When this are was first built up in mid 1920s it was part of Oak Knoll. Now it is Considered to part of Sequoyah
“Fairway Estates is in the heart of the country club district and consists of a group of estates with building sites of generous size.” Oakland Tribune, August 18. 1929
Fairway Estates and Country Club Fairway Estates and Oak Knoll Unit C are all in the area known as Oak Knoll. Sequoyah Hills on three sides surround Oak Knoll.
The Oak Knoll Land Corporation handled the development.
In Fairway Estates
There are two large bedrooms with a sewing room and bathroom and a large dressing room with many different built-in fixtures and cabinets. On the lower are the maids’ quarters, with separate shower and billiard room. The bathrooms and kitchen are beautifully finished in colored tile.
In Fairway Estates
The Jefferson Home
The Jefferson home is a seven-room, two-story residence of Spanish design. With a large living room and a massive oak stairway leading to a balcony overlooking the Oak Knoll golf course and country club.
“Another reason is the beautiful setting of Fairway Estates – overlooking the Oak Knoll Country club and golf course and views of wooded hills, the harbor, the bay cities, and the Golden Gate.” Oakland Tribune, August 18. 1929
Oak Knoll Country Club District
The Nine room Spanish Style home.
In Fairway Estates
Model Homes in Fairway Estates
Spanish Type Model Home
Spanish in architecture.
The Fairway Estates model home opened in March of 1930. The home was designed by Watson Vernon to fit the lot-on which it stands, to utilize the view possibilities of the property to the best advantage.
Model Country Club Residence
The Spanish home takes greatest advantage of the two way view the wooded hillside on one side and the bay on the other. This six room home has a spacious master bedroom with a sunroom on the upper floor. The dining room window overlooks the golf course.
Beautiful Spanish Model Home
Fairway Estates Home
La Casa Bella
Artistic in the extreme…”
La Casa Bella opened in November of 1930. The home is of Spanish architecture showing the Moorish influence.
A master bedroom that will lull you to sleep after a gallon of coffee…”
Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1930
A living room almost large enough for a country dance…”
Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1930
Spanish Home at Oak Knoll
“…with the liquid silver of the moon lying in the pools of mystery the patio will coax you out of doors all hours of the day or night” – Oakland Tribune May 04, 1930
William Watts was known in Oakland for having a tract of land named for him.
The land was 158 acres running from Chestnut to the Bay, and from 28th to 38th Streets. Looks like it now considered Clawson.
William Watts was born in Chelsea, Mass, in 1808. In 1831 he married Maria Francis Rollins. They had a son William Augustus Watts born in 1833.
In 1850 Watts traveled to California, via the “Horn.” After mining in Tuolumne County, he returned to San Francisco.
On May 04, 1858, William Watts took the title of 158 acres from Francisco Sanjurjo, who had acquired the property from the daughter of Domingo Peralta. Mr. Watts paid $5000 for the land and built a large ranch home at what is now the corner of 34th and Chestnut Streets. He farmed the property until 1876.
William Watts passed away on January 16, 1878, and the ranch was passed on to his son William.
The family also owned a Tannery that was a close to their ranch.
In 1874, 60 acres were subdivided, and a map of the Watts Tract was drawn up.
Watts’ Tract Auction Sale
In December of 1876, an auction sale was held at the Watts’ station, on the Berkeley Branch Railroad. Two hundred twenty-eight lots were sold in two and one-half hours.
Streets Named For
Four streets in the “Watts Tract” are named for the daughters of George Washington Dam. A friend of the family.
“One month before his death, Charles Kruse was leaving for the county hospital, which he never expected to return.” Kruse gave G.W. Brusseau a package with a few in intimate belongings, the key to his house, and the note.
Oakland, March 15 (?)
“This is my gift of Deed all is in my possession to Mr. G.W. Brusseau after my daet”
Only Man He Trusted
Kruse only had one friend whom he trusted, according to Brusseau’s attorney. Kruse helped care for the hermit for 13 years, he never had the money to pay Brusseau for his labor but intended to see that he ultimately receive the his property.
