Restored home showcases island history

The newly restored Agawa Home will open to the public, with an open house reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited to stop in for viewing and reminiscing at the 94-year old house at 255 Prison St. in Lahaina. The property is situated next to Honoapiilani Highway.

Plantation-era furnishings will be placed in the living room and kitchen, an old radio show will be playing, and food will be served. Parking will be available on the lawn in the Old Prison yard (Hale Pa’ahao), 187 Prison St.

The Lahaiana Restoration Foundation has been renovating the home and has installed new landscaping. The property was turned over to the organization by surviving members of the Agawa family – Ernest Kosaka, Jane Agawa and Sue Arakawa – after they learned that no one wanted to live there. Under the terms of the long-term lease, LRF paid for the renovations and will then rent the home to a family to recover the costs. After that, the site will turn into an education center and plantation life museum.

Sue Arakawa, who lived on the property in the 1970s, said, “I’m so happy to see it this nice again. It’s how my uncle and grandfather kept it. The family is really happy about turning it into a museum.”

The home was built in 1920. Sue’s grandfather, Tasuke Agawa, purchased it in 1945, and it has been in the family since. The architectural style is typical of Lahaina’s plantation era.

“These old houses deserve restoration,” said LRF Executive Director Theo Morrison. “It’s important to keep the integrity of Lahaina’s neighborhoods intact just as much as it is for commercial buildings in the historic districts.”

For more information on the Agawa Home and open house reception, call the LRF office at 661-3262 or email