Contributed Luigi Rampone (third from the left) seen here in this 1914 photograph with his son Camillo (to his left) and his friends (left to right) Tony Risso, a man named Tuscano (first name missing), Vincenzo Risso, a man named Fullano (first name missing), Giovanchino (Joe) Lanfranco, Tony Casorso and another man named Fullano (first name missing).

Pioneer Kelowna family to celebrate 125 years

The Rampone family will hold a large homecoming event and public party Aug 4 and 5

A pioneer family with its roots deeply entrenched in Kelowna is planning a huge party next month to mark 125 years in the city.

The Rampone family will not only hold a large homecoming at St.Joseph’s Elementary School and Immaculata High School on the weekend of Aug. 4 but is also throwing the party, open to friends and family, Aug. 5 at the Brook and Barn venue on Casorso Road.

The family’s existence in the Okanagan dates back to 1893 when 39-year-old Luigi Celestino Rampone, who would go on to become a farming pioneer of the area, came to the Central Okanagan at the behest of Giovanni Casorzo, better known as John Casorso.

Casorso and Luigi Rampone were both from the same Italian village, Tonco in Piemonte.

While little is known about Rampone’s early years in Italy other than he was a farmer and had a brother named Paolo (or Pietro) who went to Rome and was never heard from again,

In 1882 Rampone married another Rampone, Mellania Maria, daughter of Placido Rampone and Mellania Candida. They had three children, Giuseppina Vittoria Enrichetta in 1884, Domenico Paolo Giuseppe in 1887 and Camillo Joseph in 1892.

In Canada, Luigi worked on John Casorso’s Ranch as well for other farmers such as Archie Hardy.

By 1907, he was renting land for his own farm on Gordon Road and by 1917 had bought the property for himself.

While working in Kelowna, Mellania kept their children in school in Italy and in 1904 Luigi sent for his oldest son Domenico to come to Canada.

Luigi’s brother-in-law Antonio Risso escorted 16-year-old Domenico and a nephew, 17-year-old Caterino Dapavo, by ship to New York and then by train to Sicamous and finally by boat down Okanagan Lake to Kelowna.

The pattern of bringing his kids over continued in 1905 with daughter Giuseppina, 21, at the time, and in 1908 with son Camillo, 16 at the time. Again, both were accompanied by Risso.

While the two boys set out to work on their own and remained for the rest of their lives in Kelowna, Giuseppina was not happy here and returned to Italy in 1907. The family now speculates she was brought here as a mai or housekeeper for Luigi, but having not seen her father since she was 7, did not remember him very well did not want to stay.

Luigi did well growing vegetables in the earlier years, given the soil here was almost virgin and several bumper crops and good marketing led the onions he grew to be shipped around the world. He made enough money to buy a second farm and in 1926 acquired the Benvoulin Road property where the Don O Ray Vegetable operation still stands today.

That farm was known as the Tobacco Ranch because of the five tobacco barns built on the land during the British North American Tobacco Company days.

The latter years of Luigi’s life were not healthy ones. He spent several years in hospital in Vancouver before returning to Kelowna, where he passed away on in 1933 at the age of 79.

Subsequent generations of the Rampone family also were well-known farmers in the area and according to Domenic Rampone, Luigi’s grandson, that farming heritage is part of what the family will celebrate next month.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna Art Gallery hosts new exhibition, Poetics of Space

The exhibition can be viewed from Feb. 2 until May 5

Kelowna RCMP use spike belt to apprehend alleged car thieves

Both suspects were expected in court Thursday morning

Kelowna RCMP ask for assistance to identify suspects

The break and enter resulted in a firearm being stolen

TELUS works with YMCA for Okanagan youth

A four week employment program will assist at-risk youth

First recreational cannabis store in Okanagan has quiet opening near Lake Country

Indigenous Bloom has opened on Okanagan Indian Band land

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hergott: Memories of crashes fade

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about the importance of journaling after a crash

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

Most Read