Friday, April 22, 2011

Waimea's First Lady of Ranching

Anna, Queen of the Pa‘u Riders
The Big Island's ranching heritage comes alive at Anna Ranch in Waimea, where the historic home of Anna Lindsey Perry-Fiske (1900-1995) is open to the public for tours. The vintage ranch house with blue-and-white awnings reveals the fascinating life of Waimea's First Lady of Ranching, who was an accomplished equestrian, successful jockey, hard-working rancher, high-society philanthropist and controversial character in Waimea.

The family property dates from 1840s; Anna's ancestors were pioneers of the Waimea community. Born in 1900, Anna learned to ride at an early age. She lived with her parents, William and Mary Lindsey, at the house they completed in 1910. When her father died in 1939, Anna was tasked with taking over the property, which was near bankruptcy at the time of her father's death. Through sheer willpower and hard work, Anna was finally able to pay off the loan she took out, successfully preventing Parker Ranch from taking ownership of the ranch. She went on to achieve much in her career, including introducing new breeds of cattle to Hawaii.

While her horsemanship skills were never in doubt, Anna had another side to her. Always carrying herself with a regal air, she mingled with the likes of Queen Liliuokalani, Amelia Earhart and Laurence Rockefeller. After a hard day on the ranch, she'd dress up in fancy gowns, expensive hats and designer furs. Her house was filled with expensive treasures that are still on display today — everything from Tiffany clocks and rare music boxes to an enormous dining room table made from a single piece of koa.

Visitors to Anna Ranch Heritage Center can step back into time and experience the bygone days of Waimea while learning about Anna's many accomplishments, including having been one of the largest fundraisers for the American Heart Association and Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

Guests of the Holualoa Inn can easily drive to Waimea for a day-trip to the heart of ranching country. When you book your stay at our Hawaiian B&B, be sure to include a trip to Anna Ranch as part of your itinerary.

A hui hou!
Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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