In 1901, with the consent of the HP Baldwin heirs, who own the property, it was decided to use the old Baldwin homestead for the settlement work.
Mrs. Henry Perrine Baldwin and others helped newly arrived plantation workers from Japan, the Philippines and China adjust to living on Maui. Along with other members of the Baldwin family, she continued to support the kindergarten and settlement work.
“We have classes started in sewing, basket-weaving, and physical culture. In a short time lacemaking is to be taken up and also a class in music is to be opened, as many have signified their desire to learn to read music by note.”
“The reading-room on the second floor is now open twice a week, on Monday and Thursday evenings, where papers, magazines and books may be found, while games and music may be enjoyed on the first floor.”
“There is much interest shown, and we hope to accomplish much during the ensuing year in all branches of the work, and to put in new departments as the need arises.” (The Friend, December 1909)
Staffed by members of the middle class, the Hawaiian settlement house movement sought to help immigrant families adapt to the language and customs of their new country.
Behind the settlement house effort was the progressive belief in the importance of social cohesion, the belief that individuals are not autonomous but part of a web of social relationships and that welfare of any single person is dependent on the welfare of society as a whole. (Castle)
The old Baldwin homestead of coral rock and plaster was occupied by Dr DD Baldwin and family during his thirty-four years of missionary labors in Lahaina. In 1868 Dr. Baldwin was transferred to Honolulu and for some years the old home was deserted, or occupied for short periods only.
This second period of service at the old homestead began in 1900, when Miss Nancy Malone decided that Lahaina needed a kindergarten. She appealed to HP Baldwin; he approved her idea and offered to put up a building if others in the community would supply the furnishings and Pioneer Mill Co. would contribute to the current expenses.
The building was erected on the grounds of the Baldwin homestead, almost on the very site of that early Seaman’s Chapel, where Dr Sereno Bishop held services for so many years and where little Henry P Baldwin, at the early age of seven, began to lead the singing and to play hymns on the melodeon at morning and evening prayer.
When the kindergarten building was ready for use, Mrs HP Baldwin decided to start settlement work also. Accordingly, in 1901, she engaged both a kindergarten teacher and a settlement worker.
Since that beginning, workers have come and workers have gone but the work has never halted. The Pioneer Mill Co have faithfully kept their agreement to assist in current expenses
Mr DT Fleming of Baldwin Packers, has been a friend of the Settlement and has generously assisted when repairs or improvements were needed. Whatever Baldwin House has accomplished has been due to her wise and motherly guidance.
The present activities may be grouped in six departments, three of which are distinctly educational (the Kindergarten, the Library and the Evening School) and three of a more or less social nature.
Lahaina has no public hall suitable for small gatherings, and so when school hours are over, the bright, airy kindergarten room is metamorphosed into a free community hall. Here the Girl Scouts have drills; here various committees transact their business; and here are held all kinds of evening entertainments.
Lahaina has no boarding place comfortable for single women. Accordingly, Baldwin House has, in late years, offered its extra rooms to young business women, who join the family and carry on co-operative housekeeping. This is proving a pleasant arrangement for all concerned and is an added form of community service.
Perhaps the most popular feature of the Settlement is the playground, with its beautiful old shade trees, its fresh green grass, its rings, swings, see-saws, horizontal bar and sand box; its gay hibiscus flowers and its bubbling drinking fountains.
“Here, where once sweet Mother Baldwin dispensed open-hearted hospitality and gathered her Hawaiian friends about her for songs and for instruction in heavenly graces, the people of the neighborhood now come and go from dawn to dark, day after day …”
“… as freely as if they owned the place, and the Girl Scout leader assembles her troop for songs and for instruction in modern efficiency.” (Gossin, The Friend, December 1, 1922)
“One of the summer festivities was a garden party for which the Settlement children made really beautiful butterflies. On these were printed the words : ‘Keep Lahaina Clean.’ At the back of the butterflies the children pasted small burrs, which stuck when the butterflies were thrown at people.”
“One afternoon a week the sewing girls have been taught cooking. Simple food which they could make in their own homes, boiled rice, potatoes, cocoa, coffee, baked custard, gingerbread, muffins, pan-cakes, etc. Much emphasis has been laid on the preserving of Hawaiian fruits, papaia marmalade, guava marmalade and jelly, mango pickles and mango sauce, all with a view to the fact that sometime this could be made an industry for Lahaina girls.”
“The kindergarten is composed of several nationalities— Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, German, and Spanish. We find the homes of the children much cleaner and more sanitary this year than ever before, as each year the people are becoming more and more educated along hygienic lines, which is indeed encouraging. We are planning work for the coming year, which we hope will be helpful in all ways in teaching the children to care for themselves and others.” (HEA Annual Report, 1912)
“How appropriate that these activities are being conducted under the auspices of the descendants of the very missionaries whose beautiful lives consecrated this home to unselfish service.”
“How satisfactory it is that all departments of the work are crowded to capacity and that the Settlement, though small in scope and modest in endeavor, seems to have made a place for itself in the lives and hearts of the community it aims to serve.” (Gossin, The Friend, December 1, 1922)
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