Hānaiakamalama (Lit., the foster child of the light (or moon,)) now known as the Queen Emma Summer Palace, was the “mountain” home of Queen Emma, wife of Kamehameha IV.
The house was originally constructed by John George Lewis in 1848. John Young II bought it in 1850 and named the home “Hānaiakamalama.”
Queen Emma inherited it from her uncle, John Young II, son of the famous advisor to Kamehameha I, John Young I, in 1857.
Queen Emma was born Emma Naea in Honolulu on January 2, 1836, the daughter of a British aristocratic woman and a Hawaiian high chief.
She became the hānai child of Dr. and Mrs. T. C. and Grace Rooke, her mother’s sister who had no children of their own. Emma grew up speaking both Hawaiian and English, the latter “with a perfect English accent.”
At 20, Emma became engaged to the king of Hawai‘i, Alexander Liholiho, (Kamehameha IV,) a 22-year-old who had ascended to the throne in 1855. The couple had known each other since childhood.
In his first speech as king, Kamehameha IV stated the need for a hospital to treat the native population. Due to introduced diseases, the Hawaiian population had plummeted, with extinction a very real possibility.
To recognize and honor Emma’s efforts, it was decided to call the new hospital “Queen’s.”
Queen Emma used the home as a retreat where she could escape from the heat of Honolulu into the coolness of Nuʻuanu. It’s about 5-miles from Downtown Honolulu and 10-miles from Waikīkī.
It was through this land that Kamehameha the Great marched during what would become the Battle of the Nu‘uanu in April 1795.
Coincidently, Kamehameha was aided by foreigners, including John Young, Queen Emma’s grandfather, who provided the cannons and tactical know-how used in the battle.
This land, a portion of a grant known as Kaukahōkū, was originally designated as Fort Land; that is, it was set apart for the use of the Fort, probably as agricultural land. However, sometime in the 1840s Kekuanaoa, Governor of the island of Oʻahu, leased the land for private use.
The Summer Palace was modeled in the Greek Revival style. It has a formal plan arrangement, wide central hall, high ceilings and floor-length hinged, in-swinging shuttered casement window.
It is one-story, over a basement, and measures about 73-feet by 51-feet. The roof is hipped over the main portion of the home and gabled over the rear lanai that was converted to a room.
The large single room in the rear of the home, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh Room, was converted from a lanai in 1869, to prepare for the reception of the Duke during a visit to Hawai‘i.
The kitchen was a small structure apart from the house. Baths were taken through large tubs brought into the bedrooms by servants and filled with buckets of hot and cold water.
Three outhouses served the occupants; one reserved for the King and Queen, one for guests and another for servants.
The Summer Palace was saved from demolition by the Daughters of Hawaiʻi. Today, the Daughters preserve and maintain this residence and the Huliheʻe Palace in Kailua-Kona as museums open to the public.
The restored and furnished home of Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Hawaiian monarchy.
The Daughters of Hawai‘i was founded in 1903 by seven women who were daughters of American Protestant missionaries. They were born in Hawai‘i, were citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom before annexation and foresaw the inevitable loss of much of the Hawaiian culture.
They founded the organization “to perpetuate the memory and spirit of old Hawai‘i and of historic facts, and to preserve the nomenclature and correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian language.” (My mother was a Daughter.)
The property is open to the public, daily 9:00 am–4:00 pm; closed major holidays; Admission: Adult $6, Child 17 and under $1, Seniors $4; reservations required for groups of 20 or more.
The image shows Hānaiakamalama – Queen Emma Summer Palace. In addition, I have included other images of the property and Queen Emma in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.
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