Roedde Family Fact Sheet

Gustav Adolf Roedde (1860-1930)

Personal History:

  • Born in Grossbodungen, Thuringen. Germany.
  • Immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1882 to join an Uncle, who had died shortly before his arrival.
  • Married Matilda Cassebohm while in Cleveland. The couple soon left for San Francisco, California, but relocated again to Victoria, BC in 1886 to avoid the growing unrest surounding workers unions.
  • The fire of 1886 in Vancouver and the city’s subsequent expansion provided a fresh start for many businessmen. The recent arrival of the transcontinental railway in 1897 was also a draw.
  • Gustav was recruited to come to Vancouver by the owner of the Vancouver News Advertiser. The paper was in need of a trained bookbinder to open and operate Vancouver's first Bindery. The position would have appealed to Gustav because his new business in Victoria was not thriving and he needed an increase in income.
  • He settled in Vancouver in 1888, then in 1890 established his bookbindery in Gastown.
  • The family lived at 225 Harris Street from 1888 until 1890 when they moved to Gustav's place of business at 36 W Cordova Street.
  • He and his family moved into their home at 1415 Barclay St. in 1893.
  • In 1924 the family relocated to a larger home on Drummond Drive (Point Grey) overlooking Spanish Banks and the Gulf of Georgia.
  • The house at 1415 Barclay was sold in 1924.
  • Bred St Bernard Dogs, washed them in the Den.
  • Went to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 with his St Bernard dog pulling a wagon with a large book as a display.


  • Trained as a bookbinder in Leipzig, Germany. Leipzig was recognized as one of the leading centres of book production in Germany in the 18-19th centuries, with a factory producing coloured and marbled papers as early as 1755.
  • In Cleveland, Roedde worked as a bookbinder and employed the skills he acquired in Leipzig (including marbling, a technique in which he specialized).
  • In Vancouver, Roedde first worked in the bookbindery owned by the News Herald Newspaper, but established his own business (G.A. Roedde Printers Ltd) in 1890 above a butcher’s shop at 36 West Cordova The business made a number of moves as it continued to expand and in 1913 it moved to its own four story building on Homer Street.


Matilda Marie Johanna Roedde -born Cassebohm (1862-1951)

  • Born in Heligoland, a British protectorate, was schooled in English but also learned German.
  • Married to Gustav Roedde in Cleveland, Ohio in 1883.
  • Her father was a Baker and she made excellent goodies like cinnamon buns and cookies.
  • Had brothers named Gustav and Adolph who met Gustav Roedde at the Gymnasium (Cleveland, Ohio, USA).
  • Gave birth to 6 children.
  • Was quite short, records unclear whether 4’8” or 4’11” (her sink in the kitchen and the chair in the sewing room show this). Hoped her children would grow taller, which they did.
  • Had a garden in back of the house, planted berries for jam.
  • Worked as a homemaker: was an excellent baker and sewed clothing for the family.
  • Was Lutheran, attended St John’s Presbyterian Church on Comox and Broughton.
  • Enjoyed the views of English bay from the turret and sewing room and had an affinity for oceanscapes having come from Helgoland, an archipelago off the coast of Germany.


Anna Henrietta (1884-1889)

  • Daughter, born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
  • Died at 5 years of age in Vancouver from consuming poisonous berries.


Emma Matilda (1886-1960)

  • Daughter, born in San Francisco California, USA.
  • Wanted to be a Milliner, loved hats
  • She worked in the Woodward’s building in her teenage years.
  • Emma married Arthur Budd Cather in 1909.
  • Lived with her parents when her husband was away during WWI. Her children, Emma Gwendolyn (Gwen) (1910-2003) and Kathleen Francis (Kay) (1911-1997) accompanied their mother and have memories of the home during this period.
  • Her daughter Emma Gwendolyn (Gwen) was born in Barclay manor when it was hospital and went to School at Lord Roberts while living at the Roedde House
  • Kathleen Frances Cather (Kay) was the first certified female lifeguard in British Columbia, taught to swim by prominent Vancouver lifeguard Joe Fortes. She received a letter from the BC Branch Royal Life Saving Society congratulating her on her membership in the Life Guards Corp- as she was "now the first woman in the province to hold this award".


