The Anna Ranch Heritage Center, a National Historic Site, was in the same ranching family for five generations. It is still a working ranch today, and shares the story of a remarkable woman in ranching, Anna Lindsey Perry-Fiske, who was known as
“The First Lady of Ranching” in Hawai‘i.
Anna Ranch is located in the uplands of Hawai‘i Island in the town of Waimea. The 110 acre ranch sits among Waimea’s green rolling hills at an elevation much cooler than the rest of the Island. The property called Keanu‘i‘omanō, where the ranch house sits today was origianlly aqcuired in 1848 by Anna’s great-great grandparents James and Ka‘ipukai Fay. In that same year Fay also claimed the property of Wai‘auia, which sits above the ranch house toward the Kohala Mountains. The forests on Kohala Mountain were also known to be the former training grounds for King Kamehameha’s Kipu‘u pu‘u Warriors. This is where Fay started his original sawmill below the hills of Waimea harvesting Hawaiian wood from the mountains, later moving his sawmill to Hanai‘poe on Mana Road near the base of Mauna Kea Mountain.
First Lady of Ranching
Born at the turn of the 20th century in the year 1900 Anna was raised in the Island ranching lifestyle, learning to ride, rope, mend fences, and tend cattle at a young age while also mastering the decorum and etiquette necessary to young ladies of her day. Upon the death of her father, William M.S. Lindsey, in 1939 Anna took over the family ranch, then known as Lindsey Ranch, implementing innovative ranching practices and introducing new breeds of cattle, Brahma and Charolais, to Hawai’i, garnering her title as “The First Lady of Ranching”.
Anna lived a long exciting life living to the age of 95, full of adventures and achievements rarely matched by her contemporaries. One of Hawai’i’s finest pā‘ū riders, an award winning jockey and one who could throw amazing social events to raise funds for the community, a rare woman in any era but especially so in her lifetime!
It had been Anna’s dream to develop a heritage center on her ranch property to celebrate the history of ranching in Hawai’i and the widely acknowledged legacy of her remarkable family. Toward the end of her life, Anna set aside her land and ranch house as a gift to the community, so that the history of ranching in Hawai’i would be shared, insuring that Hawai‘i’s ranching history would never be lost and the younger generations would always know how it all started.
In recognition of its importance, Anna Ranch was placed on the Hawai’i State Register of Historic Places in 2005, and on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The ranch house, built around 1910 by Anna’s parents William and Mary Lindsey, and the out-buildings have been restored to a period reflecting both Anna’s and her parents’ time in residence. You are encouraged to tour the historic home or enjoy a stroll through the magnificent grounds and gardens. The ranch is open to the public and invites visitors, tour groups, senior groups and school groups to this beautiful place. A gift shop is located within the home and boasts a collection of items made by local artists and craftsmen as well as the book on Anna’s life. Anna Perry-Fiske was a woman ahead of her time whose legacy continues to shape our island community.