You are here

Printing House

-A A +A
1823, Daniel Chamberlain
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)
  • (Photograph by Kaoru Lovett)

The first printing press west of the Rockies, a secondhand Ramage Press, arrived in Hawaii with the initial company of missionaries, who put it into operation on January 7, 1822. After almost two years and few printed pages, in December 1823, this utilitarian, single-story, coral-block building was completed, giving the press a sound shelter. The coral was quarried from lands in the vicinity of the mission complex, and lumber for the doors, windows, and other woodwork was obtained from the hull, bowsprit, and two masts of the whaling ship Ruby, which had wrecked on the reef off Honolulu Harbor. Daniel Chamberlain, who had started the building in December 1822, departed Hawaii in March 1823, and Levi Chamberlain and Elisha Loomis completed it.

By 1835, a larger building, where the Mission Memorial Building (OA63) now stands, was constructed to better accommodate the mission's increased printing needs, and the small coral building was used as a dwelling space by the Cooke family. During that time, the print house's front lanai was extended to connect with the frame house.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Printing House", [Honolulu, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 116-117.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.