After Hays’ death in 1883, the estate was sold to William J. Dingee. Dingee built an opulent 19-room Queen-Anne style mansion and had additional landscaping done with gardens, terraces, and waterfalls. He also added such features as a deer park and an elk paddock.
II have been an Oakland history buff since going on an Oakland Heritage Alliance Tour of the Fernwood Neighborhood in the Montclair District of Oakland, in the mid-'80s. On that tour, I learned that there use to be a train (Sacramento Northern) that ran through Montclair in the early 1900s and that people lived the area as early as 1860s — been hooked ever since. Since then, I have spent a lot of time looking into the history of Montclair, and I have learned a lot. I feel this will be the best way to get it out of my head and onto paper.
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