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.
Oriental (now we would say Asian) theme in a small home. The five-room home is located at 10 Overlake Courtabove the Montclair Pool(Swim and Racquet Club).
It was designed with both far Eastern ideas and California architecture. Oil finished wood in a natural color, accented with Chinese red in finish and outside trim, grass cloth wall paper and bamboo mouldings, were some of the Eastern ideas.
The living room opens onto a private garden with beautiful oak trees. The house is somewhat like a modern ‘farmhouse’ with an exterior of oiled, heart redwood and an off-white limestone finished roof with wide overhanging eaves.
With many red brick window boxes and large glass areas of windows that are divided into horizontal panes, creating a streamlined effect that is unusual in residential construction. A large circular grille in the garage door was also new and different.
Montclair’s Most Talked-of Home
I don’t know who designed the home but it was built by Robert Darmsted of Pinehaven Road. The Darmsted’s moved to Montclair in about 1920.
Another local Montclarion F.A. Christopherson who lived up on Abbott Drive in theMerriewood area did the brickwork.
Modern with “oriental touch ” . Delightful patio. Price at $6450.00 in 1940.
It is priced in the low 30’s! – 1964
A true hide-away on a secluded cul-de-sac with a gorgeous living room in Japanese style. Price $289,000 in 1992.
In June of 1925 preliminary construction work on a new track, called Melrose Highlands was nearly finished and ready to open.
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
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
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
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.
The Willard Booth Home – Earl Street
Croup Cured – by the Warm Climate of Melrose Highlands
Mrs. W. Booth – Jan 1926
Moved from San Francisco
Homes and Life in Melrose Highlands
Many New Homes
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
You can see the store both the upper and lower articles
More Melrose Highlands Homes
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.
The 1928 Model View Home is situated at the “Top of the World” in reality the top -most peak in Montclair Highlands, overlooking several counties as well as affording a magnificent sweep of the entire bay and part of the Pacific ocean beyond.
Montclair Highlands Commands Ones of The World’s Finest Views, and Only 15 Minutes From Downtown
Montclair Realty – 1928
Combining modern features in fixtures with a marine view the Spanish themed home with certain additions, designed by Hamilton Murdock an Oakland architect.
The “1928 Model” View Home “The Home Electric”. All the latest features of proven merit – the things you have wondered about are used in the “1928 Model” home, including: Oakland Tribune Mar 25, 1928
Quartz-Lite – window glass
Colored plumbing ware
Screen Test for Children
In November of 1928 they held a movie screen test for children in the “1928 Model View “ home. The screen test was under the direction of the Sherman Clay Company.
The “1929 Model View” Home
For a few weeks in 1929 is was renamed .
The “1928 Model View” home is located at 1949 Asilomar Drivein Montclair. It was on of the first homes built in the hills directly behind the business district of Montclair. The area was called Montclair Highlands. The 1928 Model View Home was built just up the hill the lone home to the left of arrow.
The home has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and last sold in 1974. I don’t have a present day picture.
1928 Model View Home
Hamilton Murdock – architect
Elmo Adams – builder
Howard Gilkey – landscaper
Paul Pause – owner
1949 Asilomar Drive
The Callahan House is the bottom in the photo below.
English Tudor with a panoramic view of the bay. Every room in the homes takes full advantage of the panorama of Oakland, San Francisco and the Bay which includes both bridges and everything from San Pablo Bay to miles down the Peninsula.
With a extra large living room, dining room and breakfast room and kitchen. The kitchen is usually large and is a masterpiece of careful planning and scientific, step saving arrangement. Oakland Tribune Aug 09, 1936
Three big bedrooms and two bathrooms and a sundeck on the second floor.
Women will marvel at its extra cupboard space and the way we have provided for thoses hard to store odds and ends
I couldn’t locate the actual “Hampstead House”. I have included other houses in the area that were for sale during the same time period.
Prior to the opening of Hempstead House in Sheffield Village the H.C Capwells Company created a full scale floor plan model completely furnished in the furniture department on the fourth floor of their downtown store.