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“Incredible b&w Photos Display”
Review of Father Damien Museum - CLOSED

Father Damien Museum
Attraction details
Eastpointe, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Incredible b&w Photos Display”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Went twice, first time saw the photos of the people and buildings of Kalaupapa peninsula on Molokai, and second time to refresh memories,after having taken the air charter to the island peninsula. Staff there gave me brochures on two charter tours there. Had always thought about going there, but never envisioned myself taking mule ride from 1700ft cliffs above, to get to the settlement, now part of National Historical Park. Quite a revelation to learn of the 8000 sent there to die of leprosy, and see pictures of many children separated forever from parents.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank Quasimodo47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

22 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Canberra, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
225 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“A little treasure”
Reviewed December 29, 2012

This is probably not something on everyone's tourist agenda but this is a really well set out little museum on the history of two of Hawaii's more famous people and two of the US's newest Catholic Saints. Its quite tucked away, over the top of an ABC store, out the front of St Augustine's Church but is well laid out and tell's the fascinating history of Fr Damien and Mother Marianne and the amazing work they did with sufferers of Hansen's disease (leprosy) on the island of Molokai. Opening hours are a bit all over the place and I suspect its staffed by volunteers but well worth the effort to seek and find out if its something you are interested in and to learn more about this unique little part of Hawaii's history. The little gift shop has a very good range of Catholic products for those who are interested also.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Bad_Seed4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
403 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
“See this before going to Molokai”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We knew a visit to Molokai and the colony where Father Damien ministered was to be a part of our Hawaiian trip. But we are so glad we visited this small museum first. It is in front of St. Augustine By The Sea Church. It is on the second floor, above a convenience store. But the exhibits are excellently done. Museums in big mainland US cities are not better than the presentations here.
The displays give context to the leper colony on Molokai and on the work of Father Damien and Mother Marianne. We had read the stories before, but this museum was excellent in giving a face to the tragic events on Molokai. The exiles and families who suffered through these events have a face and a voice in these exhibits. The presentation is balanced. You can understand what the government and medical people were attempting while gsaining an understanding of the human cost of these decisions.
The hour we spent here was the best preparation for our later visit to Molokai. This museum is a "must see" for anyone interested in Father Damien and Mother Marianne.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Paul_from_VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
342 reviews
169 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 350 helpful votes
“Damien & Marianne Heritage Center: Hawaiian History in Waikiki”
Reviewed July 23, 2012

The negligible signage states that this is the "Damien & Marianne Heritage Center." There is nothing about the signage on the doorway, nor the sidewalk A-frame sandwich board to attract even the mildly curious to come in (for photos, see the first review of this attraction). Like many others, I often walked past with barely a glance at the sandwich board, stationed between the ABC store and the front fence of St.Augustine-by-the-Sea Catholic Church. I wonder how many people thought that this center was about a local Hawaiian married couple because of the signage.

After 17 days in Waikiki, I decided to stop in. There is no admission fee. I was warmly greeted by the curator, who explained to me that any proceeds they make from any sale goes towards building a museum for Father Damien and Mother Marianne. She then left me alone to browse and read through the exhibits.

Photography of the copyrighted photos in the heritage center is prohibited. The exhibit is very informative. Not only does it tell the story of how lepers were treated poorly (exiled to the island of Molokai and separated from families) but also how the treatment of those afflicted by leprosy was counter to Hawaiian culture that valued families staying together. It was heartbreaking to read letters from family members appealing to the Health Dept. to let them stay on the island with their loved ones as caregivers. Father Damien was a Belgian priest who decided to stay permanently in Molokai (priests were supposed to rotate out every few years) to serve the people who lived there. Mother Marianne Cope was an American nun (from New York) who volunteered to start a society to help those afflicted by leprosy. Damien was recently canonized by the Catholic Church and now a Saint. Marianne was designated as Blessed Marianne. I also learned how the Kalaupapa National Historic Park was established to prevent foreign investors from buying this historical area.

The heritage center sells artwork by local artists, as well as religious items. I bought a crucifix made of balsa wood and adorned with seashells. It was crafted by a local Hawaiian artist and beautifully unique. I felt good that my money went towards supporting the building of a museum for Fr. Damien and Mother Marianne. I felt enriched after spending an hour at the heritage center. I'm glad I did not walk past this place this time.

Don't miss out on this piece of Hawaiian history in the middle of busy Waikiki!

Visited July 2012
9 Thank CCC_wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensacola Beach, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellant source of information and inspiration.”
Reviewed February 26, 2012

We went to the Father Damien Museum to learn more about this Saint of the Catholic church, and we were very impressed. This is a true jewel hidden upstairs next door to the St. Augustine by the Sea church. As we visited this museum and viewed the exhibits we not only learned about this holy man and his mission, but we also were inspired by what Father Damien and the others in that community were able to do. All for the glory of God. Visit the gift shop for books and more information.

Visited February 2012
4 Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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