Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, History, Oakland, People, Uncategorized

Edenvale – The Talbot Estate

From Eden of the Pacific, Oakland Tribune 1898

1857 – 1888:  Ellis A Haines  purchased the property from the Peralta’s

In 1888,  Frederick C. Talbot of the San Francisco lumber firm of Pope & Talbot purchased 133- acres from  Ellis A. Haines in Elmhurst near San Leandro and adjacent to the Souhter Farm ( now the Dunsmuir Home) for $15,000. 

San Francisco Chronicle Jul 28, 1888
Oakland Tribune Jul 30,1888

Depending on who wrote it or what you read the total acreage seems to change. Above you will see in one clipping has the total acreage as 133- acres and in the other it as 153 -acres. It has been as high as 453 acres. I have always understood it to be the same land that both the Oakland Zoo and Knowland Park, but who really knows?

Oakland Tribune aug 08, 1890
Oakland Tribune Sept 14, 1888

Edenvale –

Nestled in the hills surrounded by the choicest fruits and flowers, “Edenvale” as the name suggests is a veritable paradise.

The estate was 140-acres (different acreage) of rich land used for farming and orchards. 60 acres were planted with almonds, cherries, oranges, walnuts, lemons, prunes, apricots, peaches and olives. 80 acres of choice farming land.

Talbot Home –
Cheney Photo Advertising
C 1915
View of Edenvale from the hillside
Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History 
OutWest
A Magazine – Of The Old Pacific and The New
Page 125 -July 1907


In the picture you can see the caretakers home in back (the taller one). This house is still standing today.

The garden was laid out with rare trees and a variety of plants and lighted pathways. There was a large pond with a bridge the crossed it. The pond was large enough for a small rowboat.

The main house was a modern elegant colonial structure of 12 rooms, with 4 baths running water and gas throughout. It Burned down in 1921.

There was a large modern stable, a greenhouse, servants quarters. There was a home for the caretaker which is still standing today. A brooder for chickens and pen for pigs. Oakland Tribune Mar 22, 1902

Unknown Talbot Family Members at EdenVale c 189?
Photo by I.W. Taber
Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History 

Barn Burns –

San Francisco Dec 21, 1901
Oakland Tribune May 18,1900

Talbot Farm for Sale

Oakland Tribune March 10, 1902
Town Talk March 22, 1902
Note it is 140 acres

Meanwhile…

R.C. “Cliff” Durant Purchases Estate

Durant purchases the Talbot estate “Edenvale” . The estate comprises of 470-acres (different acreage) and sold for $200,000.

Oakland Tribune Nov 25 1919
San Francisco Examiner Feb 08, 1920

The above says 478-acres and below says 200-acres. They are dated a year apart.

Oakland Tribune Nov 23, 1919
Oakland Tribune Dec 21, 1921

A Map showing the location of R.C Durants/F.C. Talbots Mansion

Oakland Tribune 1921

The Estate Becomes A Park

In 1929 the city of Oakland council voted to purchase the the former country estate of the late F.C. Talbot from the Park Commission. The 350-acres ( different acreage) would cost the city approximately $662,000. That deal fell through. The whole story is confusing . Durant Park opens to the public in 1932.

Oakland Tribune April 19, 1929

In 1935 Sidney Snow took possession of the 475-acre (different acreage) Durant Park and started building the zoo. He ran it with a some help from the city of Oakland. – From A History as Told by the Founder’s Daughter”

In 1937 Durant Park is now called the Zoological Gardens and Arboretum of Metropolitan Oakland. I bet they still call it Durant Park.

Oakland Tribune May 22, 1950
To read the entire article go here

In 1950 Durant park is dedicated as the “East Bay State Park” under the California park system. In a dedication speech it was noted the there were many trees and plants from F.C Talbot estate and they were included in the Historical Arboretum which is separate park from the Oakland Zoo.

Oakland Tribune 1957
The row of Canary Island Palms

A row of mature Canary Island Date Palms mark the part entry. Stately Mexican Fan Palms, Chilean Palms and exotic Bunya Bunya frees from Australia dot the formal meadows of the existing picnic grounds. These Arboretum’s specimens were planted at the turn of last century (I bet before that) as part of the Talbot Estate grounds. There is also collection of 8 species of palms, native and exotic oaks, redwoods and many other specimens from North Africa, the Himalayas, Chile and the Canary Islands. – From the Zoo Master Plan 1996

In 1951 the park was renamed “Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park . Now called Knowland State Arboretum and Park and the Oakland Zoo.

