Subdivision of Montclair – approx. the area above Thornhill at Woodhaven and Oakwood Drive and up to Snake and Colton Blvd. The Forest Park Pool (now Montclair Swim Club) was included with the tract. – Updated May 06, 2019
“Wickham Havens, Inc., to Sell Fine Scenic Property on the Highlands Northeast of Beautiful Piedmont” – Oakland Tribune May 11, 1924
A residential park that has been “twenty years in the making” is how they described Forest Park when in first opened in May 1924. The hills of Forest Park were barren of trees , when the late Frank C. Havens undertook the task in the early 1900s of planting them with trees. His son Wickham is in charge of selling Forest Park.
Big wooded lots some with a view of the bay were selling at a few hundred dollars each. “Investment in Forest Park today means rich profits in the future” – Come out and see the $10,000 pool being built for the residents – Oakland Tribune June 1924.
Fifty “Cameron Built” Modern Spanish Home in the Fruitvale District. True Spanish Type Stucco. Priced at $5500 to $65.00. Built to CAMERON standards. (whatever that means). Each home contains five rooms and breakfast room, hardwood floors throughout, tile bath, tile sink , Hoyt water heater, fireplace for coal, wood or gas, latest style electric fixtures, base plugs in every room. Russwin solid brass hardware with glass knobs. All of large lots with fences, garage and cement walks.
The tract was designed by W. A. Doctor and built by H.C. Cameron with furnishings provided by Lachman Brothers. Chas. A Neal was the exclusive agent for “Cameron Built Homes” on Maple and School Streets. The tract office was located at Pleitner and School streets
The 1st unit started in 1923 on Maple and School Streets.
The 2nd unit was started in 1925 at Texas and Pleitner Streets.
The first ten homes were completed and ready in November 1923.
In 1944 Admiral Thomas Sprague and his family moved into 26 Ascot Court . But his life in the Navy took off and the traveled around the world. In 1951 Sprague retired from the Navy and they settled in after only living in the for 2 weeks in the 8 years they owned it.
The Sprague Family lived there until about 1963 after Mrs. Sprague passed away.
A Montclair Treasure – March 2019
In March of 2019 the house was put on the market for $ 1,249, 000 and it sold for April of 2019 for $1,300,000.
I wish I had more to share on this Thornhill Park this is all I can find. I only found out about it by accident when researching the home of Judge EM Gibson who lived on a ranch in area where Thornhill School is now and over to Aspinwall Drive. Judge Gibson lived there in the late 1880’s. I will soon post something on the first residents of Montclair which will include Gibson. I will call this page a work in progress to be undated.
Thornhill Park was first advertised for sale in May of 1917. It was handled by the Reality Syndicate at first and then Phil Hearty a local Montclair Real Estate Agent. The area was only know as Thornhill Park for few years it is now called Montclair and possibly Forest Park (another blog in the works) or what ever is best to sell the area.
Thornhill Park was an area of small farms of 1/4 acre to 1 acres where you could grow your own food or say raise chickens as noted the ad below.
By 1922 they were having a “Liquidation Sale” and trying to “close out” the rest of the tract. Selling 1/2 acre lots for 66 cents on the $1.00. It seems Thornhill Park wasn’t a big seller. I noticed it wasn’t advertised as much as any of the other tracts in Montclair like Forest Park, Merriewood, or Fernwood were. Later on Phil Hearty a developer and agent who had an office at 5815 Thornhill for years, took over the sale of the remaining Thornhill Park lot. Now Thornhill Park is part of Forest Park and Montclair Highlands.
Some of the homes in Thornhill Park –
A September 1919 advertisement for 6-Room Bungalow on One Acre in Beautiful Thornhill Park located at 650 Thorn Road (now Thornhill Drive) . It is my best guess that this is not 6110 or 6116 Thornhill Drive. 650 Thorn Road is one address that I can’t link to a modern address number. But I am fairly certain that it is one those two.
In 1922 few people outside the hikers of the Contra Costa Hills Club, knew much about Pinehaven and its beautiful canyon. Pinehaven has all the characteristics of the most picturesque parts of Marin County. Roads have now been opened up. The property was originally laid out to be known as Upper Piedmont, but the owners changed the plans and decided to put it on the market for those who want summer home cabins close to downtown and transportation.
Lawrence Block of the Villa Site Sales Company was in changed with the sale of the property and Block said:
“Pinehaven is a summer home colony with its pretty cottages and cabin homes nestling in the side-hills, overlooking canyons and with in twenty minutes from City Hall. You awaken in the morning to the song of the birds refreshed and full of vigor and imagine you have traveled a hundred miles to the wilds of some distant state.”
This was Villa Site Sales Company first big sale and they were offering it at mortgage prices. The sale price was as low as $175.00. More than 50 cabins and cottages were being planned.
Lots of building going on…
Simple Plans for a Log Cabin –
Building Bungalows in Foothill Canyons
Pinehaven Is Building Up
Pitch Your Teepee or build an log cabin in the woods of Pinehaven.