Posted in Early Montclair, History

Thorn Road Bible School

Drawing by Charles Williams circa 1927

In 1926 the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland approved the plans to build a Bible School in the Montclair District of Oakland.   The building was to cost about $25,000.  It became necessary due that they had outgrown the temporary accommodations at the school. They grew from seven children in January to eighty in July.

The first students at Thorn Road Bible School  at Montclair Grammer School circa 1926

Thorn Road Bible Students circa 1926

In June of 1927, it was announced that the school would be open for four weeks during summer vacation.

Oakland Tribune June 1927

The 1920s showed major growth in Montclair and the bible school started having Sunday services for the residents of the area.   They held Easter Services up on Skyline Dr and festive Christmas services.


Sunrise Service c 1926 

Sunrise Service and Christmas circa 1928


Members of Thorn Road Bible School circa 1928

In 1930 Montclair Presbyterian Church was organized with 90 Charter Members.

Oakland Tribune April 05, 1930
Oakland Tribune April 05, 1930

In 1938 they built a new Chapel which was there until they built the present complex in the mid-1960s at  5701 Thornhill Drive.

Oakland Tribune 1936 and 1938

The Chapel as it looked in 1940



Posted in Advertisment, Early Montclair, History

The Montclarion, a little history

A little history of the Montclarion newspaper in Oakland Ca.

The Montclarion 1992

Before The Montclarion newspaper rolled off the presses in 1944, there were two earlier editions of the paper.  The Montclair Garden Club published a newsletter called the Montclair Clarion in the early 1930s. 

The editor was Margery Lane Schuler who lived on Merriewood Drive.  Schuler was also the advertising manager, copy reader, publisher, and art director.

In her first editorial, Schuler wrote that the Montclair Clarion expected to “ have a great many people become more aware of the beauty of the district” 

In January of 1935  a small 20 pages booklet of poetry, stories and community activities, advertisements and a recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie appeared in mailboxes in the Merriewood neighborhood of the Montclair District.

It was sponsored by the Merriewood – Pinehaven Improvement Club and was distributed for free.

On the cover of the April 1935 edition it boasted a circulation of 1000 and by the September 1935, the little book was less than 10 pages.

Cover of the February March 1935 Issue

Please go here to see the complete issue – Montclair_Clarion

By November 1937 the publisher and editor was Beatrice “Bea” Pause the wife of  Montclair Realty owner Paul Pause.  The name was changed to Montclarion.

The first issues were printed on mimeograph machines.  It was printed from about 1937 – 1942.  In 1942 due to WWII and the rationing of paper, it ceased publication.

Montclarion July 24, 1941

To see more of this issue  –  Montclarion

In 1944 Fred Graeser and his wife Micky purchased the name for $100 and the first issue of “The Montclarion“, as we know it, came out in October 1944.  Fred ran the paper exclusively for 5 years when Micky took over.  Fred returned after a few years. They sold the paper in 1977.

May 29. 1957


A special thanks to Chris Tredway for the copies of the early issues