Sam Fong Yi, Ventura Pioneer


            An Ad in the Ventura newspaper of the 1880s proudly proclaimed “Sam Fong Yi’s Restaurant, Grocery Store and Employment Office. Meals at all hours of the day and up to one o’clock at night.  Everything new, clean and in good order.  Meals from 25 cents up.  Figueroa Street between Main and Santa Clara.”


            Sam Fong Yi, merchant, labor contractor, restaurateur, farmer and beloved Ventura Pioneer was born in China December 1852 and immigrated to America in 1870 at the age of 18.  By the 1880’s he was fluent and literate in English and one of the most prominent and well-known people in Ventura.  He survived fires, floods, racial animosity, and official discrimination and a near tong war.  He gave back to the community by organizing and supporting Ventura’s famed Chinese fire brigade and Tom Lin Yan’s school.


            In 1890 Sam married Lee See, perhaps on a road trip to China.  A daughter, Moi was born in 1891.  By 1893 Sam Fong Yi had begun leasing land along the El Rio Santa Clara where on 90 acres he raised beans, corn, spuds and onions.  In 1896 around Chinese New Year time, he sold his operation in Ventura to Charley Sung.  Sam Fong Yi moved near his farm in El Rio which was also a local stage stop.  A son was born to Sam and Lee See on June 9th, 1900.


            The last we know of Sam Fong Yi is from a 1912 Oxnard newspaper.  At 60 he was a loved and respected Ventura County pioneer.  He threw a Chinese New Year party and invited his many friends from the general community to the feast.  Recipients of his generosity were the many El Rio school children that received gifts from Sam Fong Yi.


            We do not know what happened to Sam Fong Yi, wife Lee See, daughter Moi, or their son.  If you have any information please contact Linda Bentz at "" <> or the authour Robert Yenney (Bai PoYang) at



Sam Fong Yi(譯音善風義) 范杜拉郡的開 拓者


在1880年代的范杜拉郡報 紙上大 事刊 登一 則廣 告﹕

善風義餐 廳﹐雜 貨 店和介 紹所。全天供 應餐 點至晚 上一 時。

每 一樣東西都又新又整 潔。25cents起。地 點在Figueroa steet 在Main 和Santa Clara間。


善風義﹐他是商 人﹐ 領工﹐ 餐 廳老 闆﹐ 農 夫和被愛 戴的范杜拉郡的開 拓者。

1852年他出 生在中 國﹐ 十八歲那年﹐ 1870年移 民來美國﹐ 1880年已能說寫流 利的英 文﹐在當 地亦很出 名。他救火救難﹐排 解種族仇 恨﹐歧 視和堂口之爭。他回餽社 區﹐組 織了著 名的義勇消 防隊。創 辦Tom Lin Yan’s學校。

1890年他和李喜(譯音) 結 婚。 1891年生了一個女兒MOI﹐ 1893年他開始在El Rio Santa Clara 租賃了90畝田 地種植荳 子﹐ 玉 米﹐ 馬 鈴 薯﹐ 洋 蔥等。  1896年農 曆年左 右﹐ 他把產 業賣 給Charley Sung。善風義搬到農 場附 近。  當時那裡有個驛站。 1900年6月9日他夫 婦又生了一個兒 子。


最 後在Oxnard報 紙上得知﹐他在1912年60歲時﹐  他廣邀鄉親舉 辦一場中國新年大派 對。  El Rio學 校的孩 子們都收到他的禮 物。


之 後我們就沒 有他和他的家 人的任何消 息。  如 果你有線 索﹐起與我們聯 絡。