The Roorda family has a family tree full of painters going back 5 generations from Holland, which is from where we immigrated. In Holland our great grandfather lived in a very picturesque village which was a haunt of artists. So, naturally he wanted to become an artist. Actually, he and his children painted many fine pictures, some of which still adorn our walls. However, his practical-minded father insisted that he learn a trade, and he became a carriage painter! Carriage painting was an art in those days with their shiny black wheels detailed in gold and crimson. Small, but handsome coat-of-arms were painted on the doors of the carriages, which were sent to him by the aristocrats of Holland. He manufactured his own paints and varnishes on hand-operated machines, and would use only the purest ingredients. He swore by white lead, linseed oil and turpentine… quite different than the paints used today.
His painting was continued when the family arrived in the United States. He first arrived in Iowa and then Colorado where they homesteaded. In Denver, he would paint cars and houses. Paul Roorda, Sr. was a salesman for a paint manufacturer in Denver for many years.
Our Model A Truck - Old Footage!
Paul Roorda, Jr. had a paint brush in his hand since early childhood. When he was still a child, he was one of the first to use latex paint during it’s trial, then called rubber paint before it hit the market. He began his first painting business in earnest at the age of 25, and he is now in his 80’s. Paul Roorda, Jr. started the business painting from a Model A truck, which is the truck pictured above. Now his sons Paul III and Ted continue the tradition, and they hope painting will be carried on by their next generations, too! If you’re interested in more historical information, view the history of Jupiter by clicking here.