Walter Herman Weidemann (1889-1970)

  • Walter Weideman (born of Herman Johannes August Weidemann and Maria Sophia Helene Pegel- who died in childbirth) was adopted by the Roeddes several months after his birth.
  • Fathered a child with Dorothy Emma Stokes (b. 17 May 1891) in 1916. His son, Walter III (31 Jan 1915 - 5 March 1916), lived only one year.
  • Fought in WWI (enlisted February 8th, 1916), returned safely.
  • Mechanic
  • The Roedde family lost track of his whereabouts after his wedding.
  • 2nd marriage to Edith Edna Griffin.
  • Died at 80 years old at Shaughnessy.
  • Buried at Mountain View cemetery (internment site: OLD-3-01-023-0004).


William (Bill) August (1890-1955)

  • Son, born 1890 in Vancouver.
  • In 1900 he was involved in Vancouver's first pedestrian - car accident with Mr. Rogers.
  • Married to Viola Maud White February 18, 1914, honeymooneed in Hawaii.
  • Volunteered for service in WW1, Fought in France, returned safely.
  • Enjoyed hunting and yachting. He was an avid sailor and member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
  • In 1936, with the help of other Yacht Club members and professional marine architect Tom Halliday, William designed a boat that was suitable for both racing and cruising. Carita, as it was christened, was raffled off and won by the fortunate Jack Storey. Bill Roedde became the skipper and eventual owner of the boat. A fleet of boats of the same design were built so that they may be raced together- thus the Spencer Class boat was born (funding for project was provided by, among others, Col. Victor Spencer).
    Bill drew up plans for a second boat in 1949- one that featured both turtle-back and flat deck plans. The first of the boats in the fleet, Carita II, was owned by Bill. A fleet of boats was also built off this same design, known as the Roedde Class boats.
  • Bill Roedde became an Honorary Life Member at the Club in 1945.


Gustav Adolph Jr. (1894-1953)

  • Son, born February 7th, 1894 in Vancouver.
  • Consripted on August 29, 1918 for military service WW1.
  • Regiment number: 2025119. On his Particulars of Recruit sheet he is listed as a Gas Engineer, and as living at 1415 Barclay St.
  • His bedroom was the room upstairs now being used as the Office.
  • Doting uncle that would buy hair ribbons for Emma's daughters.
  • Rower and yachtsman on the Adioram- The Roedde family boat.
  • Married Miss Madeline Gill at St Johns Church on the corner of Broughton and Comox street (building is now gone).
  • Worked in G.A. Roedde Bookbinder and Printers, took over management after his fathers retirement.


Anna Catherine (1897-1925)

  • Daughter, born in Vancouver.
  • Sleep walker who tried to get on the roof when sleeping in the Turret.
  • Worked as a stenographer and later as a nurse at the Vancouver General Hospital. While working an overnight shift she had an ill-fated encounter with a deranged patient. The patient slit her throat with a razor blade and Anna died shortly after. The Roedde family was well-known in town, the news made front page and flags were flown at half-mast on the day of her burial. The outpouring of public support also stemmed from wishes to support the nursing profession, which had become an accepted career path for women.
  • After her death in 1925, the family donated money to finance Vancouver's first hospital orderly training program.


Tilly Henrietta (1900-1982)

  • Youngest Daughter, born in Vancouver 1900.
  • Had a boyfriend named Chesterfield who sat on the chesterfield sofa in the Parlour when they were courting - Gwen and Kay Cather teased him about it.
  • Lived in the Girl's room with her sister Anna where they shared a bed.
  • Recalled Matilda being upset with Mr. Rattenbury for not building a basement.
  • The first Roedde family boat was named after her.




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