Posted in Buildings, Montclair, Then and Now

Four Restaurants and a Bagel Shop

A bit of history of 2062 Mountain Blvd. According to the OHA, the building was constructed in 1946 for Klee’s and designed by Frederick Dyer-Bennet. An addition was made in 1951, designed by John Carl Warnecke. The building was divided and the facade changed c.1990.

I could only could find one photo of the Equinox.

Klee’s Smorgasbord

From the collection of Dorothy Londagin

Johnnie Lee Jackson was the chef in 1948-1949. Johnny Radell was chef in 1949

From the collection of Dorothy Londagin

Flagg’s Restaurant

Forgotten Montclair Group

In 1951, the restaurant was purchased by A. J. Flagg and John S. Flagg, who already owned Pland’s Restaurant. A. J. spent considerable time and money remodeling the restaurant before opening it in March 1952. Joe Kiklas was manager, and famed maitre d’hotel, Jerome DeFelice was host. 

Montclarion
Flickriver –View on black
From the collection of Dorothy Londagin
Oakland Tribune 1952

Sanford’s Restaurant

In 1953, the restaurant was sold to Sanford Cohn. Sanford’s closed in 1972.

1964 Telephone Book
Oakland Tribune Jun 04, 1953
Montclarion
Oakland Tribune 1972

Equinox

The Equinox opened in 1972 and closed in 1990.

Forgotten Montclair Group
Sf Examiner 1990

Today

Google Maps

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Montclair, Then and Now

Hamburger Joints in Montclair

Most who grew up in the Montclair District of Oakland have fond memories of Mort’s Drive-in on the corner of Moraga and Medau. My memories of Mort’s are from when it was on Thornhill Drive next to the 7-11. The smell of french fries (the best!)wafting through the air and into our classrooms would make our mouths water. I can still remember how good they smelled and tasted. Yum!

Long before Mort’s opened at the corner of Moraga Avenue and Medau Place, the land was part of the Medau Dairy. (read about the Medau’s here).

FYI – I don’t know why McKeen’s was sold. I am thinking the owner’s political life was taking up a lot of his time. But that is just my opinion.

The Corner of Moraga and Medau – 6420 Moraga

Here is how the corner looked like in 1954. 

Moraga and Medau in 1954
Public Works Photos, Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey

McKeen’s Charcoal Broiler

McKeen’s in 1958
Montclarion

On a shakedown run, they sold three hundred “Big Mac’s” in four hours.

“Big Mac” & “Little Mac”

Montclarion July 1958

In 1958 Robert “Bob” Mckeen, a local realtor, opened a delightful contemporary style barbecue restaurant. The ex-Cal basketball star planned on eventually having a chain of them, and Montclair was the first one. It offered both take home and on the site dining.

Bob McKeen 1958

“Montclair claims Big Bob and his natty new spot.”

Oakland Tribune July 1958

Mort’s Drive-In

Montclarion March 1961

Morton “Mort” and Gertrude Saunders bought McKeen’s in 1961 and reopened it as Mort’s Drive-In.

Montclarion March 1961
Montclarion March 1961

Arson Suspected!

In April of 1966, fire swept through Mort’s Drive-In, causing several thousand dollars in damage.

The building was broken into through a rear window. Police believe the intruders were disappointed in not finding any cash on the premises. Papers and rubbish were piled in the middle of the room and set on fire.

Mort Sauders, the owner, offered a reward of $100 for information.

Montclarion April 13, 1966
Montclarion April 13, 1966
Montclarion April 13, 1966

Going, going gone!

Crown Liquors and Cleaners

In 1967 a new building replaced the Drive-In.. Crown has been there ever since.

Oakland Tribune 1967
Oakland Tribune 1968

More Info:

A special thanks to Chris Treadway for the clippings from the Montclarion.

The End

Posted in Buildings, Montclair, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools – Part 20

In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools.   Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight.  

Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.  

Montera Junior High

Montera and Joaquin Miller Schools are located where Camp Dimond owned by the Boy Scouts once was. The camp opened in 1919 and closed in 1949 when the land purchased by the board of education.

Groundbreaking

The groundbreaking ceremony was held in December of 1957. The school was next to Joaquin Miller Elementary School.  Speakers at the event were Peter C. Jurs, member of the board, Mrs. Robert Hithcock, President of the Joaquin Miller PTA, Zoe Kenton, eighth-grade student, Jim Ida seventh grade student, and Supt Selmer Berg. Rev Robert H. Carley led the invocation.

Malcolm D. Reynolds and Loy Chamberlain designed the school. The new school featured: Administration Offices.

