A visit to Jean P. Haydon Museum in American Samoa

Dec 11, 2019Lifestyle

A little throwback photo journal from October 14, 2019, which was Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Ian and I both didn’t have work because thankfully, it’s still a federal holiday (I need all the holidays I can get!), and since there was a cruise ship in town, we decided to play tourist and finally visit our island’s only museum, the Jean P. Haydon Museum.

About the Jean P. Haydon Museum

Located in Fagatogo, across from the US Post Office, the museum was opened in 1971 and named after the wife of the governor at the time, John Morse Haydon. His wife’s name was Jean P. Haydon. It was dedicated by the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead, who had written the book “Coming of Age in Samoa” whilst living in Ta’u, Manu’a.

The building is recently renovated, which has some controversy behind it, because the old building (listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1972) was fully demolished last year for a whole new rebuild. And as a historic building, that didn’t play out too well with some people. Anyway… while the renovation has since been completed, the museum is still not officially opened to the public, according to a museum board member who we had talked to a few days later. At the time of writing, the museum is only open when there are visiting cruise ships in port, which is about once a month depending on the month. The museum has free entry, and accepts donations.  

Inside the museum, you’ll find old traditional artifacts on display that include va’a (canoes), tatau (tattoo), NASA mementos dating back to the Apollo missions, and natural resource items like coral and turtle shells. One of my favorite things to look at is a moon rock, which was gifted to the territory during the Apollo lunar missions, as well as the American Samoa flag that was taken to the moon by Apollo 11 in 1969, and gifted back to the territory by President Richard Nixon. I didn’t see either the moon rock or the moon flag when we went to visit the museum, but it makes sense that they don’t have it out just yet since it’s still a work in progress.


After the museum, Ian and I walked over to the cruise ship vendor stalls and I bought some handmade Christmas ornaments for my sister, then we went to the National Park office to finally get our NPS passport stamped after all these years, and sat at the park across the street to hang out for a bit. It was a full on tourist-y staycation day for us, but I loved every bit of it.


Leave a Reply

Lifestyle Sustainable Living

Surrounded by Gorgeous Views… and Trash

This is a public service announcement to please pick up your trash! Or better yet... reduce your plastic consumption so...

Afternoon Moon


Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!

Photo Diaries

Quarantine Diaries Day 66-70

Quarantine diaries and camera roll highlights from Days 66 to 70. Lots of cleaning, paddling, and sunrise yoga sessions with...

Dawn One Day

A photo diary of one dawn morning when the sky's colors said more than I could
Lifestyle Photo Diaries

Fogama’a iPhone Pics

More iPhone pics from yesterday's hike to Fogama'a with friends spent wading in the calm shallows, laughing and debating about...

Friday Feelings: SUP and a Confession

Friday feelings are a thing. Solo SUP after work to ponder over the water, and other thoughts that make me...

Sunny productive and lazy weekends

Installed a new exterior door. Painted our interior doors. Bought coconuts from a road stall. Went SUPing. Snorkeled around the...
Journal Lifestyle

This is 30.

On March 18, 1992, an angel descended upon Earth in the form of a little girl, and her name was...

Pacific Roots Open Mic

Post open mic night pics with friends. January 2020 photos from Alafaga.
Culture Lifestyle Photo Diaries

2021 Farm Fair at Fagatogo Market

March 26, 2021 - Snaps around the Fagatogo Market during the Farm Fair Gabs got us each a fresh cold...
Lifestyle Photo Diaries Travel

Photo Journal: Couples Camping Trip

Found this in my drafts folder... a photo journal of camping with my husband and our friends, Traci and Ano,...
Moments Photo Diaries

sunset, happy hour, dominoes

The sun finally peeking through all the gray from this week. Sunset, happy hour, and dominoes on the balcony with...
Lifestyle Sustainable Living

My Plastic Free July Goals and Expectations

A new month is here, and with it comes my favorite sustainability challenge — Plastic Free July. Setting realistic goals...

a little rainbow for my belly

Mood Board

You are the greatest project you will ever work on

I put this lil mood board together when I was in a funk about a month ago. I clearly haven't...

Coconuts and Jenga – Ofu Evenings

My days in Ofu are usually spent on the beach, biking through To'aga, or hiking Mt. Tumu. But the evenings...

"There has never been a sadness that can't be cured by breakfast foods." - Ron Swanson

My first real Christmas tree DIY

Christmas is a special time for loved ones and making memories. This year, I got my first real Christmas tree...
Photo Diaries

Code Blue activities

American Samoa is still under Code Blue, which means we have 0 confirmed cases of coronavirus. It also means that...