In 1922 few people outside the hikers of the Contra Costa Hills Club, knew much about Pinehaven and its beautiful canyon. Pinehaven has all the characteristics of the most picturesque parts of Marin County. Roads have now been opened up. The property was originally laid out to be known as Upper Piedmont, but the owners changed the plans and decided to put it on the market for those who want summer home cabins close to downtown and transportation.
Lawrence Block of the Villa Site Sales Company was in changed with the sale of the property and Block said:
“Pinehaven is a summer home colony with its pretty cottages and cabin homes nestling in the side-hills, overlooking canyons and with in twenty minutes from City Hall. You awaken in the morning to the song of the birds refreshed and full of vigor and imagine you have traveled a hundred miles to the wilds of some distant state.”
This was Villa Site Sales Company first big sale and they were offering it at mortgage prices. The sale price was as low as $175.00. More than 50 cabins and cottages were being planned.
Lots of building going on…
Simple Plans for a Log Cabin –
Building Bungalows in Foothill Canyons
Pinehaven Is Building Up
Pitch Your Teepee or build an log cabin in the woods of Pinehaven.
In 1937 Frederick L. Confer designed a “modernistic’ (now art deco) home for Mr and Mrs George H. Everest and their two daughters. The Everest family had been living at 1760 Mountain Blvd prior to moving into their new Montclair Highlands home at 1831 Drake Drive.
The home was developed by Emge and Stockman and was built by James H. Anderson who has worked with the architect before.
The house has four bedrooms upstairs with two bath rooms. The lower floor has one bedroom with bathroom and a private entrance.
Behold the amazing views from all upstairs bedrooms, dining room, living room and patio. The large corner lot also a large yard
The house is completed in June 1937
The House has been on the market many times since 1937.
1955 – it listed for $24,500
In 1969 it listed for $46,500
In March of 2019 it is listed for sale at $1,695,000.
The house is a modified Regency type design. It won an award for the distinguished “house of seven rooms or less” in the fourth Biennial Exhibition of American Architects. The house has also been called Monterey Style. Color is used abundantly in the house, the exterior is painted whited with mustard color shutters.
Unique Home and Cozy Interior
The living room with vaulted ceiling has French doors to the delightful front patio as well as the rear deck with SF and Bay views.
The floor plan has a full bath and generous bedroom on the main level with French doors to the patio. There are two more large rooms up, one with a deck for enjoying the views! The lower features a bedroom which would be ideal for a family/rumpus room, half bath, a generous laundry/craft room with work station and storage area. Two car garage.
On opening day a local Ford Dealer had a brand new Ford V8 parked outside the house.
Recently someone asked about when 7-Eleven came to Montclair. Which was about 1958.
I thought I would go back a little farther and tell you about the first store in Montclair.
A little history…
In 1925 the land that 7-Eleven is now on was bought by a man named Otto Schuneman. Mr. Schuneman then built a store. His store was a combination fountain and grocery store and a service station in front. The original building is still standing behind the 7-11 store.
In 1930 according to the article in the Montclarion (below) from 1957 the store was closed down by the Board of Trade. I haven’t been able to confirm this.
I haven’t been able to find any photos of the store or the station.
Funk’s Grocery – 1930-1940
In March of 1930, Davis L. Funk leased the store from Schuneman and bought out his remaining stock. Mr. Funk had owned a couple other stores in Oakland.
He called his store Funk’s Grocery.
The Funk family lived at 5677 Thornhill in the mid to late 30s to early 40s.
In the early 1960s the Montclair Presbyterian Church next door bought the house from the owners.
My ex-husband and I worked for the church from 1983- 1987 and we got to live in the house.
This house, grocery store and the Thorn Road Bible School (now Montclair Presbyterian) were all built in 1925-27.
In 1940 Funk took on a partner his son-law Malcom “Scotty” Hodge the husband of his daughter Lenore and the store was re-named the Montclair Food Center.
Funk and Hodge ran the store together until Funk died in 1949 his home on Grisborne Ave, behind the store.
Hodge and his wife continued on after that until 1957 when they could’t work out a new lease with the owner Otto Schuneman. My thought is…it was because he could make more money leasing it to Speedee Mart
When the store closed down in 1957 it was the last on Montclair that had maintained a credit and delivery service. Montclair Food Center was more than just a store to many of the customers of 20 years or more.
By 1957 Montclair was also changing. Payless Grocery Store (soon to be Luckys) and LaSalle Avenue Market were located in the business district and soon a new Safeway would be built.
Speedee Mart – 1958-1966?
In about 1958 the store was leased by Speedee Mart Corporation.
In 1964 the parent company of the 7-Eleven Stores bought all the Speedee Mart franchises in California.
They began slowly changing the name to 7-Eleven (7-11)
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.
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
Where is Montclair?
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.
Narragansett House is a New England Colonial-style home in the Montclair Highlands Section on Balboa Drive, built as a model home the area in 1937.
The home opened in February 1937, by the end of the first week, 3500 people came to see it and by the end of April 1937 over 25,000 people had come to see it.
Oakland Tribune February 1937
Oakland Tribune Feb 1937
Oakland Tribune Feb 1937
Emge and Stockman – Developer
Earl R McDonald – Architect
HC Capwells – Decorator
Opened February 1937
Tomorrow’s Home Today – A Precision Built Home
Tomorrow’s Home Today was the first Oakland Home constructed under the Precision Built system and it opened December 1939. It is located at the corner lot at Balboa and Colton Blvd in Montclair Highlands, with a sweeping view of the San Francisco Bay. The home was sold by Montclair Realty Co.
“The walls and ceilings were built with Homasote, the oldest and strongest insulating and building board on the market. The walls were prefabricated by the Precision-Built process in the shop of a local mill under standards of exacting accuracy which ensure tight joints, freedom from sagging and permanently crack-proof walls and ceilings”. Oakland Tribune Jan 21, 1940
Merriewood is a section or neighborhood of Montclair District of Oakland. The Realty Syndicate were the exclusive agents selling the tract. It first went on sale in 1924.
Oakland Tribune stated that there was no other tract in Oakland can offer such a “combination of magnificent view and comfortable home” The ad went on to say “it is so pleasant and healthful with trees all around and birds singing away –Great for youngsters” October 1925
Lots in Merriewood were selling for as little as $1750 and as much as $2450 for a completely finished home. Payments $30 dollars a month with interest.
What your money bought in the 1920’s:
Large lot wooded and clear
Well built roomy house
Variety of floor plans
Gas, lights, water, paved streets
Fast local and San Francisco transportation
The Merriewood Stairs are divided into two sections the Lower Merriewood stairs (from Thornhill Drive to Marden Lane to Merriewood) and the Upper Merriewood stairs (from Merriewood Drive to Valley View Road to Merriewood again). Merriewood Stairs _ Oakland Local Wiki.
In Merriewood there is a group of streets for the signs of the Zodiac. The streets are Aquarius Way, Capricorn Ave, Leo Way, Taurus Ave, Uranus Ave, and Virgo Rd. There are small cluster streets named in honor of Robin Hood. They are Nottingham Dr., Robin Hood Way, and Sherwood Dr. Street Names Oakland Local Wiki
Various Clippings from the Oakland Tribune
From the Oakland Tribune 1924
First Model Home
The first model home was located on Thornhill Drive and Grisborne Ave. The address was 5815 Thorn Road (now Thornhill Drive). It served as the model home and tract office for Merriewood. Latter it the offices for Phil Hearty who took sold real estate in Montclair for years, he also was involved in the development of many tracts in Oakland.