The Ranch: 1969 – 2002

Early History

Here I will recount the story of this place as I remember it…

When my grandparents came to this place, it was a base station for a banana growing business called Pacific Hawaii Fruit. My grandfather, Claude Vernon Barker, became a partner in the company while he was still living on O’ahu. Things were not as they should have been with the business, so he began making trips to Kaua’i to try and straighten things out. In 1969 they moved over here so Grandfather could run the day-to-day operations and they decided to make the base station their home. My grandmother, Kathleen (Kay) Menorah Barker, fixed it up and created a beautiful place here— she was an excellent homemaker and gardener— and there they lived for a few years.

Grandmother notated these photos taken not long after they first moved in.
“The Kauai house, front view. The grass was 3 ft. high, couldn’t see the house for shrubs and the flower beds were an overgrown jungle. The big trees are lichee(sic) and avocados. Sept 1969”

So, things haven’t changed a bit… only the trees are a lot bigger!

“Field back of house looking east toward the ocean. Will probably plant to papaya or citrus. Sept 1969”

And so they did. I remember the papaya orchard as a kid, and it was a thing of wonder. I did not learn to like the fruit for many years… This view is presently blocked by tall trees which have advanced up the hill toward our position. The actual direction of this shot is northeast— living on a circle wreaks havoc with your sense of direction!

“A sample of bananas. The building behind is an equipment shed big enough for 4 cars or tractors. Sept 1969”

This is my grandfather… a man who loved to work. I’m sure he bought into the fruit company just to keep busy after he retired. It was a financial bust, but I don’t think the life of leisure they had in Lanikai (O’ahu) suited him.

My grandmother in the freshly remodeled Ranch House. She loved and excelled at all forms of homemaking, and put a lot of love into this old house. Much of what she did remains.

1974: By now the house has been remodeled, the garden planted, and the papyas and other fruit trees established. This is my father, Gordon, with a corn harvest.

Funny, here is my dad doing what I am sometimes doing around here! His rototiller is a lot bigger, though.

 

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