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The King Kamehameha Tiki House, Sedalia, MO (other)

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Name:The King Kamehameha Tiki House
Street:Y highway and Dresden Road

From the back of their vintage postcard:
The King Kamehameha Tiki House furnished in authentic Polynesian decor was built in 1964 by W.R. Parkhurst in a 60 acre privately owned park west of Sedalia, Mo. Used by civic groups and private parties, its beauty attracts many artists and photographers.

Verrry goot......aaaaand ??? :D ....Status Operational ??? :


This is a trip report to follow my Locating Tiki location information posted above. In this post I want to share with you the story of a newly discovered vintage tiki location. There will be many great photos in this thread. They were all taken by my good buddy Silverline and his wife Jennifer. Now the story.....

In another thread, ZuluMagoo from Denver, Co. posted a picture of a postcard from the King Kamehameha Tiki House in Sedalia Mo. (shown below).
As you look at the postcard keep in mind it is to be held vertically instead of the horizontal way most postcards are done. It has three seperate images laid out in this way: The top half is an exterior photo of the building itself. The bottom half is actually two photos side by side. Each of these feature interior views from the Tiki House.

The proximity of Sedalia to our homes in the Kansas City area being just about an hour apart made this a road trip opportunity that the three of us just couldn't pass up. In fact we couldn't even wait a week to check it out!
But before we set out to explore, we needed to gain some factual information that we could use to get us to the actual location. The postcard had no address so Mrs. Silverline researched it and found what we needed.
So arrangements were made for us to visit the Tiki House on Saturday Feb. 2nd 2008.

As our plans were coming together, ZuluMagoo added another image to the previous thread and it was an aerial or satellite image from 2007. This shot raised our hopes higher that the building was still there.

On 2008-01-28 22:16, ZuluMagoo wrote:
I found it. I did some searching of aerial photos of Sedlia using MSN (www.maps.live.com). Here is the 2007 aerial photo.

It is located about 5 miles west of town, west of the interestion of W.16th (County Road Y) and S. Limit Avenue at the northeast corner of the intersection of Camp Branch Road/Dresden Road and County Road Y. Good Hunting.


At 2:30 pm we arrived at the property which is now owned by the Grandson of the man who built this lovely place.
He led us to the area where the Tiki House is and all along the way we just kept saying WOW look at that, look over there, and did you see that? Finally we came into view
of the house itself. It is stunning. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

There are more photos to come. I will add them after I watch a little football game that's on today. Later, 8FT


Fantastic stuff guys!!! Nothing better than a fact finding trip into uncharted tiki territory. This looks to be a great find. Can't wait to see more pics. Keep up the good work and THANKS!


Great work guys! Looks like the trip was worth it. Can't wait to read about the rest of your discovery.


8ft tease! (It's only a football game, and not a good one) - Greg (wondering how many folks it takes to make renting this place do-able)

I spoke too soon...game got better.


[ Edited by: tikijackalope 2008-02-03 18:53 ]

Praise Tiki for out of the way places!
Praise Tiki for privately owned out of the way places!
Praise Tiki for privately owned out of the way places that have postcards made of themselves!
Praise Tiki for privately owned out of the way places that have postcards made of themselves, and the hunters and collectors that find them!
Praise Tiki for privately owned out of the way places that have postcards made of themselves, and the hunters and collectors that find them, and the intrepid explorers that feel compelled to seek these places out!
And, praise Tiki Central for bringing all these together!


Well that little football game is over and now back to more important things! I have some more photos and details for you! Yes, there is a lot to see and much to discuss so lets get back to the discovery trip.
First a few more views of the outside of the Big House.

This is a shot of the back side of the house. It has a small balcony overlooking the lake.

This is a close up of the King Kamehameha figure which is above the entrance doorway.

There are two of these concrete figures, one on each side of the entrance.

A close up of a warrior figure which is one of four on this wonderful plant hanger on the path to the house. These metal figures are all over the place!!! They are on roof tops, railings posts and so on.

