Posted in Montclair

Playhouse at Montclair Park

Most anyone who grew up in Montclair played at the park. The park was always full of kids.

If you played in the park during the 1960-1980s you will remember the two story playhouse. It was built in 1960 and was located by the swing-sets.

It was demolished after a couple of fires in the mid to late 1980s. It is rumored that the fires were caused by teens or someone smoking in the house.

I really enjoyed playing in small playhouse. I would pretend I lived there and that best friend lived next door.

Built in 1960

In 1960 the Montclair Junior Women’s Club of Montclair held fundraisers and worked with the Oakland Recreation Department to finance a playhouse for the park in Montclair.

Oakland Tribune Apr 1960
Oakland Tribune 1960

Opening Day – September 1960

The 120 square foot playhouse incorporated such features as kitchenettes with running water and toy stoves and refrigerators It had a living room with built-in play television sets and a circular metal stairway leading up to the sleeping balcony and sundeck in each unit.

The exterior of the structure was covered with heavy wire to create the illusion of a closed building. Bright colored squares of orange, yellow, turquoise and white decorate the front of the playhouse.

Oakland Tribune Sep 1960

The playhouse was designed and constructed by members of the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department

  • Bert Trubody
  • Robert Savattone
  • Paul Mortensen

They name is “Merrivilla”

Oakland Tribune Sep 19, 1960
Montclarion 1960
Montclarion 1960
From Beth Reynolds
March 1964 from Mary Jo Losso
Jan 1973 from Mike Shuken

Not to be confused with a Dollhouse for Diane

The was also a playhouse located in Pinto Park/Carl B. Munck School play yard. It was built in honor who Diane “Dede” Dobson who lost her life during the Columbus Day Storms of 1962

Swiss Chalet at Pinto Park
Oakland Tribune Apr 1963
Oakland Tribune Apr 1963
Oakland Tribune August 1964

I will add more photos as I find them

The End

Author:

I 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-80's. On that tour, I learned that there use to be a train (Sacramento Northern) that ran through Montclair, in the early 1900's and that people lived the area as early as 1860's. I have 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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