Brusseau saved the 10-acre plot from being sold for taxes and the paid off the mortgage. It was claimed.
In March of 1923, Kruse applied for admission to the county infirmary on the grounds he was penniless. He had cancer.
Following Kruse’s death at the county hospital, preparations were being made to bury him in the potter’s field. Brusseau stepped in and said he would pay for his funeral.
Brusseau purchase plot in Mountain View cemetery with bordered on his property.
He could see the grave from his porch.
Fight for Estate
The case was brought to the attention of Judge George Samuels when Brusseau filed a petition for probate of the paper as the last will Kruse.
Because of the omission of the completed date, Judge Samuels refused probate and granted administration letters to Albert E. Hill, a Public Administrator.
Thrown Out As A Will Upheld As Deed
In June 1923, a petition was submitted to the Almeda superior to record the scrap of paper as a gift deed. In this claim, Judge James G. Quinn decided that Kruse never intended the piece of paper as a will but intended to constitute an immediate conveyance of land as a deed.
In the meantime, Brusseau had lost a third suit filed against the estate for reimbursement for his unpaid labor.
The public administrator appealed to the California Supreme court for a decision on the title to the property.
Dying Hermit’s Note Valid
In May of 1927 the Supreme court affirmed the decision of Judge JG Quinn that the note given to Brusseau from Kruse constituted a deed to the 10-acres of land.
A Bit of History
Charles Kruse owned and lived on 10-acres of land in Hayes Canyon since 1888.s.
The property bordered on William J. Dingee’s land, and in 1888 Dingee sued Kruse for $93 to cover the cost of a fence.
Kruse, for many years, peddled flowers to florists’ shops in the Eastbay.
After his death, it was discovered that he was the owner of one of the largest nurseries in Alameda county. Hidden behind a high fence and tall cypress hedges were the nursery and the tiny shack he lived.
The 10-acres was valued at more than $10,000 in 1923.
In about 1898, George Washington Brusseau purchases a 2-acre lot at 3200 Edith Street (now 4901 Harbord Drive).
In 1926 Brusseau lived in a cottage known as the “Bat House” because of the number of animal skins tanned and nailed to the outside walls.
He farmed the land with the help of Jimmy, his faithful plow horse. He also had many dogs.
He intended to restore the rose gardens, which brought fame to his friend Charles Kruse and Oakland.
Brusseau lived there until his death in 1953
And now this…
This changes the whole story or it is just wrong?
Please Note: The dates and addresses vary from article to article. I tried my best to get it right. Oh well…
There was temporary station at the corner of Moraga and Hampton (now La Salle). Local builder Cos Williams a local builder donated the use of the land.
An average day
Report at 9 am – They would report for duty at the station and 13th and Hopkins (now MacArthur), and drive the hook and ladder up to Montclair. They did all their cooking on an outdoor camp stove
Off at 7 pm – At the end of they would pile onto the truck again and drive down the hill.
Lieutenant F.H. Waldron was the commanding officer.
L.W. Parks – driver
E.E. Terrell – driver
F.W. Cochran – hoseman
They fought two fires on their first day.
Engine Company No. 24
In June of 1926, $11,000 was appropriated for a new firehouse in Montclair. The city purchased the land from the school department in December of 1926 for $4,500. The final construction cost was $18,900.
Construction of the new firehouse got underway in early 1927. Fire Commissioner Colburn officially accepted the firehouse in August of 1927.
The land that the firehouse is on was once the Hays Canyon School.
Plans were drawn up by Eldred E. Edwards of the Oakland Public Works Department.
The style of architecture is primarily Old English. The construction method was unique among firehouses at that time, being pre-cast of cement, molded on the ground. All the plumbing fixtures and water pipes, conduits for electrical wires were cast in cement.
The roof consisted of 100 curved slabs of concrete set in grooved beams and held in place with slotted bolts.
Doubled copper strips run along the ridges and form decorative motifs at the gable peaks. These decorations simulate fire, which follows along the peaked roofline and leaps into flames and gable corners. The copper has been painted white.
