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Our Past is your Present!

We are a non-profit organization focused on promoting, preserving, and being a strong, active resource for all things of heritage value on Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia. Join us to learn about the history of Sea Island and its residents, past and present.


First Families: The Grauer Family

pioneer Barbara Grauer sitting with son Rudy Grauer

(Photo of Marie Grauer and her son Rudy, Richmond Review)

Grauer, Johann Jakob (1860-1936)

Grauer (née Neth), Marie Barbara

Johann Jakob Grauer, butcher, farmer and entrepreneur

The son of Maria Agnes Fruh (39), and Johan Georg Grauer (38), Johann Jakob Grauer was born on April 19, 1860 in Jettenburg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Jakob was an immigrant from Germany who initially settled in Seattle, Washington, where he married Marie Barbara Neth at the age of 25 years old. Marie was born on October 12, 1865 in Mossigen, Rottenburg, Wurttemberg, Germany. Jakob Grauer died on March 31, 1936, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the age of 75 years old. His wife, Marie died in 1961.

Marie and Jakob Grauer moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where they lived in a cabin on Cordova Street and started Vancouver’s first butcher shop on Main Street. The Grauers eventually owned four butcher shops, two in Richmond and two in Vancouver. In 1890 Jakob Grauer bought 300 acres of land on Sea Island where he raised livestock. He built a butcher shop in the Eburne area on Sea Island.

In 1892, Jakob Grauer settled his young family on Sea Island, where his farm soon encompassed 480 acres of rich delta soil and became one of Canada’s biggest dairy operations.

The Grauers had seven sons and two daughters: George Karl Grauer (1886-1962), Gustav Adolf Grauer (1888-1974), Rudolph Martin (Rudy) Grauer (1890-1972), Pauline Katherine Grauer (1892-1986), Mary Barbara Grauer (1894-1987), Carl Christopher Grauer (1899-1972), John Jacob (“Jake”) Grauer (1902-1978), Albert Edward (Dal) Grauer (1906-1961), and Frederick Wilhem Grauer, Dr. (1908-1984).

In 1912, son Rudy Grauer, took over Jakob’s butcher shop on Sea Island and over the years, extended the business into a full grocery and general store.

In 1954, most of the Grauer farm on Sea Island was expropriated by the Government of Canada for the Vancouver airport expansion, and Grauer’s Store became the casualty of the expansion of the airport. It closed its doors on May 31, 1976. The store was demolished in 1980 along with other buildings in the area, putting an end to the life of Eburne. The North Fraser Port Authority building now occupies the previous Grauer store site.

To view the Grauer family tree on Ancestry or obtain further information, contact Barb Nielsen at barbaralynnnielsen@gmail.com.