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
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
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