Construction

Jan 1958
1958
Parking Lot – November 1958
Gymnasium
June 1958
Russ Reed Photo

Naming the School

Montera Junior High – Nov 1959

The school was temporarily called Joaquin Miller Junior High that was because it is adjacent to Joaquin Miller Elementary School.  

As is the case of all new Oakland School, the students, faculty, and community help choose the name of the school. 

Recommendations to the school board from the school’s parent -facility club were as follows:

  1. Jack London Junior High
  2. Montera Junior High
  3. Pineview Junior High

They were set to vote on the name at the next board meeting. Before they could vote, they received a second letter from the parent-faculty club at the school withdrawing the recommendation of Jack London Junior High.

The parents said that

London was not a fit person for the honor.

Parent – Faculty
SF Chronicle – Oct 1959

 A student representative said, “Montera Junior High” was the top choice for those attending the school. The area was known historically as the Montera District.

Oakland Tribune Nov 23, 1924

School Dedication

The school was formally dedicated as Montera Junior High on November 10, 1959

November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959
November 10, 1959

Film Festival

Oakland Tribune 1971

Montera Today

Montera is located at 5555 Ascot Drive.  

Montera Toros
Montera-OUSD Photo
Montera – OUSD Photo

In 2011, Montera became a California Distinguished School. The woodshop is another source of school pride, having celebrated over 50 years of teaching children the arts of woodcraft. It is the only remaining woodshop in an Oakland middle school.

More Info:

Posted in Montclair, People

Grateful Dead House – Oakland

The Grateful Dead once partied at 6024 Ascot Drive in the Piedmont Pines section of Oakland.

6024 Ascot Drive
Oakland Tribune May9, 1948

In 1948 house at 6024 Ascot Drive was advertised as an ‘ A Little Bit of Mexico” in beautiful Piedmont Hills ( Piedmont Pines), nestled in a glorious 2 1/4 acres: balconies overlooking a beautiful swimming pool. All the tiles in the bathrooms came from the Muresque Tile Co. of Oakland, one of the premier West Coast tilemakers in the 1920s and ’30s. Property highlights include a log cabin family room.

In 1968 Michael Leibert, his wife Alexa, and their 5 dogs lived at 6024 Ascot. Leibert was the founder of the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

The house had a routine existence until sometime during the late sixties, the house was rented by Owsley “Bear” Stanley (1935-2011) was an American audio engineer and chemist.

Stanley was the first known private individual to manufacture mass quantities of LSD. By his own account, between 1965 and 1967, Stanley produced no less than 500 grams of LSD, amounting to a little more than five million doses.

Owsley was a crucial figure in the San Francisco Bay Area hippie movement during the 1960s and played a pivotal role in the decade’s counterculture. Under the professional name Bear, he was the soundman for the rock band the Grateful Dead, whom he met when Ken Kesey invited them to an Acid Test party. As their sound engineer, Stanley frequently recorded live tapes behind his mixing board and developed their Wall of Sound sound system, one of the largest mobile public address systems ever constructed.

Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III
By Robert Greenfield
Google Books
Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III
By Robert Greenfield
Oakland Tribune Jul 16, 1970

In 1972 the house was advertised an authentic Spanish “Villa.” Back on the market.

Oakland Tribune May 21, 1972
SF Examiner 1998

The house was sold in 2012 for 1.2 million dollars.   A September 2012 article, “Rest Your Head Where the Grateful Dead Once Partied,” was posted on the  Curbed San Francisco website.

More Info –

The End

Posted in History, Montclair, Oakland, Uncategorized

Fire in the Hills – 1943

In December 1943, there were winds up to 75 MPH and many fires in the hills and the East Bay. There were at least 10 brush and grass fires reported all over Northern California.

The smell of burning eucalyptus hung over the city for hours

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 19443

The fire in the Oakland hills started near Broadway Terrace and Skyline, in the area above the Broadway Tunnel (Caldecott Tunnel). There also was a fire on Snake Road.

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943

The fire started just after midnight and burned for about 3 hours. The fire was most likely started by down wires knocked down by gale-force winds. There were over 30 fires reported all over Oakland.

 

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943

Wind and Fires Wreck Havoc

Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
Oakland Tribune Dec 09, 1943
  • Fire destroyed the garbage facility at the end of Davis Street
  • Fire on Mt. Diablo
  • 50 Boats smashed in Monterey
  • Tilden Park Fire
  • 1800 Acres burned in Concord
  • Napa County Swept by Fire

More

Posted in Business, Early Montclair, Montclair, Montclair Tracts, Real Estate

Montclair Realty – Pioneers of the Hills

In 1924 brothers Paul and Herman Pause formed Montclair Realty Co. Before that, Paul worked for the Realty Syndicate.

