The Fremont Tract

Oakland Tribune

The Fremont Tract opened in 1911.  The tract is located at the intersection of MacArthur and High Street with frontage on MacArthur, High, Masterson, Quigley and Porter Streets. The Realty Syndicate handled the sales.

“The tract is near Mills College and commands a beautiful view of the hills.”

Every lot in the Fremont Tract was a full 35-front -foot lot. The prices ranged from $10 to $18 a front foot – the terms from $35 to $85 for the first payment. The balance paid at $5 or $10 per month.

Oakland Tribune Aug 1912

“Natural beauty and delightful surroundings, combined with even temperature, make this a delightful spot to build a home and enjoy living every day in the year. Every lot is high and well-drained.

The eastern side of Quigley Street is now the High Street freeway exit, and Redding Street is part of the freeway.

Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
Oakland Tribune Aug 1912
Oakland Tribune Aug 1912

This photo was most likely taken from the hill behind the present-day Walgreens on High and Redding Streets.

Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
  1. 3315 Vale Street
  2. 3333 Vale Street
  3. St. Lawrence O’Toole
  4. Location of Walgreens today
  5. Freeway exit ramp
  6. Macarthur Blvd and High Street
  7. Masterson Street
  8. Laurel School

Kanning Street is now Masterson Street, and Franklin Avenue is now 39th Avenue, and Hopkins Street is now MacArthur Blvd.

Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
  1. 3651 39th Avenue
  2. 4026 Masterson
  3. Laurel School
  4. 3625 Patterson Avenue
  5. 3840 MacArthur Blvd

St. Lawrence O’Toole

Oakland Tribune Aug 1912
Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
Oakland Tribune Aug 1912

St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church at the corner of Porter and High Street opened in 1911, in time for Christmas Eve Mass. The church was dedicated on August 25, 1912.

Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.
Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising c. 1911
‘The Collection of Ed Clausen’.

In March of 1956, the Diocese of Oakland broke ground for a new church just three blocks up High Street. They held the first mass on Thanksgiving Day in 1957.

More Info:

Oakland’s Laurel District

History is All Around Us

The End

6 thoughts on “The Fremont Tract

Add yours

  1. Thanks, Dorothy! This is very interesting, and the photos are fabulous. Having grown up in the Oakland hills, I’m very familiar with the Laurel District, but have never heard of the Fremont Tract. Was it named for John C. Fremont? I’m interested in 39th Avenue because it begins at Aliso Ave, just SW of the Warren Fwy. My grandparent’s house was on Anderson Ave., one block south of 39th where it begins. I have good friends that live on Patterson Ave., one-block north of 39th. I knew 39th ended at MacArthur, but I don’t know if I’ve ever driven it from beginning to end.

    I really like the photo of the original St Lawrence O’Toole church building. I tried to find a history of that church with no luck; there’s no history page on the church website.

    Your post led me down the rabbit hole when I clicked on your naming our city streets post, which led me to Gold Star Streets and finally a question. On the Gold Star Streets Local Oakland Wiki you started, William P. Burdeck is listed as the person who died in WWI whom the street is named after. In the 2/9/19 Oakland Tribune article, “170 Names of Oakland Honor Roll,” William B. Burbeck is listed, a different spelling. I couldn’t find anything about William P. Burdeck, but I did find an article in the Tribune from 1/6/1919 about the death of William B. Burbeck. He died from a relapse of the Spanish Influenza after volunteering for military and then being discharged. He was a Stanford grad and somewhat prominent in Oakland, so perhaps the street was named after him and misspelled—do you think that’s possible? This interests me because I grew up on Burdeck Drive where my family had a house from 1952-72.

    Sorry for the ramblings. I enjoy your blog, A Bit of History, immensely and will be commenting further on some of your other recent posts. I hope you are safe and well in this terrible situation we are experiencing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Inspired bloggery! As a Laurel District resident, I very much appreciate this info. The very narrow streets, like Masterson, that we have learned to love, are the original ones. Joaquin Miller convinced himself that his hero John C. Fremont, bane of indigenous people, camped nearby in the hills.
      Dorothy – or anyone reading this – I have in my possession a large box full of original investment certificates from the Realty Syndicate that I am looking to re-home. I first offered them to the Oakland History Center at the Main Library, and DorothyL was not enthused. She and Betty Marvin evidently had their first crack at the detritus in the basement of the old Realty Syndicate building at 1440 Broadway and this was among the materials not selected. But Oaklanders of 100 years ago invested in real estate, and some of those investments paid to develop my own neighborhood. Free to a good home…

      Liked by 2 people

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