Posted in Early Montclair, Montclair Tracts, People

$20,000 Log Cabin – Fernwood

Fernwood was the beautiful country estate of Col. Jack C. Hays and his wife Susan in 1852.

Residence of Col. John C. Hays, Oakland, Alameda County, California.”
(Published by Thompson & West, Oakland, Cal., 1878)
from Oakland History Room

After Hays’ death in 1883, the estate was sold to William J. Dingee. Dingee built an opulent 19-room Queen-Anne style mansion, and had additional landscaping done with gardens, terraces and waterfalls. He also added such features as a deer park and an elk paddock.

Sadly, the home and countless artworks were destroyed in a fire in 1899. Oakland Tribune Oct 19, 1899

In 1915 Dr. and Mrs. Nelson M. Percy of Chicago, Illinois purchase the former W.J. DIngee home “Fernwood” for an undisclosed amount.

Oakland Tribune Oct 10, 1915
Oakland Tribune 1915
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune 1923
Oakland Tribune Aug 04, 1923
Yellow arrow shows the log cabin, green arrow the pool and blue arrow the tennis courts

More of Fernwood –

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Home Building, People

Residents of Hays Canyon – Now Montclair

Hays Canyon or sometimes called Jack Hayes Canyon was the area in hills behind Piedmont.  It was named for Col. John “Jack” Coffee Hays (1817-1883) who lived in the area from 1856-1883.   His estate Fernwood was located approx. where Moraga Avenue, (Hays Canyon Rd.)  Hwy 13 and Thornhill Drive (Thorn Road) meet. 

Hays (Hayes) Canyon was in the Piedmont District and both the Brooklyn and Oakland Townships

The main road to the or through the canyon was called the “Hays (Hayes) Canyon Road” which traveled the route of present day Moraga Avenue.  According to one article the beginning of Hays Canyon was at Bonita Avenue in Piedmont.

From Google Maps

Hays Canyon Road is now known as Moraga Avenue

Hays Canyon is now Montclair.

In 1891, the S.F. Call described Hays Canyonthe romantic valley just beyond the ridge that receives its name from the famous Colonel Jack Hays” and “the beautiful home of W. J. Dingee” and the “fine places of Mrs Kohler, Judge E.M Gibson and Mrs. Fields and others.

S F Call – Mar 22, 1891

Colonel John C. Hays – Fernwood

Residence of Col. John C. Hays, Oakland, Alameda County, California.”
(Published by Thompson & West, Oakland, Cal., 1878)
from Oakland History Room

Hays died at home April 22, 1883, at the age of 66.   After his death Fernwood was sold to William J. Dingee.

Wm J. Dingee – Fernwood

Dingee built an opulent 19-room Queen-Anne style mansion, and had additional landscaping done with gardens, terraces and waterfalls. He also added such features as a deer park and an elk paddock.

Athens of the Pacific” 1896

Sadly, the home and countless artworks were destroyed in a fire in 1899. Oakland Tribune Oct 19, 1899

After the Fernwood burned Mrs. Adeline Percy built a modern log cabin on the property. In the 1920s the property was sold and subdivided.

Oakland Tribune March 12, 1916
Yellow arrow Percy Log Cabin, green arrow pool, blue arrow tennis courts.
Oakland Tribune Aug 19, 1923

Judge E. M. Gibson – Cote Brilliant

Judge E.M. Gibson owned the property the just beyond Thornhill School. It was latter owned by E.M Boggs. The house burned down in 1910. Dr. Mark Emerson bought the land in the mid-1920s and built a lovely home and lived there until the late 1950s. St John’s Episcopal Church is now there.

Map showing the locations of the Gibson and Fields land
Oakland Tribune April 23, 1887
Oakland Tribune Jun 1888
Oakland Directory 1889
Oakland Tribune 1888
1891

J. B. Fields

Joseph B. Fields was born in England. Prior to moving to Hays Canyon he was an Oakland Police officer for 12 years.

He owned 25 acres of farming land next the the property of Judge Gibson. His land was in the general location of Aspinwall Road is today.

Oakland Tribune April 16, 1890
SF Chronicle Jan 25,,1891

Mrs. C.A. Kohler – Glen Kohler

Glen Kohler the home of Mrs.. Kohler was located about where Thornhill Drive, Pinehaven Road and Woodhaven Way meet.

Cordelia A. (“CA”) Kohler was the widow of Andrew Kohler (1819-1885) of Kohler & Chase Pianos,  who had a fine home Hays Canyon on Thorn Road (Thornhill Drive) she named it  Glen Kohler.

