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19th-Century Kitchen Site Uncovered in Maui

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

LAHAINA, MAUI—Excavation at the oldest standing home on the Hawaiian island of Maui has uncovered the possible remains of its nineteenth-century kitchen, according to a Maui News report. Now known as the Baldwin Home Museum, the house was built in 1834 out of sand, coral, and lava rock over a timber frame by a physician named the Rev. Dwight Baldwin, who lived there from 1836 to 1868, and is remembered for his work to control a smallpox outbreak in 1853 through the use of quarantine and vaccination. The kitchen was constructed out of adobe bricks on a stone foundation as an outbuilding. Director of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation Theo Morrison said that food prepared in the kitchen would have fed as many as 20 people per day, including the family’s six children, visitors, sea captains, missionaries, and travelers. The archaeologists have unearthed shells of the opihi, a type of edible limpet or aquatic snail; clam shells; animal bones; pieces of porcelain; and a bone button dated to the mid-nineteenth century, Morrison added. The researchers have also found evidence of a fire pit in the backyard that may have been used for cooking and washing. For more on archaeology in Hawaii, go to "Letter from Hawaii: Ballad of the Paniolo."

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