Posted in Advertisment, Early Montclair, History

The Montclarion, a little history

A little history of the Montclarion newspaper in Oakland Ca.

The Montclarion 1992

Before The Montclarion newspaper rolled off the presses in 1944, there were two earlier editions of the paper.  The Montclair Garden Club published a newsletter called the Montclair Clarion in the early 1930s. 

The editor was Margery Lane Schuler who lived on Merriewood Drive.  Schuler was also the advertising manager, copy reader, publisher, and art director.

In her first editorial, Schuler wrote that the Montclair Clarion expected to “ have a great many people become more aware of the beauty of the district” 

In January of 1935  a small 20 pages booklet of poetry, stories and community activities, advertisements and a recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie appeared in mailboxes in the Merriewood neighborhood of the Montclair District.

It was sponsored by the Merriewood – Pinehaven Improvement Club and was distributed for free.

On the cover of the April 1935 edition it boasted a circulation of 1000 and by the September 1935, the little book was less than 10 pages.

Cover of the February March 1935 Issue

Please go here to see the complete issue – Montclair_Clarion

By November 1937 the publisher and editor was Beatrice “Bea” Pause the wife of  Montclair Realty owner Paul Pause.  The name was changed to Montclarion.

The first issues were printed on mimeograph machines.  It was printed from about 1937 – 1942.  In 1942 due to WWII and the rationing of paper, it ceased publication.

Montclarion July 24, 1941

To see more of this issue  –  Montclarion

In 1944 Fred Graeser and his wife Micky purchased the name for $100 and the first issue of “The Montclarion“, as we know it, came out in October 1944.  Fred ran the paper exclusively for 5 years when Micky took over.  Fred returned after a few years. They sold the paper in 1977.

May 29. 1957


A special thanks to Chris Tredway for the copies of the early issues


Posted in Advertisment, Early Montclair, History, Montclair Tracts, Uncategorized

Montclair is…

The birth of Montclair

The 1920s were economic boom years in the United States as a whole, and in California in particular.  Economic growth was fueled by the general post–World War I recovery, as well as oil discoveries in Los Angeles and, most notably, the widespread introduction of the automobile.

Oakland expanded during the 1920s, flexing enough to meet the influx of factory workers.  Approximately 13,000 homes were built between 1921 and 1924, more than between 1907 and 1920.

Many of the large downtown office buildings, apartment buildings, and single-family houses still standing in Oakland were built during the 1920s; and they reflect the architectural styles of the time.

1920 was when the first subdivisions or tracts went on sale in the rollings hills in the back of Piedmont.   After running a contest (more on that later) in Oakland Tribune in 1919, Montclair was the name given to the new area.

Montclair Opens

During the first year that Montclair was for sale some $460,000 worth of beautiful property was sold in Montclair.

Her First Birthday

Oakland Tribune October 1921

Oakland Tribune October 1921

Where is Montclair?

The Montclair of the 1920’s – Oakland Tribune

Today when you speak of Montclair it is a much larger area.  The Montclair of today includes the neighborhoods (or tracts) of Pinehaven, Merriewood, Fernwood, Glenwood Glade, Forest Park, Montclair Highlands and also might include Piedmont Pines.

During those first years of the 1920’s a lot of money and effort went to selling property in Oakland.  From free house or lot giveaways to proving car service to the sites from downtown (just 15 minutes away).  The Realty Syndicate even provided a bus( see The First Bus lines in Oakland ) service to some of their sites.


I thought I would show you some of the clever ads that were in the Oakland Tribune and the San Fransico Chronicle those first years.  In the months leading up to the day Montclair went on sale, they ran small teaser type ads all through the paper.  The one above is from June 1920.

Showing the teaser ads

Teaser Ads

What is Montclair?


Armistice Day 1920 in Montclair


Oakland Tribune


Montclair to be continued