She died at her home in Hays Canyon on November 27, 1894.  Her funeral was largely attended by the old settlers of the county and was held at her home on November 30, 1894.  She is  buried at Mountain View Cemetery  alongside her husband Andrew and her daughter Louisa (1849-1854)  who died at the  young age of 5.

Oakland Tribune Oct 17 1885

Glen Kohler was designed by architects the Samuel and Joseph C. Newsom (Newsom Brothers) in 1885. The residence was 18 rooms, in what was know as the “free style”. At a cost of about $10,000.

Oakland Tribune Nov 14, 1885
Oakland Tribune Feb 12, 1886
S F Call Nov 29, 1894

I don’t know what happened to Glen Kohler after Mrs. Kohler died. It is possible it was used at a Sanatorium (more on that later).

More on Hays Canyon

The End

Posted in Early Montclair, History

A Murder in Hays Canyon

Hays Canyon or sometimes called “Jack Hayes Canyon” was the area in hills behind Piedmont. Now known as Thornhill Canyon, Thornhill Drive and Moraga Avenue. For more info please see here – Oakland Local Wiki – Hays Canyon

On June 6th, 1894 Manuel Souza Quadros was murdered on the old Thorn Road in the “Jack Hayes Canyon” (Hays Canyon) by an unknown man while returning home. “The assassin did his work well and left no trace behind him”. Quadros had a wife and three children. He had a very “good reputation as a sober and industrious fellow”. He was returning home after delivering milk to the Oakland Creamery.

In order to reach the Moss Ranch (not sure where this was will have to research more) he had to pass through the canyon pass Blair Park. When found he was lying on the seat of his wagon “in a lonely place” in the canyon. He was shot in the breast . He was killed instantly by a 44 caliber pistol.

Theodore Medau , a rancher gives the only clue to the murder. He says “a middle- aged man, who was very excited” stopped him and said that a man was dead down the road. The man said he had 15 miles to drive and he was in a hurry. Medau went down the road a few hundred yards and found the deceased. San Francisco Chronicle June 07, 1984

Was He Assassinated?

Suspected in Murder

Quadros Suspected Slayer – Before Grand Jury

Oakland Tribune July 19, 1894

Miller Indicted

San Francisco Examiner July 26, 1894

Miller Trial to Start

San Francisco Call Sep 03, 1894
San Francisco Call Sep 03, 1894

Miller does not seem to be frightened at the prospect of a noose.

San Francisco Call Nov 14, 1894

Acquitted of Murder

Frank Miller Will Not Have to Stand a Trial

The moment Miller walked out of the courtroom he said was going to “start to walk East at once”.

San Francisco Chronicle Nov 21, 1894

Discharged and Rearrested

San Francisco Chronicle Nov 21, 1894

Murdered Man’s Estate

San Francisco Chronicle Nov 24, 1894

Now the question is who murdered Manuel Quadros? I can’t find anything on it…yet.

Is this considered a “cold case” ?

Is it still on the books?

Does the modern day Oakland Police Department even know about this murder?

Was he murdered for his estate?

Inquiring minds want to know.

More to come I hope.

Update –

In January of 1886 a man by the name of John Schneider (the name he gave them) was arrested for a stage coach robbery in Ukiah. When he was arrested the SF Call published a picture of him. See Below

San Francisco Call – Jan 29 1896

Attorney Tom Garrity recognized the man as Frank Miller. Garrity was Miller’s attorney during Manuel Quadros murder case. Two other men also identified Schneider as Miller.

April 18, 1886
San Francisco Examiner Feb 01, 1896
Posted in Early Montclair, East Oakland, Oakland, Streets, West Oakland

Naming Our City Streets

Growing up in Montclair (for me) Thornhill Drive was always just Thornhill Drive. But come to find out it was once called Thorn Road (sometimes Thorne Road). Thornhill is a nicer sounding name than Thorn. But there is a perfectly good reason as to why it was called Thorn Road.

Thorn Road

From the 1878 Map of Oakland,

William J. Dingee 1878 Map of Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda . David Rumsey Map Collection –

The name goes back to 1856 when man named Hiram Thorn (Hiram Thorne) built the road at a heavy expense. Thorn’s road brought redwood logs to Oakland out of the vast forest known as the Moraga Redwoods where he ran a lumber mill on Pinehurst Road. Thorn was later given a franchise to run and collect tolls for the road, it was one of 3 toll roads in Oakland. In 1933 Thorn Road officially became Thornhill Drive.

From the 1870 Oakland City Directory

Since I found out about Thornhill Drive I have been very curious about the names of our city streets. If you are interested you can read more at the Oakland Local Wiki page Street Names.