This little building is the bathroom hut. It is located on the mainland and is visible in the aerial phot just South and West of the path.

This is a screened in picnic hut and has a sand beach and fire pit next to it. This building is South and East of the main building in the aerial picture.

Are we having fun yet???
Next up...Interior shots!

Yup! It feels like....HOME !




= ?

I remember a previous thread talking about there being concrete statues based on Strikow decanters. Is that one?

GROG posted on Sun, Feb 3, 2008 10:13 PM



Are you ready to go inside? Well just a minute, I need to tell you a bit more about this impressive Mid-Western hideaway. The building and gounds were all designed and built by Mr. William Parkhurst. I hope to learn much more about him later and will share it when I can. But for now I can tell you that he passed away in the early 1990's. He had traveled to Hawaii on several occassions and sent back lots of souvenirs and art. In fact he brought home so much stuff that his wife said you need to get this stuff out of the house and that's what he did! I'm told that he used a bulldozer to dig out this massive lake and create the island upon which the Tiki House is perched. The metal work and details are what really set this place apart. And it's a good thing he chose to do it that way because exposure to the elements of more than 4 decades have caused some things to be in need of a little TLC. Sure there's some rust, rot and peeling paint but the bones are so good that these things are merely superficial blemishes. The eye of a tikiphile can see the potential of new glory days and dream of what this amazing place looked like when it was completed in the mid 60's. If you look closely at the postcard photo you will notice that the roof was originally a shake shingle type and now it is a metal one. It was necessary for preservation reasons to make this change recently and makes good sense. The eave above the door where the King Kamehameha figure is located still has the shingle type roofing. After visiting this place in person I feel like we found a real diamond in the rough. For us, the tiki starved midwesterners, we now have our own place to brag about. And the best part is: it isn't just a memory of a place that used to be here and now is a Walgreens store. Nor is it only a souvenir mug, swizzle or menu. It is real, beautiful and a fascinating legacy of the man who dreamed it into being. Okay, I hear you saying "c'mon 8FT let's go on in!" Alright, here we go.

This is the view upon entering. They have one of those huge clam shells (a real one!) which sits on a stand made of those metal warrior figures Mr. Parkhurst created.

This view is looking back at the entrance. You will notice there is a thatched roof bar on each side of the entrance. An awesome lava stone waterfall that still is in working order is on the left. You can see that there are 2 lofts in the room. One in the North end and one in the East. Both have iron staircases leading up from either side of the headhunter carving.

The beautiful accents and decor are great but I want you to notice the floor in this photo. It is all brick and is in fantastic condition. It hasn't shifted and cracked like you might expect to have happened in more than 40 years in a building that is not heated in winter.

A great view of the ceiling and peak of the roof. I am looking up at the big hanging lamp in the center. It certainly is not tiki but was dismantled and in various boxes when Mr. Parkhurst found it at a sale. It had been in a local church for many years and was removed after a fire. The lamp is powered by natural gas! Many of the metal figures in the house and on the grounds are also set up with gas lines to be able to burn their own flames resembling tiki torches. Fantastic details!!!!

This is the view from the North loft.

I love this old rootball palm tiki.(except for the fluorescent paint)It has to be ten feet tall!

Here is the closeup of the headhunter carving. Although over the years his weapon has disappeared and his earrings are needing to be put back on, it is an amazing piece of artwork. I'm in awe of this very detailed piece.

Well, for now that is all of the photos we have for you. I think Silverline and I will discuss a few more detail pictures that were taken and post them in case they may help you understand the composition of the entire place a little better.

There is much more to share and we will update this from time to time. And I know we will be going back when the weather turns more Springlike. In fact we may be helping to do a little sprucing up and I'm sure we can drop a heapin' helpin' of TLC on the place too! So,until we bring you more from "the boonies" of Missouri, here is one final photo:

Aloha from Your Tiki Central Kansas City Urban,Suburban and now Rural archeology team: Mr. and Mrs. Silverline and 8FT Tiki

Congrats to such a successful expedition everybody! So great to see that such a place has remained intact.
Can't wait to hear more. Do they have events in there? Are there old photos of Hula-ing locals?

