Lyman presentation focuses on Sarah Joiner’s life before she came to Hawaii

  • Courtesy image

    Wood engraving of Royalton Academy by Alexander Anderson (1775-1870).

  • LEFT: First Congregational Church and the Pinnacle, a favorite climbing spot of the children of Royalton, Vt.


  • ABOVE: Royalton Academy in Royalton, Vt.

    Courtesy image

In November 1831, a 25-year-old Sarah Joiner, a farmer’s daughter and teacher, married David Belden Lyman, who was 28 years old and a newly minted missionary, in the small rural town of Royalton, Vt.

They traveled by stagecoach to Boston, where they embarked on the whaling ship Averick for the Sandwich Islands — and the rest is history, as documented in Sarah’s journal and the many letters she and David wrote to the friends and family they left behind.


But who was Sarah Joiner for the first 25 years of her life?

What prepared her for the challenges of being missionary, wife, mother and teacher in another country and another culture, thousands of miles from the home to which she would never return?

At the Lyman Museum — and for the very first time — researcher/writer Bonnie Tocher Clause reveals what life was like for Joiner and other young girls in Royalton in the early 19th century.

The museum invites the public to share in this never-before-seen perspective on the young Joiner on either of two occasions, at 7 p.m. Monday (Feb 19) or a matinee at 3 p.m. Tuesday (Feb 20). The program is part of Lyman Museum’s Saigo Public Program lecture series. Admission is free to museum members, $3 for nonmembers.


The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum is located at 276 Haili St. in Hilo and showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawaii.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org for additional information.