in
Hanalei in 1846 with four sons; and four more sons were
born at Waioli. There were three schools at the station,
a Common School, A Station School, as well as a Select
that housed the brightest students from Kauai and Niihau
who were later to become teachers and leaders in the
For 50 years after Abner and Lucy's deaths in 1869, the
old mission home sat empty until its restoration in
1921. Over the last 170 years since its founding, the
mission house continues as a quiet touchstone to the
missionary efforts on Kauai.
SCHEDULING YOUR VISIT
Tour of the Waioli Mission are Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tours are given on
a "first come" basis.