The structure was originally built in 1838 a few years after Reverend David Belden Lyman and his wife, Sarah Joiner Lyman arrived in Hilo in 1832. The couple are missionaries from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
The Lyman House was one of the first houses on the island to be built in the New England style. Some of the popular guests of the Lyman House included Mark Twain and Isabella Bird.
The Lyman House Memorial Museum was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 24, 1978 as site 78001012.
Almost a century after the missionaries, descendants of the Lymans founded the museum in honor of the missionary couple in 1931. In the late 1960s a building adjacent to the mission house, designed by noted architect Vladimir Ossipoff, to house the exhibits. It has extensive displays on Hawaiian culture and is renowned for its collection of shells and minerals, including a specimen of orlymanite, named for Orlando Hammond Lyman (1903–1986), the museum's founder and great grandson of David and Sarah Lyman. The Lyman House Memorial Museum has been an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2002.
Address: 276 Haili Street, Hilo, HI 96720-2927
Phone: 1 (808) 935-5021
Fax: 1 (808) 969-7685