The Rev. Elias Bond, Jr. and his wife Ellen arrived in Kohala in 1841 as members of the Ninth Company of the Sandwich Islands Mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). They became known to the people of Kohala as “Father and Mother Bond,” and created institutions whose influences are still felt today.
Best known for establishing the Kohala sugar plantation in 1860, before the Islands’ big sugar boom began, “Father Bond” is also credited with building 28 churches and 34 schools in his district. When the ABCFM disbanded the Hawai`i mission in the early 1850s and many missionaries returned to America, like the Lymans in Hilo the Bonds in Kohala remained to continue the work they had begun, and both are buried there.
Accounts written by Elias Bond have become important historical resources in modern Hawai`i for those who seek to understand what life was like in the Islands during a time of tremendous change.
“Mother Bond” was known for her love of plants. She and her husband took in ship captains who were passing through the islands and offered them safe, temporary lodging, and many of them would bring “Mother Bond” exotic offerings to add to her garden.
Local historian Boyd Bond is a fifth-generation descendant of Elias and Ellen Bond, and he brings their story to life as only he can do.