Queen at Washington Place

Learn about the Queen’s life and history at Washington Place

Queen Liliʻuokalani visited Washington Place in 1860 during her courtship with her future husband John Owen Dominis. Washington Place became the home at which Liliʻuokalani and her husband started their life together in marriage on September 16, 1862. Upon the death of King Kalākaua in January 1891, Queen Liliʻuokalani became the sovereign ruler of the Hawaiian Kingdom in January 29, 1891.

When Mary Dominis died in 1889, the Washington Place property was passed on to John Owen Dominis. The Queen ascended to the throne in 1891 and her official residence ʻIolani Palace. John Owen Dominis was in failing health and chose to remain at Washington Place due to the numerous stairs at ʻIolani Palace. In August of 1891, Washington Place was passed on to the Queen upon the death of John Owen Dominis. During her reign, Queen Liliʻuokalani was determined to restore political power to her people and the Monarchy. This caused great opposition and resulted in the overthrow of the Monarchy on January 17, 1893.[1]

Two years later on January 16, 1895 the Queen was arrested for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the government of the Republic of Hawaiʻi and was imprisoned at ʻIolani Palace. She remained imprisoned until September 6 of that year and returned to Washington Place. Upon her return, the Queen writes:

“The flowers, the shrubs, the trees, had never to me looked so charming. How I enjoyed their welcome. Surely they could not have been so beautiful when I saw them daily in previous years. The orchids, the violets, the chrysanthemums, the geraniums were still in bloom and seemed to meet me with great joy, expressive as silent.” [2]

After the Queen returned to the home in 1895, she lived there until her passing in 1917.