During World War II, sugar planter, rancher, and politician Charles Atwood Rice (1876-1964) — the grandson of Kauai missionaries William Harrison and Mary Sophia Hyde Rice, and the son of William Hyde Rice, the governor of Kauai under Queen Liliuokalani — entertained numerous military personnel on Kauai at his Kipu Ranch, now the private property of Wm. Hyde Rice, Ltd.
At Kipu Ranch, stately century-old Cook pine trees line a mile long lane that begins at the ranch’s main gate, just beyond the William Hyde Rice Monument, and ends by its main buildings.
Charles Rice called those Cook pines his Christmas trees and the lane they lined was dubbed Christmas Tree Road by him.
And, in the distance, the Haupu Range forms a majestic backdrop to ranch pastures that slope away from its base, while a mountain steam meanders across the land.
Pearl Harbor admirals often came to Kauai to hunt wild pigs that roamed the uplands of Kipu Ranch, and the Army operated a lumber mill in the timber land on the mountain slopes above Rice’s pastures.
“Some of those soldiers sliced themselves a piece of beef when no one was looking,” Rice said with a smile to Honolulu newspaperman Ray Coll Jr. in 1946, and added that “a few them grew up in the western states and they made good cowboys. In fact, I got a lot of my cowboy work out of them when they came over here for a rest. They loved it. The men from the West were all right, but those fellows from Brooklyn were the toughest.”
While enjoying their wartime R &Rs at Kipu Ranch, soldiers and sailors were also treated to fresh corn, watermelons, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables raised on Rice farm lands.
Later in the war, when B-29 bomber crews were sent to Hawaii for rest and recreation, Charles Rice and his wife, Patricia Rice, often also invited them to their home at Kalapaki Beach, where the Marriott now stands.