The Honorable Lydia Kamakaeha Paki married John Owen Dominis, whose family built Washington Place. She was one of Hawaii’s most gifted composers and she filled Washington Place with sweet music and aloha for more than half a century. The most famous of her compositions is “Aloha Oe”.
In 1877, Lydia was proclaimed heir to the throne by her brother King Kalakaua with the new name of Liliuokalani. She became Queen in 1891 only to be overthrown by non-native businessmen in 1893, arrested at Washington Place and imprisoned in Iolani Palace. Upon her release, she devoted the remainder of her life to futhering the cause of Hawaiian rights in both Hawaii and Washington D.C.
Not long before her death in 1917, Queen Liliuokalani nobly expressed support of the United States in World War I by ordering that the American flag be flown over Washington Place.
Following the death of the Queen, her nephew expressed the desire that the Territory of Hawaii acquire the home as an Executive Mansion for its Governor, preserving it for posterity as a memorial to Liliuokalani. Today, Washington Place remains a gracious gathering place where the memory of Queen Liliuokalani is still honored.