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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some of the homes in Thornhill Park –
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.
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.