Paul and Herman Pause

The business district of Montclair looked like this when Montclair Realty was formed. Cos. Williams, a builder, was the only other business at that time.

Sales offices of real estate broker and home builder Cos Williams
in the undeveloped Montclair circa 1925
Photo by Cheney Photo Advertising
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.
Oakland Tribune 1929

In 1932 they moved into their new offices at 6466 Moraga Avenue. The building was occupied by B. Brooks, another real estate agent. The building was still standing in 2019.

Oakland Tribune 1932
Montclair Realty Office in 1940

6466 Moraga Avenue – 2019

Montclair Highlands

Montclair Highlands “All the World No View Like his”

In 1928 Montclair Realty was the developer and selling agents for a new tract behind the business district of Montclair. One of the first homes was the “Model View Home,” built-in 1928. Please see my page on this – The Highest Home in Oakland

In Montclair Highlands 1928

10th Anniversary

In 1934 Montclair Realty celebrated its 10th anniversary. During this time, they specialized in the development of the Montclair area. Oakland Tribune 1934

They worked on the following tracts:

They opened Piedmont Uplands, a new tract along Moraga Avenue at Maxwelton Road. The land was owned by the Henry Maxwell family, who ran a dairy called Maxwelton Farm. Before that is was the picnic grounds of Blair Park.

Montclair in 1937

Below is an aerial of Montclair’s business district in 1937. – Oakland Tribune Jul 18, 1937

Oakland Tribune 1937

In 1936 Paul Pause was the President of the Montclair Improvement Club for 1937. – Oakland Tribune Dec 12,1936

13th Anniversary

Oakland Tribune July 1937

In 1937 Paul Pause announced that Montclair Realty Company had a new home. The new two-story building was designed by Harvey Slocombe in an authentic Spanish style, complete with patio and tile roof. Howard Gilkey developed the garden.

Dramatically different the Pent House Model home brings to you “Ideas of 1938” in colorful interior finishes and modern furnishings. – Oakland Tribune 1937

Montclair Realty Staff and Pent House Living Room 1936
New Montclair Realty Office – Oakland Tribune 1937

The building was demolished in 1961 to make room for the expansion of the Standard Station next door.

Montclarion April 16,1961

Silver Anniversary – 1949

Paul Pause was a founding member of the Montclair Improvement Club. He was a member of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce residential committee and its highway and transportation committee. He was also a member of the Commonwealth Club.

Oakland Tribune 1949

Death and New Owners

Paul Pause died in 1950. He was an essential figure in the development of Montclair since the beginning.

Oakland Tribune 1950

Lucille Chasnoff purchased the company sometime after Pause died in 1950. John Mallett purchased the company from her.

Oakland Tribune 1960

New Office in 1954-56

In 1954 a new office building was built at 2084 Mountain Blvd. Montclair Realty offices were on the ground floor. It was the only office building that had its own off-street parking. The offices featured gold walls with charcoal woodwork with built-in desks and partitions. In 2019 a brand new building replaced the old and outdated Montclair Realty Office Building.

Oakland Tribune April 1956
Montclarion 1956
Montclarion 1956
2084 Mountain Blvd – Google Maps 2011

Different Logos –

Free Map

The End

Posted in Montclair, Uncategorized

Rock Concerts – Montclair Park

Montclair Recreation Center 6300 Moraga Avenue Oakland, CA

The bands were not obscure, but rather the sort of groups that headlined local clubs or played third on the bill at the Fillmore West.

In the early 1970s, the Montclair Recreation Center held bi-weekly rock concerts. The shows were co-sponsored by the Center and the Montclair Junior Women’s Club.

Admission was a $1.00 to $1.50

Not sure why the concerts stopped, but they did in the middle of 1972.

 

 

From the Forgotten Montclair Group Facebook

I found the advertisements in the “Wednesday “Teen Age” and the “What’s doing…where…” sections of the Oakland Tribune.

The Concerts lasted until the fall of 1972.

Sample section from the Oakland Tribune

I commend the leaders of the recreation center for doing this. I can imagine a lot of people in Montclair did not like the idea.

I was alive and living in Montclair during this timeframe. But, I have no memory of them. I know I would have enjoyed going to them.

Speaking of memories, their lots of locals who remember more prominent named bands playing there. I don’t doubt them just can’t locate any info on them.

