This is a continuation of the story of my family history research trip to Hawaii. It was our second to last day in Honolulu, and we had a second appointment with the curator at Washington Place. This was the home built by Captain John Dominis for his wife, Mary Lambert Jones, sister to my 4x great grandmother, Catherine Plummer Jones. The Jones family was from Boston, and so he built her a grand, New England style home in Honolulu. We had visited Washington Place the previous week, and were happy to see it one more time before returning home.
After driving by Washington Place all week, I began to appreciate its location and its architecture even more at the second visit. It was within walking distance of where our cruise ship docked, and so imagine that in the 1830s Capt. Dominis could see or walk to his shipping interests in Honolulu harbor. Now, it is near the Hawaii State Capitol building, Iolani Palace and other governmental offices downtown. It certainly is a prime location. And it certainly looks very grand, so in the 1840s it must have been considered very palatial for Honolulu!
We went over the family tree in detail with the curator at this meeting, and I’ll be sending her my updated descendant report on all the Jones family. We also explored the family tree of the Emersons who are buried at the Queen Lili’uokalani church in Haleiwa, and some of the other names of early Honolulu settlers who came from Boston. There may or not be family relationships between some of these folks. Now I have letters from people like Captain Charles Brewer and Reverend Andrew Yates to Mary Dominis, and I hope to find out how they are or aren’t family.
After this meeting we finally found the statue of Queen Lili’uokalani. It was right behind Iolani Palace and the Hawaii State Archives, actually tucked next to the State Capitol building. It was easy to miss, because of several huge banyan trees growing nearby. We had been to Iolani Palace three times, so this was our fourth trip! I had meant to ask a cousin for directions, but it had always slipped my mind.
I was quite emotional when we were finally standing next to this statue. We were alone and the area was so peaceful and quiet. Many other people had left flower offerings at her feet. Suddenly I felt compelled to remove the leis I had been given the previous day, and draped them on the Queen’s outstretched hand. I was so grateful to finally find her, and see her home, and find all the family letters and cousin connections. I’ll never forget that moment.
Later that day we drove along the west coast of Oahu, making an almost complete circuit of the island. There is one small place where the roads do not connect. It was near the end of our vacation and seeing (almost) the entire shoreline of Oahu was my Hubby’s goal. Of course, we had been upgraded to a nice Volvo convertible by the rental company, so driving anywhere in Oahu was fun!
We ended the day with our usual walk along Waikiki Beach, and had dinner at another hotel’s poolside grill. The sun was setting over the water to the west, which is something we don’t see back home in New England, and the last surfers of the day were catching a few last waves. The duet of singers at this restaurant ended their set of music with Lili’uokalani’s “Aloha Oe” which was a very nice end to our beautiful day in Hawaii.
Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo