In Pago Pago
Jean P. Haydon Museum
First we’ll go to the museum. Leaving Sadie’s parking area, turn right onto the main road and drive maybe a mile. The museum will be on your right, across from a large two story building where the US Post Office and other things are. You might have to look for parking but there is plenty. Just be sure you don’t park where you might interfere with activities at the loading docks – you’ll see what I mean.
We’re now at the Jean P. Haydon Museum. The entrance is at the front and you are always welcome, although there might not be someone at the entrance to greet you.
The front portion of the building was originally the Commissary Store (Navy Bldg. No. 43) and was constructed in 1919. Workmen constructed its walls with locally-manufactured concrete blocks molded to imitate rough-cut stone. The rear portion was originally a garage (Navy Bldg. No. 24). By 1949 the Navy had converted this building into the Treasurer’s Office. After the Department of the Interior took over the Naval Station in 1951, the former commissary became the Pago Pago Post Office. In 1971, the new Post Office across the street was constructed, and then Governor Haydon decided to convert the commissary and the garage into a single structure to house a museum. Hydon’s wife, Jean P. Haydon, was instrumental in starting the new museum with a collection of local art and artifacts. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as part of the Tutuila Naval Station Historic District.
The Museum is home to many historical artifacts, books, collections and gifts presented to the Territory. They frequently host special exhibitions
One exhibit of special note on display is a small American Samoa flag and three moon stones gifted to the American Samoa Government by President Richard Nixon following the return of one of the Apollo moon missions. The flag was carried to the moon by one of the astronauts [probably] on the Apollo 11 moon mission. The Apollo 13 moon mission splashed down near here and the astronauts stopped here before flying on to Hawaii. That was a big day in American Samoa.
You can see an exhibition of some amazing Pacific art that was on display during the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts, in 2008, at this link. The entire website that I created for the festival is available here. You can learn more about the history of Pago Pago, at the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office (ASHPO) website. The ASHPO website includes a walking tour that includes some historic sites in the general vicinity of the museum.
The Museum is open Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 4.00pm and is located in Fagatogo opposite the US Post Office.