GROG posted on Sun, Feb 3, 2008 11:55 PM


Thanks for taking the trip, and the photos. Great find.


Great job! If I had a third thumb it would be up too.

harro posted on Mon, Feb 4, 2008 9:15 AM

awesome story and perfect photos and explanations to match!! well done silverlines and 8ft.

so is it ever used? What did the owners think of your investigation and what plans do they have for the place?

They should get a copy of Tiki Modern to see what a fine tradition their A-frame perpetuates. Maybe that way you can wow the owners into sharing some of the old photos and material with you. It usually worked with the BOT, the initial "what do these weirdos want?" attitude was replaced by smiling recognition and appreciative comprehension. .....I wonder if it was ever used for Shriners meetings!



What a gem! I hope we can have a tiki event there. That place looks like fun.


On 2008-02-04 09:15, harro wrote:
awesome story and perfect photos and explanations to match!! well done silverlines and 8ft.

so is it ever used? What did the owners think of your investigation and what plans do they have for the place?

Can we come over for a barbecue? Seriously, is it for rent? What Harro said more info please.

Amazing photo's, thank you all so very much for going exploring! Can't wait to see and hear more about this place.




Mid-West Expeditionary Tiki Tour

agreed excellent work! - I wonder too - is it used / rented summers only? What did the owners thin of this mission? - Got more pics please post. Nice job!

Otto posted on Tue, Feb 5, 2008 11:11 PM

that is a truly incredible find and good sluething work all around!

you guys gotta throw a Midwest event there now to support it

an annual event like I did at Palm springs tropics motel

Kenike posted on Wed, Feb 6, 2008 8:02 AM

This blows my mind. Amazing how something so truly remarkable can fly under the radar for so long. Gives me hope that there's more out there somewhere.

Thanks everybody! It was an increadible opportunity. Yes, the location is available for rent. The owner books a lot of weddings there these days, and I think a midwest Tiki weekend there soon is almost a promise. The owner had never heard of people like like us and was interested to learn more. To quote Bogie in Casablanca, "This could be the start of a beautiful friendship!"

Here are a few more pics . .

This is the little alcove under the east loft area.

These guys are located on either side of the entrance inside.

There are paintings and art throughout.

Here's 8-FT with an interesting carved/painted shield located up in the east loft.

A better shot of the huge clamshell supported by metal warriors.

A better shot of the lava rock waterfall.

Lots of little points of interest everywhere.

Outside, crouching tree . . hidden Tiki!

Me and 8-FT leaving the King Kamehameha Tiki House . . we WILL return!

Classic Silver Line Boats

[ Edited by: SilverLine 2017-01-04 17:45 ]

this is a great topic
i enjoyed the whole trip
its amazing how the the whole thing unfolded from a simple ebay posting..ive followed it since that first posting
kudos for all the hard work in uncovering a gem
i hope to see more on the place......theres got to be some photos out there from its glory days
perhaps we could send a TIKI TEAM ...door to door throughout the surrounding area to search photo albums

The subject of Tiki amateur photography from family photo albums is dear to my heart -You know they are out there, but how to find them, how to get to them?
Charles Phoenix has found a few good examples, but he had to sift through tens of thousands of slides in thrift stores. I once put a flyer up at the Anaheim Museum show looking for such photos, thinking in that area there would be lots....not ONE person reacted.
...but not to further detour from the subject at hand:

Great photos again guys. I see you are using a tripod, a must for getting crisp interior shots without flash.

