Posted in East Oakland, Home Building, Model/Display Homes

Melrose Highlands- Part 2

Oakland Tribune

In 1935 Phil Heraty a local real estate agent and developer took over the sales of Melrose Highlands.

Colonial Village – 1935

A type of English brick was used on the exterior of a few houses built in 1935.

Oakland Tribune June 19357773 Greenly Drive
Oakland Tribune July 1935
Oakland Tribune July 19357765 Greenly Drive
Oakland Tribune July 7, 1935

Both the houses are on Greenly Drive, they are side by side at 7765 and 7775.

Google Maps – 7775 Greenly Drive

Heraty to Build 100 Homes – Jan 1940

Oakland Tribune Jan 14, 1940
Oakland Tribune 1940

Cape Cod Colonial – 7776 Sterling Drive

Six generous size rooms with light filled upstairs bedrooms. Downstairs has the living room, dinette and kitchen. Detached Garage. Price $4150.00.

Oakland Tribune 1940

Present day photo below. I see they made a room out of the garage.

7776 Sterling Drive – Google Maps
Oakland Tribune 1940

7225 Sterling Drive – 1940

Oakland Tribune Mar 1940
Oakland Tribune Mar 1940
7725 Sterling – Google MAPS

Heraty Homes – Greenly Drive

Forty new -home owners have moved into Melrose Highlands since his organization became the selling agents

said Heraty – Oakland Tribune Sept 08, 1940
Oakland Tribune Sept 08, 1940

New Economy Home at 8108 Greenly Drive – 1940

Oakland Tribune Aug 18, 1940
8108 Greenly Drive – REDFIN.Com

Building Progress in Melrose Highlands

Below is about 8032 Fontaine Street which was lost due to the construction of the freeway.

Oakland Tribune Aug 1940
Oakland Tribune May 11, 1941

Beautiful Melrose Highlands – 1941

In May of 1941 a furnished “Model Home’ opened in Melrose Highlands at 8033 Fontaine Street.

8033 Fontaine Street – Google Maps
Oakland Tribune May 11, 1941

Built to Order in Melrose Highlands – 1941

A Garden Showplace on Greenly Drive

The home of R.E. Derby on 7757 Greenly Drive was featured in the garden section on the Oakland Tribune in July of 1939.

their principal concern was, what to do with the “mud hole” in the backyard.

R.E Derby – July 16, 1939
Oakland Tribune July 16, 1939
Oakland Tribune July 16, 1939
Oakland Tribune July 16, 1939

The End

Posted in Home Building, 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, grass cloth wall paper and bamboo mouldings, 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 up 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 hide-away 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

Posted in Home Building, Oakland Tracts

Melrose Highlands

Melrose Highland is the area off of Keller Avenue to the King Estates Open Space and over to Field Street and up to Crest Avenue – The area is now called Eastmont Hills.

Melrose Highlands to Open

In June of 1925 preliminary construction work on a new track, called Melrose Highlands was nearly finished and ready to open.

Oakland Tribune 1925

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

Oakland Tribune 1925

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

 states C.P. Murdock, Inc.
 Oakland Tribune – July 12, 1925

3 Offers to pick from

  1. House and homesite complete – $100 down and $1 a day.
  2. Homesite and material for a house – $50 down and 75c. a day
  3. Homesite – $25 down and 50c.a day

Transportation

Oakland Tribune 1926

Due to the interest in Melrose Highlands CP Murdock set up a a bus system to bring potential buyers to the site and for the residents.

Oakland Tribune Jan 15, 1926

New School for Melrose Highlands

In 1923  the “Columbia Park School” was built on Sunkist Drive.  It was next to the home of Susie Thompson and her husband Roy who lived at 6886 Sunkist Drive.

Mrs. Thompson was the custodian of the one room school building for three years, when only 14 families lived in the area. 

The school was later destroyed in a high wind, was replaced by a new school (down the street) and later that school was renamed the Charles Burckhalter School. Oakland Tribune May 10, 1969.

Oakland Tribune Aug 30, 1925

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

A.J. Krajnc
Oakland Tribune Sept 1925
From the 1928 Directory – 234 in now 7957
Oakland Tribune Oct 01 1925

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.

