Early Agriculture

Jenna Odorizzi Blk H

Origins & Dates

In the autumn of 1886, Charles Ora Card spent several weeks travelling through the Okanagan looking for land they could settle in and instead he had come across some peach trees. The earliest reports of the Okanagan had all emphasized the potential for cattle raising in the area. The valley seemed perfect for settlers, explorers and farmers because it had perfect sites for orchards because of the soil and drainage. Some more of the assets were its climate, the lake and the altitude. A majority of the first apple trees in the Northwest were grown out of the Hudson Bay Company's farm at Fort Vancouver with seeds brought in from England. Although they wanted to attract settlers, selling orchard land to oversea buyers was highly questionable and the cause of great distress to many improperly informed, inexperienced purchasers.

role in the okanagan fur brigade trail

The Casorso's original home still remains in the same spot but has been updated to meet modern expectations. Since then many generations of Casorso's have moved in and out and is still a home to this generation of Casorso's. The property was involved in the making of the first winery in Kelowna now known as "Calona Winery".

early history

Giovanni Casorso was looking for new opportunities in North America, so he got up and left his birthplace of the Piedmont area of Italy in 1882. In 1883 he made his way across the North-American continent. He met Father Pandosy in New Westminster where he was offered a job working for the Oblates' Okanagan Mission.

reasons for settlement

Giovanni stayed in the Okanagan because he was a big help in the making of the first Kelowna Winery now known as Calona Wines. When the first ever sprinkler was invented it was put into Giovanni's vineyard and helped his plants grow alot. The money from making wine prompted Casorso to stay and soon enough his family and him had built a home and worked in the yard together.

early accomplishments

Giovanni Casorso has no major accomplishments or any at all that happened in Europe. Once the 1930's rolled around the casorso's were raising and selling livestock through chains of retail stores all the the British Columbia Interior. He was also one of the biggest tobacco sellers in the Okanagan when that crop flourished in the 1920's. One of his son's Charles is credited with planted the first vineyard in Rutland and his other 2 sons are credited for planting grapes on the family property. Another one of his big accomplishments is being a part in creating wineries and planting vineyards across the Kelowna area.

legacy today & driving question

There are Casorso's working with BC Tree Fruits and SunRype being in charge of Coronation Grapes and a wide variety of apples.

"its more than just farming" one of the Casorso's today says proudly standing in his orchard, "it's a family operation... and three generations together to help out" Because he made such a huge impact on the Okanagan Valley, by starting the first winery and creating many vineyards, today we show our appreciation by naming the Casorso Road after him and Casorso School. Casorso's still farm for a living and show their pride in their own orchards.

interesting facts

1. Casorso left his family of 2 children and pregnant wife in Italy to find new experiences in North America and eventually invited them over when he was doing good.

2. He stopped in San Francisco first before making his way to British Columbia.

3. The orginal Casorso house has been taken down but a few of them still remain and casorso generations continue to move in and out of the modernized home.


the below image shows a map of where the original Casorso land was and what it is/looks like today.
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This photo shows what Giovanni Casorso looked like.

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