Categorized | Education

Waimea Country School students ‘time travel’ to Anna Ranch

Uncle Al Moniz demonstrated leatherworking to students from Waimea Country School during a recent visit to the Anna Ranch Historic Center. (Photo courtesy of Waimea Country School)

Special to Hawaii 24/7

As a part of their social studies and Hawaiian studies program, second and third grade students from Waimea Country School recently visited Anna Ranch’s historic home and gardens together with its blacksmith and saddle maker’s shops.

The Anna Ranch Historical Center preserves the history and culture of the paniolo and is a place where the local community and visitors alike can learn about the history of agriculture and cattle in Waimea.

Anna Perry-Fiske, the “First Lady of Ranching” in Hawaii lived a long, rich, and exciting life. She left her property to the community so that Waimea’s ranching history would never be lost to future generations.

The students toured the historic home and learned about Anna’s life. Then the students got to watch Ethan Froney, the blacksmith, form an iron decorative hook lickety-split.

Then they stepped into the saddle making shop of Al Moniz, where they got to tool their own leather souvenir keepsakes.

Blake Kirkpatrick enjoyed this part of the field trip best.

“Pounding the leather was my favorite part because I felt like I was in the old days,” he said.

As their leather projects were curing in the sun, Uncle Al showed the students how to throw a lasso to rope a calf.

Students completed their field trip with an old-fashioned picnic basket lunch on the property before “time travelling” forward in time back to their school.

When asked to explain the differences between life for Anna on the ranch and ranch life today, student Duncan McCarthy said, “I think life would have been harder 100 years ago because they didn’t have the fancy machinery we have today.”

Teacher Hayley Blondin explained why she chose to tour Anna Ranch with her students.

“Understanding the history of a place fosters a greater love and appreciation for it. Our field trip to Anna Ranch sparked our students’ connection to and appreciation for their home town of Waimea,” Blondin said. “Students not only learned about Waimea’s unique paniolo traditions, they also learned important Hawaiian place names. Many students did not know that Buster Brown is a nickname for Hokuula, or that the ahupuaa where Anna’s Ranch is located is the Lalamilo ahupuaa.”

Founded in 1996, Waimea Country School’s mission is “to provide an outstanding K-6 child-centered, multiage and multicultural learning experience which incorporates the core values of inclusion and respect.”

The members of the Board of Trustees are Felicity Johnson, Nancy Perry, Kelly Barrick, Randy Campbell, Lisa McCarthy, Desiree Watson and Scott March.

For more information about Waimea Country School, call 885-0067 visit:

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