Schedule for 2017: Open noon to 4 p.m.
January, February & March: Closed for the Season
April: Open Saturdays & Sundays only
May - October: Open Friday through Monday
November & December: Saturdays & Sundays only
The Honolulu House Museum stands in the heart of Marshall's National Historic Landmark District and is listed on the Historic American Buildings Survey. The house was built in 1860 by the first U.S. consul to the Sandwich Islands. For the next century it served as the residence of four Marshall families, until the Marshall Historical Society was formed in 1961 to purchase it and turn it into a musem. Constructed of Marshall sandstone, the Museum is a wonderful blend of Italianate, Gothic Revival, and Polynesian architecture. The Honolulu House is the headquarters of the Marshall Historical Society.
The house is truly a unique structure, not only in the Midwest, but in the entire United States. An elaborate nine-bay porch spans the front, with its wide center bay serving as the base of its pagoda-topped tower. Its tropical features include a raised veranda and the observation platform. The Gothic Revival influences are evidenced in the pointed (four-centered) arch of the door, the veranda trim, and the vertical board and batten sheathing. Two large parlors flank the central hall, each containing two elaborate fireplaces. Beyond the family parlor to the south is a study and morning room; while in the north is the formal parlor and dining room. There is a dining room, kitchen, and servants' quarters located in the lower level of the Honolulu House, which is only two feet below ground. The upper level has a central hall with a spirl stairway leading to the observation tower.
Extensive, ongoing restoration work recreating the look of the house in the 1880s is funded by revenue from the Historical Society's annual Home Tour, memberships, donations, and grants, including National Scenic Byways grants in 2004 and 2010. The list of recent work includes foundation work, sandstone wall repairs, ADA compliance, a new bathroom, wall paintings, carpet reproductions, porch and stairs restoration, and mechanical equipment. In 1985, exterior paint scrapoings were taken and researced to determine the original colors of the Honolulu House. The exterior colors were restored to the 1885 color combination of ivory, lattice green, dark green, spring green and Jamestown red. When the Honolulu House foundation underwent renovation in 1995, a geologist located an original vein of Marshall sandstone and it was this stone that was used in the original foundation as well as the renovation.