CHING YOUNG, whose formal name was Ching Yuk Hom, emigrated
from the Chung San District of China at the turn of the
settled in Kapaa with two other brothers and was a partner
with other immigrant Chinese.
Together they ran a mercantile store and restaurant,
known as “KWONG CHONG KEE.”
In 1906, CHING YOUNG and one of his brothers leased a
small parcel of land from the Wilcox family and began a small
general merchandise store and rice mill in Hanalei.
By way of a traditional Chinese
Matchmaker, he met and wed his wife, Dang Ha Ching.
DANG HA CHING was born in Hanapepe.
She was the third and youngest child of DANG DAT PO and
DANG CHANG SHEE. A
traditional Chinese wedding was conducted with the entire
traditional wedding garment ordered from Hong Kong.
The newly wed couple settled in Kapaa, where their
first two daughters, Florence and Ellen were born. Her wedding
garments are on display at the Kauai Museum.
With a sense of adventure and with the
intent of improving life for their family, CHING YOUNG and his
family moved to Hanalei in 1911 to assume full time operation
of the rice mill and general merchandise store.
He renamed both operations as the CHING YOUNG STORE and
the CHING YOUNG RICE MILL.
While in Hanalei, Mr. and Mrs. CHING YOUNG were blessed
with six additional children.
Hawaii’s developing economy in the
early 1900’s required hard work and discipline.
Every child had duties and worked from a very young
age, helping their parents with the retail and milling
the rice growing years in Hanalei, the mills or retail stores
acted as the bank for many farmers.
Groups of farmers would affiliate with a rice mill or
retail store. During
the year, the store would provide the family with merchandise.
At the time of the rice harvest, they would bring their
rice to the mill and accounts would be settled.
If it were a bad harvest, the store would
have to carry the account for another year.
The mill would often be unable to sell all of the rice
and would have to either take a loss or stockpile the rice
until the market improved.
Tragedy hit the Ching Family with the
onset of the Great Depression.
MR. CHING YOUNG suffered a major stroke in the early
1930’s and was incapacitated.
In October of 1933, CHING YOUNG passed away, leaving
his widow to run the operations and to raise her children; the
youngest child was only four years old in 1933.
With a strong sense of work ethics and
family values, Mrs. Ching Young and her children continued the
work her late husband started.
They continued to operate both the Ching Young Store
and Rice Mill after her husband’s death.
By the 1930’s California had become a major rice
was on the decline in Hawaii.
Mrs. Ching Young was often unable to sell the rice she
took in from the farmers.
Mrs. Ching Young often had to sell her jewelry to keep
the operation going. The
Chinese only accumulated 24-carat gold since they knew it
would hold its value during difficult times.
War hit Hawaii in 1941 with the bombing
of Pearl Harbor. All
shipping from the US mainland to Hawaii was halted.
All supplies to the island, especially rice was in high
surplus rice supply and the Ching Young Rice Mill provided the
island with its need for rice.
Mrs. Ching Young was able to provide for
her family and educate all of her children.
Florence Ching Takase had a successful career in the
travel industry and accumulated several apartment buildings in
Honolulu and California.
Ellen Ching Wong graduated top of her University of
Hawaii class and taught in the public school system for many
years. Dora Ching
Morishige owned and operated Hanalei Liquor Store for many
years until her retirement.
Laura Ching Lum retired as a lab technician.
Lawrence L. T. “Larry” Ching developed the current
Ching Young Village Shopping Center.
Douglas L. P. Ching is a retired Electrical Engineer
and settled in California.
Calvin L. K. Ching, a MIT graduate, was a former County
Engineer and operated his own Civil Engineering Firm. And,
Janet Ching Webster is a retired City of Los Angeles Clerk.
In 1950, Mrs. Ching Young retired.
She sold her store to her eldest son, Lawrence and his
wife, Jennie Pang. A
friend once asked Mrs. Ching Young, how she was able to raise
a family of eight and educate them.
She responded it was through hard work, Chinese
Traditions, and her deeply religious faith.
Mrs. Ching Young always maintained a Taoist alter at
home and would often consult with the Eight Immortal Temple,
located in Hanapepe.
After her retirement, Mrs. Ching Young
remained active. She
enjoyed many trips to the mainland to visit her son and
daughter and traveled throughout the to the Orient, visiting
friends and relatives. She
spent part of her time in Honolulu, where three of her
daughters settled. In
1960, a friend from Florida called her asking her for some of
her recipes for Chinese Cooking.
Mrs. Ching Young was on the next flight to Florida,
cooked up a banquet and returned home after a week’s visit.
As a mother, friend, and community
businesswomen, Mrs. Ching Young was an outstanding and
exceptional American Citizen.
Mrs. Ching Young passed away in 1967 at the age of 80.
Meanwhile, Larry along with his wife and
two sons, continued the operation of the Ching Young Store.
In the 1950’s and 60’s, the local economy was
changing. It was
the hay day of the Sugar Industry.
Larry and Jennie made changes to take advantage of the
new industry. The
store was changed to cater to the local sugar workers.
With the onset of the 60’s, tourism became the
driving force in the economy.
Changing again to meet the needs of the new economy,
Larry and Jennie renovated the store and added the Hanalei
Post Office to serve both the local community and the emerging
In the 70’s both of Larry and
Jennie’s sons returned from the mainland after graduating
from College. Steven
became a schoolteacher in the public school system and their
second son Michael worked with them in the store.
In the late 70’s, the Retail Store was
sold to BIG SAVE FAMILY OF MARKETS, a locally owned and
operated grocery store chain.
This freed time up for Larry, his wife Jennie, his two
sons, and other business associates to plan and develop the
current shopping center to meet the needs of a growing Hanalei
decision was made to retain the old building found to the east
of the property. The
Ching Young Village Shopping Center was completed in 1982.
In 1992, a category 4 Hurricane named
Iniki devastated Kauai and damaged nearly 40% of the Shopping
the original Ching Young Store (built in 1906), suffered some
damage, but was not totally destroyed.
It became a family affair, settling with the insurance
company and rebuilding the shopping center.
Nearly two years later, the whole center was rebuilt
and the families of shop owners were able to continue their
Emerging from a humble village in
southern China, CHING YOUNG embarked on an adventure that
would result in the CHING YOUNG VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER.
Larry Ching passed away on September 7,
1997. CHING YOUNG
VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER is now managed by Larry’s son,
Michael, a third generation of CHING to reside in Hanalei.