From the 1928 Directory

The Willard Booth Home – Earl Street

Croup Cured – by the Warm Climate of Melrose Highlands

Mrs. W. Booth – Jan 1926
Oakland Tribune Jan 17, 1926
1927 Oakland DirectoryAnderson Street is now Keller Avenue
Willard Booth Home – 7908 Earl Street

Moved from San Francisco

Oakland Tribune Jan 31, 1926
House similar to the A.De Backer home

Homes and Life in Melrose Highlands

Oakland Tribune Apr 1926
Oakland Tribune Aug 29, 1926

Many New Homes

Oakland Tribune Jan 1927

New Store

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
Oakland Tribune 1927 – Shows the new store

You can see the store both the upper and lower articles

Oakland Tribune 1927
Oakland Tribune Jan 1917

More Melrose Highlands Homes

Oakland Tribune 1927

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.

Oakland Tribune June 1926

More on Melrose Highlands

To be continued with the next phase of homes built in the 1930s to 1940s

The End

Posted in Home Building, Model/Display Homes, Montclair

Million Dollar View Home – 1936

Oakland Tribune Aug 1936
  • Million Dollar View –
  • 5614 Balboa Avenue
  • Montclair Highlands
  • Conrad T Kett – designer
  • Paul A. Wolter – builder
  • Harry R. Stockman
  • Emge & Stockman
  • 1936
Oakland Tribune 1936

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

Oakland Tribune Aug 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

Martha Lee – Oakland Tribune Aug 09, 1936
Oakland Tribune Aug 1938
Oakland Tribune 1941 – $12,000
5614 Balboa Drive – Google Maps
5614 Balboa Drive – Google Maps

The End

Posted in Home Building, Model/Display Homes, Oakland, Real Estate

Open for Inspection Today – Aug 13, 1939

Oakland Tribune 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 13, 1939

Six modern furnished homes were opened for inspection on Sunday August 13, 1939. The homes were located in Berkeley, Moraga and Oakland. I will just highlight the two homes from Oakland.

Lincoln Highlands

  • Harmony Home
  • 2700 Alida Street
  • 1939
  • $6750 up
  • Lincoln Highlands
  • Irwin M. Johnson – architect
  • W.H. Wisheropp – owner and builder
  • H.G. Markham – realtor
Oakland Tribune Aug 1939

Harmony Home was one of several homes that were built in 1939. It is located in the scenic tract called Lincoln Highlands on Alida Street at the top of Coolidge Avenue.

The compact plan included a large living room, a dining room, a kitchen with breakfast nook, a tile bath with three bedrooms, as well as an informal den with access to double garage.

Oakland Tribune Aug 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 20, 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 27, 1939

In less than a month over 12,000 had toured Harmony Home.

Oakland Tribune Sep 1939
Harmony House Today – 2700 Alida Street – Google Maps

Sheffield Village

  • Hampstead House
  • 1939
  • Sheffield Village
  • Theodore Thompson – architect
  • E.B. Fields – developer

Sheffield Village is located above Hwy 580 at Dutton Avenue.

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.

Hampstead House 1939 – Unknown location
3039 Roxbury Ave – 1939
3039 Roxbury Avenue – Google map
3046 Revere Ave – Google Maps

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.

Oakland Tribune June 18 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 1939
Oakland Tribune Aug 1939

More on Sheffield Village –

If anyone knows the street address for the Hampstead House please leave a comment.

The End

Posted in Home Building, Montclair, People

On Moraga Avenue

An Enterprising Family and Their New Home in the Montclair District.

Oakland Tribune

Mr. and Mrs. John W Martinsen’s like many others in the area took on the task of building their own home.

Mrs. Martinsen would serve a hot lunch for them from a cabin they had built in the back of the lot.

The home is located on the corner of Moraga Avenue and Estates Drive.

1923
1930
From the 1943 Directory

They lived there until sometime in the mid-1940s.

She dresses in a regulation feminine hiking costume, and is able and effective assistant to her husband

Oakland Tribune

Photos

Intersection with Estates Drive c 1950
Public Works Photo,
Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey, Oakland City Planning Department
intersection with Estates Drive, this east image from 1951
Public Works Photo,
Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey, Oakland City Planning Department
From Google Maps

Location

The Martinsen Home – Google Maps
  • 5901 Moraga Avenue at the corner of Estates Drive
  • John W. Martinsen – builder and owner
  • $10,000
  • 1922

More…

Oakland Tribune Nov 03, 1930

The End

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 beyond 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