In 1962 a fire destroyed building that had been home to Effie the elephant until 1959. The building had been marked unsafe. The building was built in 1890, was part of the Talbot Estate.

The Estate Today

On the below map the large red square shows where most of the estate was . The smaller green box shows the location of caretaker home that was apart of the Talbot Estate. When Sidney Snow ran the zoo he and his family lived there. Now is it used by zoo employees . The meadow by the main gate still has some of trees planted by Talbot over 100 years ago. They are part of the Knowland State Arboretum and Park. I need to check this out.

From the Zoo Master Plan 1996
Sidney Snow’s Home
Circa 1939
Google Map 2019 showing the caretakers home still standing in Knowland Park

Links :

A couple of things:

I am working on getting copies of the real photos as opposed to copies of copies. I am also checking on the what’s up with the Knowland State Arboretum and Park. Does it still exist. I know on real crowded days they allow parking on the meadow, where some of the historic trees are.

The End for now..

Posted in Business, History, Montclair, People, Uncategorized

Freeway Variety

Freeway Variety
Photo by Bill Boyd

C 1978

If you grew up the Montclair District of Oakland from 1956 to about 1990 you shopped at Freeway Variety.

The Montclarion March 1956

Freeway Variety opened in March of 1956. It was owned and operated by partners Cy Fritz and David Iventosch. They both had experience running the same type of stores in Berkeley.

The Montclarion March 1956
The Montclarion March 1956
The Montclarion March 1956

In 1957 Iventosch bought out his partner Fritz.

The Montclarion Apr 17 1957
The Montclarion Apr 17 1957
The Montclarion May 1957

I felt the best way to describe this most beloved and dearly missed variety store is by sharing memories of it which were detailed in a Facebook group.   The group is lovingly called  Forgotten Montclair.  It is dedicated to preserving and sharing the memories of growing up in the Montclair District of Oakland, California.

  • Laura C: I bought my Beautiful Crissy doll there, in elementary school, along with my camping cookware for Brownie camp. When I graduated to high school, I bought my powder blue gym clothes there.
  • Joanne G: Freeway Variety was “candy land” heaven to me!  My mom never let me have candy growing up – not ever once being able to trick or treat. So if I was ever able to ride my bike up to Freeway Variety from lower Broadway Terrace (all uphill)! The Now or Later were my first choice after a spin around the store to take in the isles of crazy stuff
Joan G
  • Todd E: Lived in Montclair 1970 – 1992. Freeway Variety was like the ultimate dive bar of five and dimes. It was kind of dark with low ceilings, but it was comfy. It felt a little bit like a place where you could buy a Gremlin from some ancient guy in the back where all the wicker baskets hung from the ceiling.  There were nuances to Freeway Variety that can never be replicated anywhere else. There was nothing funnier than riding your BMX down that strange concrete slope and dropping your bike down and entering the store in one fluid motion. It’s the place where I thought Army Men and those little parachute dudes where born. It had all the romantic stuff of childhood, candy, cards, Slurpee’s, video games, toys, Choose Your Own Adventure Books, a whole section on Movie Novelizations (with pictures in the middle!), strange arcane stuff like rabbit’s feet and real Mexican Jumping Beans.To me, the basic concept of what 1 mile is will always be the walk from my house over by Joaquin Miller School to Freeway Variety.
  • Christopher W:  Ah there it is, my favorite store growing up in Montclair. While my mom shopped at Lucky’s I would be down at Freeway Variety looking for everything from match cars, Pez dispensers, loved the chocolate ones, and when I was really small, I would get a quarter and ride the horse in the front. Good times
Christopher W
  • Cherie L: We would walk down there from Westwood Way. Buster brown socks. Schools supplies. Candy you name it. Lived in Montclair from 1959 to 1982. 
  • Nanette: I loved Freeway Variety! The old creaky wood floor that sloped down. You could get art (my favorite), craft, and school supplies. And of course where we got our Wacky Packs!!!!·    
  • Dennis J: Does anyone remember the ladies of Freeway Variety store? Florence, Winnie, Mildred, and May.  I worked there after school and weekends. Coolest boss ever: Big David Iventosch. My first real job!!!
  • Helene C: Loved everything about Freeway Variety. The smell of popcorn, candy, turtle pond scum. The only place where you could get candy, washcloths, home goods, toys, candy, an iron, a picture frame, valentines, Christmas cards, canning jars, toy guns, turtles, popcorn, and candy. And those old ladies behind the counter. A golden childhood staple and memory. I pity everyone else.
  • Dena M: I remember we would all go there to pick out our Halloween costumes and buy wax harmonicas.
Lara Christmas Memory 1983
  • Lara: I loved getting presents from here. Thanks to my mom, this is dated. I guess that means I am too! 33 years ago . . .
  • Erik H:  Florence always gave me extra on my Icee. But you introduced me to the “Suicide “flavored slush.
  • Jan D: The ladies used to follow us around the store, thinking we were going to steal something!
  • Stephanie W: Florence was my auntie
Susan S
  • Susan S: Look what I found cleaning out my closet
Donna
  • Donna:   I still have my Ink bottles and pens.
Basket from Freeway Variety

