California Genealogy and History Archives
Among the responsible and successful contractors who have for many years been active in the upbuilding of Petaluma, mention must be made of Samuel Rodd, who was born in Barnstable, Devonshire, England, January 26, 1848, the son of George and Mary (Clark) Rodd, and of their ten children Samuel was the youngest. After completing the course of instruction offered in the public schools he was apprenticed as carpenter and joiner for four years, and during this time he also became proficient as a stairbuilder and a cabinetmaker.
On June 12, 1868, Samuel Rodd left Liverpool for the United States, arriving in Chicago, July 8, 1868, where he worked at is trade until September 1869. Just after the opening of the Union Pacific Railroad, which occurred in July, 1869, Mr. Rodd came through to California on one of the first trains, the trip from Chicago to San Francisco taking twelve days. On March 6, 1870, he located in Petaluma, which place has been the scene of his activity ever since. He engaged in contracting and building until 1889, when with John L. Camm he bought the planing mill and engaged in manufacturing building material. However, in 1895 he sold his interest to Mr. Camm, since which time he has been in the building business, not only in Petaluma, but also in San Francisco, Santa Rosa and Mendocino county. Among the many residences he has built in Petaluma are the following: Healey’s, Canope, Hill, Bowles, Sweed, Brown, Risk and Meyers residences, all showing his ability as a builder.
Mr. Rodd was married in Petaluma to Miss Mary Blackburn, a native daughter, whose father, Charles Blackburn, was a prominent and early settler of this city. They have one child, Dorothy C., an accomplished music teacher in Petaluma. Mr. Rodd is a member of the Foresters and for many years was a member of the Petaluma fire department.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011