“Elmheim,” the Original Roeder Home

What many know as the former “Roth” home was actually built by Captain Henry Roeder and completed in 1897. It was torn down in 1956, in a debacle that seems almost to bespeak a lack of local concern or interest in preserving such an historic structure, as well as a beautiful example of Victorian architecture.


Charles I. Roth and Charlotte “Lottie” Roeder-Roth on their wedding day.

Henry never lived in the house, but his wife, Elizabeth lived there with their daughter, Lottie Roeder-Roth and her husband, Charles I. Roth, a prominent Bellingham attorney and businessman.

Regarding the destruction of the venerable old mansion, Whatcom Watch magazine of June 2000, writes:

…In 1956, the former residence of Henry Roeder on Elm Street, “Elmheim,” was purchased with plans to raze the mansion to make way for an apartment building. The 60-year old home was one of Bellingham’s quintessential historic homes. It was offered cheaply by the new owners to a local historical society on the condition that it be moved to a different location.

Elizabeth Park became the choice destination, but residents in the area felt their property would be devalued by having the house located in the park and submitted a petition supporting their stance.

But the old clause that said the property was for park purposes only, that had once helped the Ladies Cooperative Society, was also the roadblock to moving the house to the park. Demolition of the home proceeded….

Source: http://www.whatcomwatch.org/old_issues/v9i7.html “Walnut Street Park Renamed in Honor of Captain Roeder’s Wife”

Here is what was built in place of the  former home of one of the original founders of Bellingham, WA–


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