FitzGerald Farms History
Our Maui Roots
FitzGerald Farms, LLC was established in 1903 on the Island of Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. Its founding father was Dr. J.C. FitzGerald, DVM who had recently graduated with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Oxford University in England. After voyaging for many months across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and across the North American continent, Dr. FitzGerald could only find work as a meat cutter at Maui’s Ulupalakua Ranch on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala.
A Veterinary Pioneer
Soon, Dr. FitzGerald was asked by the Territory of Hawaii to travel to the Island of Hawaii to treat a string of mules infected during a Glanders epidemic. Sugar, then the Territory’s most important economic generator, was dependant on horses and mules to perform valuable tasks at its many plantations. These mules were owned by the Hamakua Sugar Company and used to transport cut sugar cane from field to train for ultimate transport to the factory many miles away. They lived in the world famous Waipio Valley located on the Hamakua Coast, the verdant, tropical east side of the Island; which, at times accumulating some 300 inches of rain a year. Waipio Valley, a five day horse and buggy adventure through deep tropical gulches and dense rain forest, was home to one of Hawaii’s first recorded Hawaiian home sites.
Dr. FitzGerald returned to the Island of Maui upon completion of his duties on Hawaii Island and set about establishing one of the Territory’s first Veterinary Practices all the while working for the Territory of Hawaii as one of her first publicly employed veterinarians. As many natives of Hawaii lived off of the land and bartered for their goods and services, Dr. FitzGerald soon learned that his services would, many times, be performed in exchange for pigs, chickens, Hawaiian Artifacts, guns, land or countless other mediums of exchange.
It was during this period that Dr. FitzGerald established what is now known as FitzGerald Farms on a piece of land he was given in Kula, Maui, Hawaii that he received in exchange for saving a farmer’s horse.
Dr. FitzGerald established the Island’s first boarding stables, housing horses owned by visiting professional polo players who visited the Islands regularly from New Zealand and Australia in search of a Polo world championship. To this day, the JC FitzGerald Cup is awarded to the highpoint team at the annual Makawao Polo Tournament on Maui.