Sam and Rose Spetifore

Sam and Rose Spetifore

Sam and Rose Spetifore and their then eight children arrived in Delta in 1924. Their ninth child, George, arrived in 1927. Sam was employed as a section foreman with the CNR and had been working on the rail line through Richmond. Sam and his partners (G. Amato, G. Spano, and G. Gallo), with whom he had bought three timber lots of 20 acres each in 1922, were described in the local newspaper as the "Italian colony" that had purchased land from Major Fordham in the vicinity. That was a pretty prejudicial description, but not unusual for the time. Sam was indeed from Italy having emigrated anout the of the First World War.

By the way, although the partnership didn't last past 1928, the newspaper also reported that the cord wood off these timber lots was used to rebuild the old wharf at Boundary Bay lagoon at the east end of 12th Avenue.

Sam Spetifore and his fellow countrymen, James Novelli and Tony Cantafio, were part of the contingent growing early potatoes successfully on this sandy high land. Cantafio was located farther south and Novelli farmed to the north. They both had the same small holdings of 20 acres, small by farming standards.

The Spetifores had a large family, four boys (Salvannie, know as Sam, Oliver, Robert, and George) and five girls (Kathleen, Elizabeth, Mary, Josephine, and Jennie), some of whom entered into the farming business with their father. Of all the small operators who were part of the Early Potato Association, the Spetifores were the only ones to stay with it and expand their operation by buying more land and trying new and different crops and diversifying into other aspects of production. From potatoes to strawberries, the Spetifore name was synonymous with farming in Tsawwassen for many, many years.