The Concerts

This is not all of them, but most of them. A couple concerts were held at Montera Jr High.

  • September 06, 1968 – Two Teen Rock Groups
  • June 13, 1970 – Artichoke Jones – Summer Festival
  • June 26, 1970 – Fox Glove & Leviticus – Montera Jr High
  • July ??, 1970 – Backwater Rising – Montera Jr High
  • August 15, 1970 – Loveship *
  • August 22, 1970 – Cookin Mama and Rags *
  • August 30, 1970 – Loveship * back again
  • September 5, 1970 – Crystal Garden *
  • September 19, 1970 – The Tyde *
  • October 3, 1970 – Frontier Constabulary
  • October 10, 1970 – The Fog *
  • October 24, 1970 – AB Skhy *
  • October 31,1970 – Loading Zone featuring Linda Tillery *
  • November 7, 1970 – Loading Zone featuring Linda Tillery *
  • November 14, 1970 – Loveship *
  • November 21, 1970 – Beggar’s Opera *
  • November 28, 1970 – Joy of Cooking
  • December 5, 1970 – Little John featuring John Hart*
  • New Year’s Eve – Little John featuring John Hart*
  • January ??, 1971 – Barry Melton and the Fish
  • January 9, 1971 – Loading Zone
  • January 23, 1971 – Commander Cody *
  • January 23, 1971 – Boz Scaggs
  • January 30, 1971 – Joy of Cooking *
  • February 6, 1971 – The Tyde *
  • February 11, 1971 – Loading Zone featuring Linda Tillery – Skyline High
  • February 13, 1971 – Little John featuring John Hart *
  • February 20, 1971 – John Hooker Group *
  • February 27, 1971 – Cat Mother *
  • March 13, 1971 – Full Moon (formerly The Womb)
  • March 20, 1971 – Loading Zone featuring Linda Tillery
  • March 27, 1971 – Pipe *
  • April 17, 1971 – Little John featuring John Hart *
  • April 24, 1971 – Western Addition with John Celona
  • May 1, 1971 – Ice Band *
  • May 8, 1971 – Barry Melton and The Fish *
  • May 15, 1971 – Cat Mother*
  • May 22, 1971 – Loading Zone with Linda Tillery *
  • May 29, 1971 – Gold *
  • June 05, 1971 – John Lee Hooker
  • June 12, 1971 – Malo – with Jorge Santana brother of Carlos*
  • June 23, 1971 – Liquid Heart
  • June 26, 1971 – Fox Glove & Leviticus – Montera Jr High
  • July 3, 1971 – Sopwith Camel
  • July 10, 1971 – Clover *
  • July 17, 1971 – Little John featuring John Hart “Montclair Favorite.
  • July 24, 1971 – Gold
  • September ??, 1971 – Crystal Garden *
  • September 19, 1971 – Loading Zone
  • October 2, 1971 – Barry Melton and The Fish
  • October 16, 1971 – Full Moon *
  • October 23, 1971 – Jabo Stokes
  • November 6, 1971 – Cat Mother
  • November 13, 1971 – Grootna
  • November 20, 1971 – Loading Zone – featuring Linda Tillery
  • December 03, 1971 – Malo – with Jorge Santana brother of Carlos*
  • January 19, 1972 – Gold
  • February 19, 1972 – Little Sister, Gunn, and Thunderclap
  • March 04, 1972 – Little John featuring John Hart
  • April 08, 1972 – Loading Zone –
  • September 30, 1972 – Anglo Saxon – with John Hart formerly of Little John
  • November ?? 1972 – Gold

*Green Death did the light show

From the Forgotten Montclair Group – Their light shows were mostly two shallow glass bowls, placed on an overhead projector. The bottom bowl held oil and food coloring, and the top bowl fitted inside it, allowing them to squish the colors around in kaleidoscopic patterns. They set up their equipment and chairs on a table in the back of the room where the band played. Despite the low-tech process, their light shows were very fresh and added a lot to the atmosphere of the rock concerts.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1971

The End

Posted in History, Montclair, Oakland

1937 Fire – Upper Broadway Terrace

A brush and timber fire that destroyed at least four Oakland hill area homes and menaced at least 50 more burned in the area of Pine Needle Road and Upper Broadway Terrace and came close to the buildings of the new Broadway Low-Level tunnel (Caldicott Tunnel). This was on September 25, 1937.

Oakland Tribune Sep 26, 1937

The photo below was taken at the hight of the blaze, but before the fire jumped Tunnel Road.

Families Flee

Scores of families fled their homes in fear; others who sought to save the belongings were ordered out by fireman.

