The Southlands, Tsawwassen is important for its historical, agricultural and social values, particularly for its connection to the Spetifore family, a well-known local farming family, its role as part of Delta’s historical agricultural evolution, and its importance to the local community as a rural and agricultural property.
Southlands has become associated with the history and growth of farming and agricultural in South Delta, particularly through the ownership and husbandry of the Spetifore family. Originally from Italy, Sam Spetifore and his wife Rose acquired small timber lots (originally used for cordwood) upon their arrival in 1922. The Spetifores continued to acquire land and build up their farming operation. The farm had a role in the local dairy industry, which was a large part of Delta’s agricultural history. While historically used for forage production and grazing, the farm currently produces potatoes, a crop often associated with the Spetifore family. The Spetifores contributed to the diversification of the population of Delta, being part of what an early newspaper called a small “Italian colony” of immigrants in the area, some of whom were partners in various agricultural ventures. The buildings that remain on the lands are a reminder of the early settlement and homesteads of the area.The lands are associated with a number of early farming families, including Robert Alexander, David Gunn, John Guichon, Edwin Cammidge and others. The Alexander/Gunn house and existing barn are physical representations of these associations. The geometry of Southlands’ still-visible early land and field patterns is based originally on the Royal Engineers survey grid which divided the land into 160-acre quarter sections, forming the geographical basis of the site’s agricultural tracts of land, and east-west/north-south road patterns. The aesthetic value of the agrarian landscape includes features that were formed by necessity, and which now help establish its current character and value.