Obituary David Iventosch – Oakland Tribune – April 2019

The End

Posted in Uncategorized

Oakland and Surroundings

Oakland and Surroundings Illustrated and Described, showing its Advantages for Residence or Business was published in 1885. W.W. Elliott was the publisher.

Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885

I thought I would share some of beautiful illustrations from the publication. You can view the entire document here.

Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Oakland and surroundings : illustrated and described,
showing its advantages for residence or business.
1885
Posted in Early Montclair, History, Uncategorized

Hays School in Montclair

ohrphoto.districts.034
Students and teachers at Hays School pose in front of the school in 1886.  Oakland History Room

In March of 1886, the Board of Supervisors created a new school district.  That took from portions of the Piedmont, Peralta, and Fruitvale districts and representing about 44 children. The new district was called the Hays district, in honor of the late Colonel John Coffee Hays.  The superintendent appointed the following residents of the area as trustees:

  • W.H. Mead
  • J H Medau
  • Susan Hays (widow of Colonel Hays)
Oakland_Tribune_Tue__Mar_16__1886_
Oakland Tribune Mar 1886

The land for the school was given to the district from Hetty S. Henshaw.   The Montclair Firehouse was built in the spot in 1927, using the front part of the lot.  T

Oakland_Tribune_Fri__Jul_16__1886_
Oakland Tribune Jul 1886

Requests for bids to build the school were made in July of 1886.

Oakland_Tribune_Wed__May_19__1886_

The completed school was small at only 32×36 feet,  with just one classroom.  It was Gothic in design with a graceful looking bell tower.  It had two entrances, one for the boys and the other for the girls each entrance having a 6×6 vestibule.  The sash bars of the windows are all horizontal, after the style of the school buildings in Europe.  The building cost about $2,500 and took about two months to build.

Oakland_Tribune_Wed__Jul_7__1886_
Oakland Tribune Jul 1886

The dedication of the school was held in October 1886.  It was attended most of the families that lived in the area.  Opening remarks were made by Judge EM Gibson and WH Mead.  Some of the families in attendance:

  • The  S Andrews Family
  • The  E.M. Gibson Family
  • The  J. Hampel  Family
  • The W.H. Mead Family
  • The JH Meadu Family
  • The S.F. Morrell Family

Entertainment provided by the students from the school under the direction of their teacher Miss Lucy Law.  The following students performed:

  • Clara Gibson
  • Gussie Gibson
  • Carrie Mead
  • Daisy Mead
  • Susie Mead
  • Mattie Mead
  • Edith Medau
  • Louise Medau
Oakland_Tribune_Sat__Oct_16__1886_
Oakland Tribune October 1886

The school was closed in around 1913 and the building was demolished.  It was probably due to building the Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railway later known as the Sacramento Northern.   For more on the Sacramento Northern please go here. The East Bay Hills Project

Graduation 1901

Oakland Tribune June 1901

Misc Articles

The_San_Francisco_Call_Sat__Sep_12__1891_
Oakland Tribune 1891
Oakland_Tribune_Wed__Nov_20__1889_
Oakland Tribune Nov 1889

A little controversy. From 1891 and 1895

Posted in Uncategorized

Oakmore Highlands Homes

The first home according to the above article was built for Erwin Howell. The two-story colonial was built at 4065 Oakmore Road.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_5__1927_ (1)

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_5__1927_
Oakland Tribune Jun 1927

4065 Oakmore Road
4065 Oakmore Road – Google Maps

1924 Hoover Avenue

oakland_tribune_sun__sep_25__1927_.jpg
Oakland Tribune Sep 1927

1924 Hoover St
1924 Hoover Street

  • Spanish Style
  •  Grace Clifford
  • Frederick H Reimers Architect
  • Irwin Reimers Builder
  • 1927
  • Google Maps

