Orlando Hammond Lyman, long associated with the Lyman House Memorial Museum in Hilo, Hawaii, was born November 19, 1903 in Hawaii. He was the son of Levi and Nettie Hammond Lyman, and the great grandson of pioneering missionaries Sarah Joyner and David Lyman. He worked on the family sugar plantation in the 1920's and 1930's, and married Helen Irene Maxson in Hilo in 1933.
The museum was founded in 1931, in the old mission home built by David and Sarah Lyman in 1839. From the beginning the museum contained mineral specimens, collected in the early decades of the 1800's. A new three-story building was completed for the museum collection in 1974, situated nextdoor to the original mission house, which is now the oldest remaining wooden structure in Hawaii. Exhibits cover various aspects of Hawaiiana, ethnic artifacts, antique furniture, oriental art and ceramics, glassware, and glass paperweights, as well as much on Pacific seashells and Hawaiian natural history and vulcanology.
The museum's world-famous mineral and gem collection, which had been started by Orlando Lyman in 1918, was expanded over the years through the acquisition of numerous smaller collections, including those of Dr. H. L. Lyon of Honolulu; Wal Gan Timur of Annerly, Australia; McKee Caton of Texas, and Wendell Stewart of California. Many other specimens were acquired by donation from family friends, or by purchase from mineral dealers throughout the United States. The mineral exhibit covers nearly half of the 3600-square-foot top floor of the building. As of 1981 the collection numbered over 20,000 specimens, of which about 5,000 are on public display.
The mineral orlymanite was named in honor of Orlando Lyman in 1990, based on a specimen taken from his collection. He died in Hilo, Hawaii on December 11, 1986.
The museum's website is www.lymanmuseum.org.
WHITE, J.S. (1981) Lyman House Memorial Museum, Hilo, Hawaii. Mineralogical Record, 12, 89-91.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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