In 1828, three new missionaries arrived at Waimea, Kauai, to aid the Reverend and Mrs. Samuel Whitney in the operation of the missionary station there. The new arrivals were the Reverend and Mrs. Peter Gulick (and their infant son), and Miss Maria Ogden. (NPS)
Peter Johnson Gulick (1797 – 1877) and his wife, Fanny Hinckley Thomas Gulick (1798 – 1883,) sailed with the Third Company of ABCFM missionaries from Boston on November 3, 1827 aboard the ship Parthian, and reached Honolulu on March 30, 1828, a voyage of 148 days. (Gulick)
Gulick was born in Freehold, Monmouth Co, New Jersey, March 12, 1797. His father John Gulick (Hulick, or Ulick, as some of his kindred wrote the name) was of Dutch extraction.
“Shortly after I was of age, I went again to N. Y. & was in the employ of the widdow Corwin, with whom I had formerly lived. This woman, Mrs. Corwin, first suggested to me the ideas of studying, & preparing for the ministry.”
“In the fall of 1825, I entered the Princeton Theol. Semy. where Drs. Alexander & Miller & proffessor Chas. Hodge then taught. There I spent two very happy years”.
“Near the close of my second year in the Semy. I was licensed, by the Presbytery of N. Brunswick as an evangelist to preach the Gospel; & on Sep. 5 1827, was married to … Miss (Fanny Hinckley) Thomas.” (Gulick) They then sailed to Hawai‘i.
The governor of Kauai, Kaikioʻewa, prepared a native house for them, of poles and thatching, but including a board floor. Within a year, the Reverend Gulick began the construction of a more substantial home for his family. He used coral limestone for the foundation and walls, this being cut from offshore reefs by Hawaiian workers and floated ashore.
Gulick’s Waimea home is a simple, and functional structure, yet well-proportioned with well-crafted detailing. It is an excellent example of a New England approach to residential architecture adapted to the Hawaiian climate.
He paid his Hawaiian assistants in goats, Bibles, textbooks, and other articles out of the “common stock” of the Honolulu preserved as well as one of the finest examples of early missionary residences on Kauai. (The Gulicks were stationed at Waimea, Kauai, 1828 – 1835, then were sent to Kōloa, 1835 -1843.)
The Gulick family occupied the house as soon as they could, although work continued on it. However, in 1834, they were transferred to Koloa, another mission station on Kauai, and for twelve years, the home stood unoccupied, except for the few occasions that needy Hawaiian families were housed there.
(Following their Kauai service, the Gulicks were transferred to Kaluaʻaha, 1843 – 1846 where he was superintendent of Molokai schools; then to Waialua, O‘ahu 1846 – 1857; and in 1857 retired to live in Honolulu. In 1874 the Gulicks left Hawaii to live with their son, Orramel, a missionary in Kobe, Japan.)
In 1846, the Revered George Berkeley Rowell (1815-1884) and his wife, Malvina Jerusha Chapin Rowell (1816-1901) (of the Tenth Company of missionaries) were transferred from the Waioli Mission on Kauai to Waimea, where they moved into the former Gulick home (that had been vacant since the Gulick’s left.)
Rowell, the son of Joseph and Hannah (Chase) Rowell, was born at Cornish, New Hampshire, January 22, 1815, and was prepared for college at Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, NH.
He entered Amherst in the fall of 1832, but absence from college during the third year delayed his graduation till 1837. The next four years were spent in the study of theology at Andover Seminary, and October 27, 1841, he was ordained as a foreign missionary at Cornish, NH. George and Malvina married on January 22, 1842, and sailed from Boston in May, 1842, for the Hawaiian Islands.
Reverend Rowell, a carpenter and cabinetmaker, substantially rebuilt the house, adding the rear end, all the woodwork for the verandahs, and a new roof. Rowell also made most of the furnishings for the house.
After first putting doors and windows in one room to ensure a degree of privacy from their curious parishioners, the Rowells rebuilt the house, then added to it as their family grew.
The Rowells remained at Waimea in the home until 1865. After that the home was occupied by various plantation manager’s families from the local sugar cultivation operations. Each made their share of alterations or improvements, but the end result was not a significant departure from the original design. (NPS)
Recently, the house was purchased by Jim Ballantine, a 4th generation West Kauai resident with the goal of setting up a non-profit organization to work in partnership with established community groups and local non-profits insure the survival of Gulick Rowell Hale Puna and prepare it for its third century as a valuable asset for the community of West Kauai.
HalePuna.org’s mission is to restore Gulick Rowell Hale Puna. Once restored, the house and working farm will provide for the conservation and study of the historically significant property.
The house will be used as a community center for presenting events and performances that contribute to the cultural fabric of West Kauai life and celebrate the building’s unique place in our community. (halepuna-org)