GULICK ROWELL HALE PUNA since 1829

 

In 1828, the Reverend Peter Gulick and his wife Fanny arrived to Waimea, Kauai from Boston, Massachusetts to work at the missionary station there. As the native Hawaiian houses were built mostly of grass, the Gulicks immediately set forth to build a traditional new England style house that they were used to with solid walls and windows. Hawaiians were paid in goats, bibles and window glass to cut coral bricks two feet thick from offshore reefs and float them ashore for the foundation and walls. Deborah Kapule lent her oxen to drag them from the shore to the site of the house. The Gulicks lived in the house until 1835 when they were transferred to the missionary station in Koloa, Kauai.

The house remained empty until 1846, when the Reverend George Rowell and his wife Malvina were transferred to Waimea, where they moved into the former Gulick home. The years that the house had been unused had taken their toll. There were no doors or windows, and the structure was generally in a state of disrepair. The Rowells rebuilt the house expanding it as their family grew.  George Rowell was an accomplished carpenter, and built two churches in Waimea during his term there. The Rowells remained at Waimea in the home until 1884. After that the home was occupied by various townspeople including the postmaster (there are remnants of post boxes in the main room), the sheriff, who reportedly used the basement as a jail and various schoolteachers and church members. 

In 1927, the house underwent its only extensive renovation when it received electricity and plumbing and the original cooking stove was bricked in and plastered over. From 1928-2004, the house was continuously occupied by the Wramp family. 

The house now vacant for 12 years, has been seriously neglected and is in desperate need of emergency stabilization and restoration. In 2017 the house was purchased by Jim Ballantine, a 4th generation West Kauai resident who has set up a non profit organization to work in partnership with established community groups and local non-profits such as the Kauai Historical Society and Malama Kauai to insure the survival of Hale Puna and prepare it for its third century as a valuable asset for the community of West Kauai.