I also see that they have the TAHITIAN LOVE MASK ! That thing is my favorite hokey Tiki item from the Paul Marshall catalog (which only had cheap and cheesy offerings to begin with :) ). Behold the awesome Polynesian Pop poetry of its description:

THE Tahitian idol? Aaah, that one.... This thing looks more like King Agamemnon's golden death mask than anything even remotely associated with Polynesian art :D !

Funny thing is that this mask decorated Perry Mason's office in the early B&W "Ironside" TV episodes, it hung behind his desk. Now considering that Raymond Burr not only owned his own South Seas island, but was such good friends with Eli Hedley's daughters that he was planning to produce a bio pic on the "Original Beachcomber" himself, shouldn't he have known better? :)

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-02-06 10:04 ]

But I am getting off the subject here again....

On 2008-02-03 22:36, 8FT Tiki wrote:
....The building and grounds were all designed and built by Mr. William Parkhurst.....He had traveled to Hawaii on several occasions and sent back lots of souvenirs and art...

When I hear relatives telling that "Hawaii" story, I am often hesitant to accept that as the whole truth. For people who have no idea of American Tiki culture, the original sources of objects are often forgotten over time, and ...where else would this stuff come from, right?
That's why I have encountered things like Witco fountains that the 2nd or 3rd generation owners in all earnest claimed to be from Hawaii.

In this case though, I am entirely convinced that the above genealogy of the inspiration that led to this Tiki temple is truthful. The absence of any restaurant industry lamps and decor, and the use of King Kamehameha as the principal logo suggest that Mr. Parkhurst indeed was gleaning his ideas straight from Hawaii.

One curious fact that supports that is that Kamehameha almost NEVER was used as an icon of Tiki culture on the mainland, while he was often rendered in HAWAIIAN Polynesian Pop:

And looking at the A-frame, it reminds me most of Don The Beachcomber's at the International Marketplace:

(even if the 4-pointed star lay out is considerably different)

And there is one more precedent that happened in Waikiki: Henry Kaiser dredging out a lagoon for his Hawaiian Village Hotel.
And so it appears that (since it was never a restaurant to begin with) we have a completely independently created Tiki temple here.


Thank you Silver Line and the rest of you Tiki Central Kansas City Urban,Suburban, Rural archeology team,
as Gomer Pile used to say,"Thank You,Thank You, Thank You!
Great photography of a great place. Looking forward to seeing pictures from future TC events there.

On 2008-02-06 08:10, SilverLine wrote:
..... I think a midwest Tiki weekend there soon is almost a promise.

OMG..OMG...OMG....OMG! My head was about to burst when I began reading this post! This is fantastic! Just when I thought there were no tiki themed places left in the show-me state. You've all done a great service to us all by documenting this place. This place is about an hour away from us here in Columbia.

Please consider my wahine "Kekona" and I "Mr.LDT" at your service for planning any event you wish! This is great!

A very happy Mr.LDT
Columbia, MO


Good to hear from you guys in the Midway city. It is exciting stuff to have a dream come true isn't it? We had a great visit and will be getting much more information to share. An event of some sort will come together in warmer weather. I'm sure we will work it out somehow. Just be patient and understand that we are building a relationship of trust with the owners and want to be sure we are prepared to do it right when we make solid plans and set a date for a tiki gathering. I tell you I just can't wait to get the Exotica music playing in that house and enjoy a cool drink in the shade as the Martin Denny filters out into the garden and across the lake.
:drink: :D

Cheers! 8FT

Unbelievable. What a story. Can't wait to hear more about it and see more photos. The condition of the place looks excellent from the photos. The interior is clean, and no real troubling signs of deferred maintenance. Even the paint looks good (though too bad about the fluorescent rootball tiki). The fact that it sits out in the water connected by a bridge is also very cool. The picture from the loft area gives you a great sense of how big this beast is too.

It's hard to imagine it has survived as a hall for weddings, or receptions all these years and not as a full time establishment. On the other hand maybe that's exactly why it has survived in near mint condition. What's also amazing is in the time it took you guys to investigate this place, talk to the owner and get a tour, then post your report with photos here-that those damn poles haven't sold yet.

