Historic Lahaina

The Masters' Reading Room

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Bold faced print is reproduced from the Lahaina Historical Guide with permission from the publisher.  Copyright 1998, Honolulu Publishing Company, Ltd.   All rights reserved.   Free copies of the Lahaina Historical Guide are available throughout Lahaina Town and the K�`anapali resorts.



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Historic Lahaina Walking Tour - Lahaina, Maui

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The Masters' Reading Room, on the corner of Front and Dickenson streets, begins the walking tour of Lahaina.   This shaded and peaceful property, which has been planted exactly as originally laid out by Dr. Baldwin in 1847, provides an appropriate home for the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

The first seamen's headquarters was built in 1834 through the efforts of the missionaries, masters and officers of visiting ships.   The Rev. William Richards and E. Spaulding appealed to the visitors to help build "suitable reading rooms for the accommodation of Seamen who visit Lahaina, as well as a convenient place of retirement from the heat and unpleasant dust of the market."   Most masters and ships' officers traveled with families aboard and relished contact with the missionaries.

The lower portion of the two-story building was used for sundry purposes of the mission; the top floor was the reading room.   Its unique coral block and field stone construction has been preserved exactly as originally built. The whaling years lasted until the 1860s for Lahaina, and the Masters' Reading Room provided a home for officers wishing to stay ashore.   They could view ships at anchor, passing boats and the general activity of the village.

Next door is the Baldwin Home.

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Masters' Reading Room - Lahaina, Maui

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