Mrs. G.H. Cowles with Eunice and Hazel Cowles
of 6142 Pinewood Road
The W.R Powers Family lost their home at 6142 Ruthland Road.
Edith Thorpe 6, holds her pet Rhode Island Red Hen

Burned Area

The fire started close to the home of Police inspector Jesse Jackson at 6019 Pinewood Road at around 3 pm on September 25, 1937. During the first six hours, the fire had burned across the western edge of the Pinehaven district up Broadway Terrace to a point just below Skyline Blvd. and back down another canyon to the west.

Oakland Tribune Sept 26, 1937

The fire chief estimated the fire burned over 9 square miles of rolling hill county.

Oakland Tribune Sept 26, 1937

Hose lines Burned

Several hundred feet of hose laid across brushy areas to link the pumps to the fire area were destroyed by flames. Lack of water was a problem, they had used up all the water in reservoirs in the immediate area.

Eyewitness Accounts

C.F. Humphrey – 13025 Broadway Terrace

Mrs. Marguerite Risley – 6493 Farralone Way

Homes Lost or Damaged

  • 15030 Broadway Terrace – Ted Gould – gone
  • 16060 Broadway Terrace – S. Albright – damaged
  • 17014 Broadway Terrace – Ed Pohley – damaged
  • 17044 Broadway Terrace – S. Sund – damaged
  • 17050 Broadway Terrace – S.C. Purser – damaged
  • 6539 Gwin Road – V. Sagues -damaged
  • 6142 Pinewood Road – G. H. Cowles – damaged
  • 6142 Ruthland – W.R. Powers – gone
The Press Democrat Sep 26. 1937

Fire Started –

The fire started when a “backyard bonfire” got out of control.

1929 Fire

There was a fire in November of 1929 in just about the same area. Some of the same homes were damaged then. The W.R. Powers home was saved in 1929 only to burn down in 1937.

Oakland Tribune Nov 15, 1929
Oakland Tribune Nov 15, 1929

1933 Fire

The was a fire in 1933 with the loss of one home at 7135 Pinehaven Road.

1930 Directory
Oakland Tribune Oct 23, 1933

The End

Posted in East Oakland, Montclair

1933 – Oakland Hills Fire

The fire started in the Redwood Road area and raced through to Sequoia Park (Joaquin Miller Park) and down Dimond Canyon and also spread some into Shepard Canyon. 

Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933

The fire, which began around 7 am on November 13, 1933, swept through the East Oakland Hills, burning a man to death, injuring two others, and destroying at least a dozen homes.  It was under control by 2 pm.

The municipal zoo in Sequoia Park (now Joaquin Miller Park) was surrounded by a ring of flames as the fire approached the animal cages. The zookeeper’s we preparing to shoot the animals, the fire stopped just 100 yards from the cages.

‘The Abbey’ is Spared

The flames spread through the homestead of the late Joaquin Miller and destroyed the home of Miller’s late mother, which was occupied his widow, who was 83.  Many of her treasures were lost, but she escaped. The historic Abbey was saved!

Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933

Shift in Wind

AT 9:20 am, the fire was fast approaching the Sequoia Riding Club at 2923 Mountain Blvd. The stable grooms led the frightened horses through the smoke to safety. A shift in wind saves the stables.

Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933
Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933
  • Mrs. Abbie L. Miller widow of Joaquin Miller with her niece
  • Carmela Ward and a couple of the 60 horses she rescued.
  • Juanita Miller helping fight the fire
Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933
  • Removing the body of Wm J. La Marr who burned to death
  • All the was left of one hillside home
  • Schoolboys who went class to fight the flames along Mountain Blvd

List of Homes

Oakland Tribune Nov 13, 1933

More on the Fire

The End

Posted in Homes, Montclair

10 Overlake Court –

10 Overlake Court –

Oriental Theme in Small Home

Oriental (now we would say Asian) theme in a small home. The five-room home is located at 10 Overlake Court above 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, grasscloth wallpaper, and bamboo moldings were some of the Eastern ideas.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

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.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

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.

From 1924

Another local Montclarion F.A. Christopherson, who lived on Abbott Drive in the Merriewood area, did the brickwork.

From 1944
Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

Modern with “oriental touch.” Delightful patio. Price at $6450.00 in 1940.

Oakland Tribune Apr 1940
10 Overlake Court – Google maps

It is priced in the low 30’s! – 1964

Oakland Tribune 1964A

A true hideaway on a secluded cul-de-sac with a gorgeous living room in Japanese style. Price $289,000 in 1992.

SF Examiner Nov 15, 1992

The End