Oakland had lots of streets that seemed to be name for tress. Like Acacia Avenue Beech Street, Birch Street, Holly Street, Linden Street, Locust Street, Palmetto Street, Pine Street, Poplar Street, Plymouth Street, Redwood Road, Sequoyah Road, Spruce Street, Walnut Street and Willow Street. To name a few.

In the Laurel District there are streets named for the states. The streets are Maine, Vermont, Jersey, Montana, Texas, Ohio (now Dakota) Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas. California and Wisconsin Streets. Maine, Vermont and Jersey are no longer due to the construction of the MacArthur Freeway . I happen to live on Georgia Street.

In Sequoyah Hills, which located in the Oakland Hills above 580, off of Keller Avenue, directly below Skyline Blvd. The streets are named Hansom, coach, chariot, phaeton, shay and surrey are varieties of horse-drawn carriages. Better yet, the theme is a pun, considering the wheel-like arrangement of Shay, Phaeton and Coach streets radiating from Hansom.

View Post

In Montclair there is group of street possibly named for early explorers. The streets are Balboa Drive, Cabrillo Drive, Cabot Drive, Drake Drive, Gasper Drive, Magellan Drive and Mendoza Drive. Another group of streets seem to be named after WW I Generals. They are Liggett Drive, Pershing Drive, Sims Drive and Wood Drive.

The following is a group of articles by Albert E. Norman from the Oakland Tribune in 1960-1960.

Oakland Tribune Jan 1960
Oakland Tribune June 12, 1960
Oakland Tribune June 19, 1960
Oakland Tribune June 26, 1960
Oakland Tribune July 03, 1960
Oakland Tribune Julu 10, 1960
Oakland Tribune July 17,1960
Oakland Tribune July 24, 1960
Oakland Tribune July 31, 1960
Oakland Tribune August 07, 1960
Oakland Tribune August 14, 1960
Oakland Tribune August 28, 1960
Oakland Tribune Sept 04, 1960
Oakland Tribune Sept 11, 1960
Oakland Tribune Sept 18, 1960
Oakland Tribune Sept 24, 1960
Oakland Tribune October 02, 1960
Oakland Tribune October 09, 1960
Oakland Tribune October 16, 1960
Oakland Tribune October 23, 1960
Oakland Tribune Nov 06, 1960
Oakland Tribune Dec 11, 1960
Oakland Tribune Dec 18, 1960
Oakland Tribune Dec 25, 1960
Oakland Tribune Jan 15, 1961
Oakland Tribune Feb 1961

If you have wondered about the name of your street, leave message below and I will check it out.

Links

Oakland related links:

Misc Street Links:

Coming soon Gold Star Streets

The End

Posted in Early Montclair, History, People

Shepherd Canyon …a bit of history

Have you ever wondered about why it is called Shepherd Canyon?

Oakland Tribune 1927

It named after the Shepherd Family who owned about 200 acres and lived there from about 1875 to the early 1900s.

You can view the location of the Shepherd’s land in a Map of the City of Oakland, Berkeley, Oakland & Brooklyn Townships and Alameda dated 1889 Published by E.P. Vandercook & Co. Real estate agents. 

View map here Georeferencer.com

William J Shepherd (1844-1921) emigrated from England in about 1865 with his parents Thomas and Ellen Shepherd, brothers John and Thomas and sisters Mary Ann and Elizabeth.

Oakland Tribune Nov 04, 1876
Wm. J. Shepherd granted citizenship

In 1878 William married Mary Rogers (1842-1907) they had six children, William, James, Mary, Ellen, Louise and Robert. They attended the Hays School.

Oakland Tribune 1875
LARGE LAND OWNERS OF 1876-BUSINESS DIRECTORY OF OAKLAND TOWNSHIP-OF ALAMEDA TOWNSHIP-
Oakland Tribune 1878
From the 1895 Directory

Hays School Graduation – 1901

William Shepherd died in San Jose in 1921

Oakland Tribune June 1921

Shepherd Pass Road –

A few articles discussing building a road that would run through the Canyon to connect to Skyline using County Road 2457 (now Shepherd Canyon Road).

Oakland Tribune Jun 15, 1896
Oakland Tribune Sep 18, 1897

Oakland Tribune Daily Knave 1953. Settling a moot point in Oakland nomenclature from William’s nephew.

Oakland Tribune 1953

Links

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Montclair Tracts

Forest Park – a scenic residential park

Subdivision of Montclair – approx. the area above Thornhill at Woodhaven and Oakwood Drive and up to Snake and Colton Blvd. The Forest Park Pool (now Montclair Swim Club) was included with the tract. – Updated May 06, 2019

Wickham Havens, Inc., to Sell Fine Scenic Property on the Highlands Northeast of Beautiful Piedmont” – Oakland Tribune May 11, 1924

A residential park that has been “twenty years in the making” is how they described Forest Park when in first opened in May 1924. The hills of Forest Park were barren of trees , when the late Frank C. Havens undertook the task in the early 1900s of planting them with trees. His son Wickham is in charge of selling Forest Park.

