Posted in Home Building, Oakland Tracts

Melrose Highlands

Melrose Highland is the area off of Keller Avenue to the King Estates Open Space and over to Field Street and up to Crest Avenue – The area is now called Eastmont Hills.

Melrose Highlands to Open

In June of 1925 preliminary construction work on a new track, called Melrose Highlands was nearly finished and ready to open.

Oakland Tribune 1925

Melrose Highlands is a part of the ‘old Houston ranch” (have to find out more about Houston) and a portion of the property was used by the National Guard as a rifle range ( see my blog here).  It lies between Leona Heights and Sequoia Country Club and the Upper San Leandro filter plant (7700 Greenly Drive) on west side.

The tract opened on July 19, 1925

C.P. Murdock was the developer of the tract and the sales agents for Melrose Highlands.

The Tract Office –

Looking up Earl Street towards Keller Avenue

Oakland Tribune 1925

A group of 12 homes was almost complete. Oakland Tribune – July 26, 1925

Display Home Opens

On opening day a display home was ready to be toured. 

FOR THE WORKINGMAN

In Melrose Highlands we are going to give the working man a chance to get the sort of house to which he has long looked for

 states C.P. Murdock, Inc.
 Oakland Tribune – July 12, 1925

3 Offers to pick from

  1. House and homesite complete – $100 down and $1 a day.
  2. Homesite and material for a house – $50 down and 75c. a day
  3. Homesite – $25 down and 50c.a day

Transportation

Oakland Tribune 1926

Due to the interest in Melrose Highlands CP Murdock set up a a bus system to bring potential buyers to the site and for the residents.

Oakland Tribune Jan 15, 1926

New School for Melrose Highlands

In 1923  the “Columbia Park School” was built on Sunkist Drive.  It was next to the home of Susie Thompson and her husband Roy who lived at 6886 Sunkist Drive.

Mrs. Thompson was the custodian of the one room school building for three years, when only 14 families lived in the area. 

The school was later destroyed in a high wind, was replaced by a new school (down the street) and later that school was renamed the Charles Burckhalter School. Oakland Tribune May 10, 1969.

Oakland Tribune Aug 30, 1925

Obituary for the custodian of Columbia Park School – May 10, 1969

The First Resident – Earl Street

In September of 1925 Anton J. Krajnc moved into his new home with his wife and daughter. This was his first time buying a home.

It’s Paying Me To Live In Melrose Highlands

A.J. Krajnc
Oakland Tribune Sept 1925
From the 1928 Directory – 234 in now 7957
Oakland Tribune Oct 01 1925

We have a baby girl just learning to walk and this is going to be a fine place for her to run around and grow up.

A.J. Krajnc – Oct 01, 1925

The W.E. Adams home on Earl Street

The new of William E. Adams on Earl Street. Their home was located at lot No. 232 which is now 7941 Earl Street , but the houses don’t look the same.

From the 1928 Directory

The Willard Booth Home – Earl Street

Croup Cured – by the Warm Climate of Melrose Highlands

Mrs. W. Booth – Jan 1926
Oakland Tribune Jan 17, 1926
1927 Oakland DirectoryAnderson Street is now Keller Avenue
Willard Booth Home – 7908 Earl Street

Moved from San Francisco

Oakland Tribune Jan 31, 1926
House similar to the A.De Backer home

Homes and Life in Melrose Highlands

Oakland Tribune Apr 1926
Oakland Tribune Aug 29, 1926

Many New Homes

Oakland Tribune Jan 1927

New Store

In January 1927 new store was opened by John G. Koch. The store was located in the 7979 Macarthur (give or take a few numbers). The building was later in way of the construction of the MacArthur Freeway (580).

We have a fast-growing community here, and as fine a place to live as any could want

J. Koch, the first grocer in Melrose Highlands
Oakland Tribune 1927 – Shows the new store

You can see the store both the upper and lower articles

Oakland Tribune 1927
Oakland Tribune Jan 1917

More Melrose Highlands Homes

Oakland Tribune 1927

The below article shows the progress of Melrose Highlands as of June 1926. The streets with the most homes are Earl Street, Winthrope Street, Keller Avenue and Greenly Drive.

Oakland Tribune June 1926

More on Melrose Highlands

To be continued with the next phase of homes built in the 1930s to 1940s

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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