A bit of history of 2062 Mountain Blvd. According to the OHA, the building was constructed in 1946 for Klee’s and designed byFrederick 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.
Johnnie Lee Jackson was the chef in 1948-1949. Johnny Radell was chef in 1949
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.
In 1953, the restaurant was sold to Sanford Cohn. Sanford’s closed in 1972.
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.
McKeen’s Charcoal Broiler
On a shakedown run, they sold three hundred “Big Mac’s” in four hours.
“Big Mac” & “Little Mac”
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.
“Montclair claims Big Bob and his natty new spot.”
Morton “Mort” and Gertrude Saunders bought McKeen’s in 1961 and reopened it as Mort’s Drive-In.
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.
Going, going gone!
Crown Liquors and Cleaners
In 1967 a new building replaced the Drive-In.. Crown has been there ever since.
A special thanks to Chris Treadway for the clippings from the Montclarion.
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.
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.
Naming the School
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:
Jack London Junior High
Montera Junior High
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.
Theparents said that
London was not a fit person for the honor.“
Parent – Faculty
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.
The school was formally dedicated as Montera Junior High on November 10, 1959
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.
The Grateful Dead once partied at 6024 Ascot Drive in the Piedmont Pines section of Oakland.
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.
In 1924 brothers Paul and Herman Pause formed Montclair Realty Co. Before that, Paul worked for the Realty Syndicate.
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.
In 1932 they moved into their new offices at6466 Moraga Avenue. The building was occupied by B. Brooks, another real estate agent. The building was still standing in 2019.
6466 Moraga Avenue – 2019
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 1934 Montclair Realty celebrated its 10th anniversary. During this time, they specialized in the development of the Montclair area. Oakland Tribune 1934
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
The building was demolished in 1961 to make room for the expansion of the Standard Station next door.
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.
Death and New Owners
Paul Pause died in 1950. He was an essential figure in the development of Montclair since the beginning.
Lucille Chasnoff purchased the company sometime after Pause died in 1950. John Mallett purchased the company from her.
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.
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.
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 Terraceand came close to the buildings of the new Broadway Low-Level tunnel (Caldicott Tunnel). This was on September 25, 1937.
The photo below was taken at the hight of the blaze, but before the fire jumped Tunnel Road.
Scores of families fled their homes in fear; others who sought to save the belongings were ordered out by fireman.
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.
The fire chief estimated the fire burned over 9 square miles of rolling hill county.
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.
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
Fire Started –
The fire started when a “backyard bonfire” got out of control.
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.
The was a fire in 1933 with the loss of one home at 7135 Pinehaven Road.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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, grasscloth wallpaper, and bamboo moldings 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 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 hideaway on a secluded cul-de-sac with a gorgeous living room in Japanese style. Price $289,000 in 1992.