Oakland Tribune May 11, 1924
Oakland Tribune May 11, 1924
Oakland Tribune May 1924
Free Bus service to Forest Park
Oakland Tribune May 1924
Oakland Tribune 1924

Big wooded lots some with a view of the bay were selling at a few hundred dollars each. “Investment in Forest Park today means rich profits in the future” – Come out and see the $10,000 pool being built for the residents – Oakland Tribune June 1924.

Oakland Tribune Jun 15, 1924
Elmer F. Morrill lived down the road where
Harbord Drive and Moraga Avenue meet since the late 1880s
Oakland Tribune Mar 1924

Forest Pool was located at Thornhill Drive and Woodhaven Way is now the Montclair Swim Club.

Forest Pool – 1925
Photo By Cheney Advertising
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
Forest Pool 1927
Photo By Cheney Advertising
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
The corner of Woodhaven Way and Indian Way
Cheney Photo Advertising 1925
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
Present Day Google Maps
Woodhaven Way looking towards the corner of Indian Way
Photo by Cheney Advertising 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
Woodhaven Way looking towards the corner of Indian Way
Present Day – Google Maps
From 7000 Thornhill Drive looking east
Cheney Photo Advertising 1925
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
From 7000 Thornhill Drive looking east
Cheney Photo Advertising 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
Present Day 7017 and 7025 Thornhill Drive – Google Maps
San Francisco Bay – Forest Park with Oakwood Drive and Thornhill
Cheney Photo Advertising c 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4
San Francisco Bay – from Skyline
Cheney Photo Advertising c 1927
https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt209nd06r?&brand=oac4

To be continued …Forest Park – the Shepard Canyon Section

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Montclair Tracts

Thornhill Park

I wish I had more to share on this Thornhill Park this is all I can find. I only found out about it by accident when researching the home of Judge EM Gibson who lived on a ranch in area where Thornhill School is now and over to Aspinwall Drive. Judge Gibson lived there in the late 1880’s. I will soon post something on the first residents of Montclair which will include Gibson. I will call this page a work in progress to be undated.

The boundaries of Thornhill Park from REDFIN.com

Thornhill Park was first advertised for sale in May of 1917. It was handled by the Reality Syndicate at first and then Phil Hearty a local Montclair Real Estate Agent. The area was only know as Thornhill Park for few years it is now called Montclair and possibly Forest Park (another blog in the works) or what ever is best to sell the area.

Thornhill Park was an area of small farms of 1/4 acre to 1 acres where you could grow your own food or say raise chickens as noted the ad below.

Oakland Tribune May 1917
Oakland Tribune 1922
Oakland Tribune
April 1922

By 1922 they were having a “Liquidation Sale” and trying to “close out” the rest of the tract. Selling 1/2 acre lots for 66 cents on the $1.00. It seems Thornhill Park wasn’t a big seller. I noticed it wasn’t advertised as much as any of the other tracts in Montclair like Forest Park, Merriewood, or Fernwood were. Later on Phil Hearty a developer and agent who had an office at 5815 Thornhill for years, took over the sale of the remaining Thornhill Park lot. Now Thornhill Park is part of Forest Park and Montclair Highlands.

Oakland Tribune 1922
The home of F.M. Boggs was the home Judge EM Gibson (more about him later) and later the home Dr. Mark Emerson Alameda County Coroner and now St. Johns Church
is in that location. Approximate location 1707 Gouldin Road

Some of the homes in Thornhill Park –

Oakland Tribune April 1922
650 Thorn Road is now 6116 Thornhill Drive

A September 1919 advertisement for 6-Room Bungalow on One Acre in Beautiful Thornhill Park located at 650 Thorn Road (now Thornhill Drive) . It is my best guess that this is not 6110 or 6116 Thornhill Drive. 650 Thorn Road is one address that I can’t link to a modern address number. But I am fairly certain that it is one those two.

Oakland Tribune September 1919

6138 Thornhill Drive is another on the original homes in Thornhill Park. Back in the 1920’s the address was 670 Thorn Road . The Bullard family lived there until the 1990’s, from what I can tell. 6022 Thornhill Drive also. Col. George and Edith Mullin moved their in about 1917 when the address was 570 Thorn Road. The Mullin’s played a big role in the Montclair Women’s Club and Montclair Presbyterian Church.

Oakland Tribune March 1943
6067 Aspinwall Road –
Recently sold for $910,000 in 2017 – Zillow

For now this is all I have.

End