1941 Hoover Avenue

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Nov_27__1927_
Oakland Tribune Nov 1927

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Nov_27__1927_ (2)
Oakland Tribune Nov 1927

1941 Hoover Ave
1941 Hoover Avenue – Google Maps

 

4420 Bridgeview Drive

Oakland Tribune 1928

Bestor robinson
The Bestor Robinson Home – 4420 Bridgeview Drive

3932 Oakmore Road

Oakland Tribune Feb 1928

  • English Cottage
  • R L Caps Owner
  • L. Rosecrans Architect
  • 1927
  • Zillow

3992 Oakmore Road

Oakland Tribune May 1927

3992 Oakmore
3992 Oakmore Road

  • English Cottage
  • Marie Wheeler – owner
  • Florence Wheeler – owner
  • 1927
  • Google Map

4125 Oakmore Road

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_5__1927_ (1)
Oakland Tribune Jun 1927

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_5__1927_ (2)
Oakland Tribune June 1927

4125 Oakmore road
4125 Oakmore Road  – Bing Maps

  • Italian Design
  • John G. Evans Owner
  • 1927
  •  Bing Maps

3921 Oakmore Road

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Mar_20__1927_
Oakland Tribune  Mar 1927

3921 Oakmore Rd
3921 Oakmore Road – Google Maps

 

4350 Bridge View Drive

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_23__1929_
Oakland Tribune June 1929

4350 Brideview
4350 Bridge View Drive – from Google Maps

  • Spanish Style
  • A.H. Monez – owner
  • 1929
  • Google map

4266 Edge Street

4266 Edge St Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Dec_4__1927_
Oakland Tribune 1927

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_5__1927_ (1)
Oakland Tribune 1927

4266 Edge
4266 Edge Street – Google Maps

  • Spanish Style
  • Lewis W. Jefferson Owner
  • Carl Jefferson Owner
  • Dec 1927
  • Google Maps

3956 Oakmore Road

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_8__1928_
Oakland Tribune 1928

3956 Oaklmore troad
3956 Oakmore Road

1921 Rosecrest Drive

1921 Rosecrest Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_2__1935_
Oakland Tribune 1935

1921 Rosecresr
1921 Rosecrest Drive

  • Monterey Colonial
  • Chester H. Treichel Architect
  • 1935
  • Realtor.Com

See for more on Oakmore Highlands

Oakmore Highland Model Homes

Oakmore Highlands

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The Rabbit Hole

I started this blog because I have collected so much information on the history of Oakland that I couldn’t wait to share.  Posting in Facebook groups really isn’t the best outlet for me.  I love sharing what I know and reading what others share.  But things get lost on Facebook.

So with the help of my dear friend Phil (setup and how to), I got started and I was off running, well sort of.  This should be easy I say to myself because, in my mind, I had already laid out actual pages and everything I wanted to say.

Wow, it really wasn’t that easy for me.  I tend to get bogged down in the details.  I worry about not getting my facts correct.  It is hard for me to find a happy medium between too much and too little.  So, this is a work in progress, so bear with me.

Down the hole, I Go

But I have digressed from the topic of this post.  Often when researching one thing you find something else that has nothing to do with what you are looking for, but it piques your interest.  That happens to me a lot.

You might know this as the “Internet rabbit hole”  you know when you try to research one thing, and then accidentally go to Wikipedia, and then you are trying to find out what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa?   That is it in a nutshell.

One rabbit hole I get sucked into often is I will see a picture like this one and want to know more about it.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_2__1911_ (1)
Oakland Tribune Apr. 02, 1911

  1. Location
  2. Is it still there?

Those two things can be very hard as sometimes the location is very vague and wrong.  Sometimes the location is correct in the form of an address right below the picture.  When looking up the location I am also curious as to who the house was being built for, were they famous or rich, maybe both?

I have compiled a lot of these pictures of newly built houses. I decided to create a map using Google Maps.  The map I have created is called  “What was there or still is… Oakland California”.  I have already added lots of the homes that I have found while down in the rabbit hole.

What was there or still is… Oakland California

Description of the Map

Some from long ago and long gone, but some still there.  Based on clippings, newspapers, and photos.  May not be totally accurate as address numbers have changed and locations were often vague.

Maroon – Still there
Black – Gone
Yellow – Landmark
Green – Berkeley
Purple – Piedmont
Red – Questions – researching

Here is a link to the map.  Click on it to see.  Please feel free to share it.

 

 

I still have lots of pages in the works just have to get myself out of this hole.

This might help explain Rabbit Hole.