Posted in Early Montclair, History, Uncategorized

Hays School in Montclair

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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)
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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

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Oakland Tribune Jul 1886

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

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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.

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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
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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

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Oakland Tribune 1891
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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

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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

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Oakland Tribune Nov 1927
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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

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Oakland Tribune Jun 1927
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Oakland Tribune June 1927
4125 Oakmore road
4125 Oakmore Road  – Bing Maps
  • Italian Design
  • John G. Evans Owner
  • 1927
  •  Bing Maps

3921 Oakmore Road

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Oakland Tribune  Mar 1927
3921 Oakmore Rd
3921 Oakmore Road – Google Maps

 

4350 Bridge View Drive

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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

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Oakland Tribune 1927
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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

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

Posted in Advertisment, Early Montclair, History, Montclair Tracts, Uncategorized

Montclair is…

The birth of Montclair

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.

Montclair Opens

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

Oakland Tribune October 1921

Where is Montclair?

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The Montclair of the 1920’s – Oakland Tribune

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.

Oakland_Tribune_Wed__Jun_30__1920_

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.

Showing the teaser ads

Teaser Ads

What is Montclair?

 

Armistice Day 1920 in Montclair

 

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Oakland Tribune

 

Montclair to be continued

Posted in Uncategorized

The History Bug Strikes

I grew up in the Montclair District in Oakland. I moved there in early 1972 after my Mom remarried. We moved into a four-story home that my step-father had built pretty much by himself.

 

My family lived there until 2001, when our home was sold. I went to Thornhill Elementary School and Montera Junior High, both local schools and then Skyline High School.

In the 1983 my ex-husband and I were hired by the Montclair Presbyterian Church (where I went as young child) as custodians. We moved into the house the church owned next to the Sanctuary. It was at church I started to get the history bug. I found out that the church had celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1980. I was amazed that the church had been there so long, the same as the house we lived in which was built in about 1927. In about 1985 or so I went on the Fernwood Walking Tour put on by the Oakland Heritage Alliance and from that point on, I was on a mission to find out more about the history of Montclair and Oakland.

Posted in Model/Display Homes, Montclair Tracts, Uncategorized

Montclair Highlands Display Homes

Narragansett House

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

 

  • Narragansett House
  •  Montclair Highlands
  • Colonial style
  • Emge and Stockman – Developer
  • Earl R McDonald – Architect
  • HC Capwells – Decorator
  • Opened February 1937
  • Still there
  • 5546 Balboa

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

Oakland Tribune Dec 1939 and Jan 1940

 

  • Tomorrow’s Home Today
  • Montclair Highlands
  • Montclair Realty
  • John Wagenet – Architect
  • Mac Jordon – Builder
  • Arthur Cobbledick – Landscaper
  • Opened December 1939
  • 5500 Balboa Drive – still there