8 ft.

I spoke with a co-worker today that I knew grew up in Sedalia. When I mentioned the place at first he didn't recognize the name. As I described it being on an island in a lake, he said "oh yes...I didn't know they called it that" he had actually been there for a party during his high school days. The party was thrown by Mr. Parkhurst's daughter in the late 70's or early 80's.



On 2008-02-07 13:37, alohacurrent wrote:
What's also amazing is in the time it took you guys to investigate this place, talk to the owner and get a tour, then post your report with photos here-that those damn poles haven't sold yet.

Man that made me laugh really hard!!!!! :lol:

On 2008-02-07 13:44, Lucy Diamond wrote:
he had actually been there for a party during his high school days. The party was thrown by Mr. Parkhurst's daughter in the late 70's or early 80's.


SO, does he have any photos??

Sorry, no photos...when I asked what he remembered about the place his response was "I remember getting very drunk".

hewey posted on Fri, Feb 8, 2008 2:23 AM

What an awesome find! :D Thanks for doing the leg work, and bringing us back such an awesome trip report.

I can't believe I happened upon your forum. We live about 2 miles from the Parkhurst Tiki House. Actually, our wedding reception was there 20 years ago this June, and we've been to many gatherings there. It is easy to find...about 6 miles West of Sedalia on Y Highway (which is 16th street) past the state fairgrounds and State Fair Community College. The current owner is Rob Parkhurst. If you enjoy Tiki's, you'll love the Parkhurst's Tiki House. I recommend a party that lasts into the night, as it is beautiful on the lake. There are several very good and reasonable caterers in the Sedalia area, including Rob's BBQ.

As you approach the site, you'll notice two large homes on the South, both built by Parkhurst for his children. One was to resemble a challet and the other, a castle. Neither home remains in the Parkhurst family, but the "castle" is fabulous. Again, Mr. Parkhurst traveled extensively and decorated the home from abroad. It comes with secret passageways and uniquely and authentically decorated rooms throughout. At one time, it was bed and breakfast and was a fun site for a party.

We hope you enjoy one of Sedalia's landmark icons!

[ Edited by: just surfing 2008-02-20 00:14 ]


Thanks for "surfing in" to Tiki Central and leaving your message. By any chance do you have any photos from your reception which show the decor from 20 years ago? It would be nice to have them here for others to enjoy. We are going to try to schedule a small event there this summer if all goes well and we want to return in Spring and talk to Rob about having a work day /weekend to spruce it up. That kind of "work" would be fun. Got lots of ideas to toss around with him too. Thanks again for witing in.

8FT Tiki

Sure. I'll pull out our photos, scan some and post them in a day or so. Happy to do so. :)


On 2008-02-20 20:13, just surfing wrote:
Sure. I'll pull out our photos, scan some and post them in a day or so. Happy to do so. :)

No this IS what Tiki Central is all about!!! What a great thing we have here and kind of exciting to see the transformation from a place not too many people knew about to having a full description with photos and now an original visitor with old photos willing to share!! AWESOME!!

I'm glad to see we may have more info coming about this little jewel! Can't wait to see your pics....



I salute my fellow flatlanders 8ft and the Silverlines! Thanks for the awesome photos! I've been to Sedalia many times and had no bloody idea what amazing mysteries were there. Count me in for the midwest gathering!

Very cool!


When I sat down to catch up on old Tiki Central posts I never dreamed there would be anything like this! Great work 8ft. & Silverlines! Talk about hidden treasures - this is magical.

I have been wondering how your efforts to obtain any vintage photos and ephemera from the owners have been going, guys. Any success?

I was wondering if any new material has surfaced on this fine find. I think of the Sedalia Tiki House often!

I am thinking less often of this fine discovery nowadays, but I still do, so here's a bump to show I am still curious to see if our intrepid TC explorers unearthed further materials.

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