Lyman Missionaries – Lyman House Memorial Museum, Hilo, Hawai’i

American missionary Reverend David Lyman and wife Sarah left Massachusetts and arrived in Honolulu in May of 1832. Shortly after they were assigned to work at the mission in Hilo, serving Haili Church and teaching at a small boarding school.

The Lyman’s founded a larger Hilo Boarding School in 1836 with a grant of $500. In 1838, Native Hawaiian students were put to work building a new wood-framed building for the school. Eventually, the school became the first building in Hilo with electricity.

In the same year Native Hawaiian students also provided the labor to construct a home for the Lyman family – The Lyman House. It was one of the first of only a few buildings on the island to be built in the New England-Cape Code style construction.

In 1931, nearly a century later the Lyman’s family home was turned into A museum by Lyman descendants.

Located on Haili St, the Lyman House Memorial Museum, also known as the Lyman Museum, is a natural history museum. A two part museum consisting of a mission house and a modern addition.

The Lyman House has been preserved and refurbished to display Hawaii missionary life during the 19th century.


The modern addition of the museum was built in the late 60s and showcases artifact collections from both missionary and Hawaiian culture from the Hilo area of the Big Island.

The Lyman Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Lyman Museum & Mission House
276 Haili Street
Hilo, Hawai’i 96720
Phone 808-935-5021