Anyone who wants to check out Hawaii’s most historic houses should not miss to drop by Waioli Mission House and Waioli Huiia Church. Located in Kauai’s north shore, the two structures are standing near each other. Looking from the outside, both old and restored buildings look great at the backdrop of the beautiful and lush surroundings.
Waioli Mission House and Waoili Huiia Church are both distinguished as among the famous landmarks of Hanalei Town. Both are also included on the National Register of Historic Places. The mission house and the church are both strategically built within the town’s heart. They are set within a huge manicured lawn, adorned by the beautiful mountain background.
Waioli Mission House
The arrival of the first missionaries William and Mary Alexander to Hanalei in 1834 marked the establishment of the Waioli Mission. It was in 1837 when the missionaries’ home was completed. That house became what is known as the Mission House. The Alexanders were succeeded in 1846 by another couple, Abner and Lucy Wilcox. Descendants of both families currently remain as among the prominent figures in Hawaii’s society, particularly in the business realm.
The design of the Mission House obviously reflects the distinct southern roots of Rev. William Alexander of Kentucky, its architect. The house, and the church, was seriously destructed by the devastation of several strong hurricanes that hit the area. It was in 1921 when restoration of the Mission House (and the church building) was completed.
Inside the house is an old wall clock, which is believed to have been installed in 1866. Notably, it still keeps time accurately. Other significant features of the structure are the fine koa furniture and the lava rock chimney. It should also be noted that Lucy Wilcox delivered all her eight sons in the house’s master bedroom.
Waioli Huiia Church
In front of the Waioli Mission House is the Waioli Huaiia Church. The old structure was built in 1834. The stained glass windows and the green shingles are the prominent features of the building, which are both considered as picturesque symbols of the old Hanalei.
It is notable how the green wooden church keeps its airy Pacific atmosphere. The structure has huge and outward-opening windows complemented by high ceilings. Its doors are kept open during daytime, an indication that visitors are always welcome. On top of an old organ is a Bible dated 1868 and printed in native Hawaiian language.
Adjacent to the church is the Mission Hall. This structure originally served as a venue for worship until the construction of the Waioli Church. The hall was constructed using plaster and coral. It comes with a steeply pitched roof, obviously designed to withstand heavy rains.
Another attraction of the Waioli Church is its choir. The Waioli Church Choir is tagged as the best in the island. It sings hymns in native Hawaiian language during the 10 a.m. Sunday service.
The Waioli Church was originally a Congregational Church. However, since 1957, it has been associated and identified with the United Church of Christ. Everyone is welcome to structure, even non-members of this church.