Fire Captain Killed in the Line of Duty
Fire Captain Joseph F. Pimentel was killed, and three firemen were injured when their fire truck skidded out of control at the corner of Taurus and Broadway Terrace. Pimentel was pinned against a tree.
The fire truck was headed to a small blaze at the home of Otto R. Johnson at 6356 Crown Avenue.
January 22, 1942
The injured firemen were Patrick S. Doyle, John Baratini, and Ray O. Wells.
Oakland’s Best Decorated Firehouse
In 1951 Engine Company No. 24 was awarded the first prize of $500.00 for being Oakland’s best decorated firehouse. The Oakland Tribune also awarded the firehouse a perpetual trophy, which was installed in the house.
The firehouse was an old church scene, with a “Surrey with a Fringe on Top” arriving. Animated choir boys accompanied by an old pump organ, are shown singing Christmas carols.
In 1952 they erected an old-time country store… complete with pot-bellied stove and family photographs and animated figures. Inside a clerk is showing a blushin customer, a lady, a pair of “long john” underwear. Nearby is a blacksmith shop. There was a large holly wreath on front of the firehouse.
In 1953 the firehouse was decorated as a church with a choir loft and organ. A special merit award was given to the house by the SF Examiner.
Montclair Fires and Such
Teddy of Engine No. 24
Earthquake Hazard – 1960s
The Hayward Fault runs right down the middle of Moraga Avenue in front of the firehouse.
Because of that, the firehouse was determined to be an earthquake hazard and could not be repaired. The city hired Anderson, Simonds, Dusel and Campini to provide architectural services for a new firehouse.
The city was prepared to tear down the Montclair firehouse and build a new one for $165,000. After an outside firm determined it was indeed unsafe to that day’s standards.
City Delays Replacing Firehouse
In October of 1962, Oakland’s City Council held up the money to build a new firehouse and wondered if the money could be used to “repair” it instead.
The firehouse is called ” the country club of the city” and “if it is unsafe so’s my house.”
There was a dispute over the city manager’s report that the firehouse was damaged enough during a recent earthquake (??)to make it a hazard to its occupants. One architect said it could be repaired at little expanse with some structural steel.
“two independent consultants said the building is unsafe and should be replaced.“
Oakland City Manager 1962
I can only assume that Oakland had money problems b they were no longer going to build a new firehouse. Instead, the council approved $22,000 for structural reinforcements, waterproof, and more habitable.
In January 1964, a contract was awarded to M.W. Garing for $13,975 to repair the firehouse.
Loma Prieta – 1989
The firehouse was damaged in in the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. The house was decommissioned in 1991.
Oakland City Landmark #34
On March 18, 1980, the old fire station was designated as Oakland City Landmark #34
Address: 6226 Moraga Avenue, Oakland, California
Fire Station was decommissioned around 1993 due to concerns that a facility for first responders should not be located on an active earthquake fault,” a city report stated.
In 2018 City officials announce that they were seeking development or purchase proposals for two parcels on Moraga Road. One is a vacant property totaling 24,000 square feet and the other totals 16,000 square feet and contains the Montclair Fire Station, also known as Firehouse No. 24.
In accordance with Alameda County’s order for residents to ‘shelter in place’ for the well-being of public and staff related to COVID-19 precautionary measures, Oakland Zoo will be closed Tuesday, March 17 and remain closed until the order is lifted.
Henry A. Snow, a naturalist, collector, and African big game hunter, established the Oakland Zoo in downtown Oakland. The first Zoo was located at 19th and Harrison. The area is now known as Snow Park.
In February of 1923, the city of Oakland accepted Snow’s collection of wild animals. The collection was valued from $30,000 to $80,000.
“On behalf of the city of Oakland, we are delighted to accept this valuable collection.”
Oakland Tribune Feb 1923
Two lion cubs and a boa-constrictor formed the nucleus, with various monkeys, bobcats, a cinnamon bear, a mountain lion, and a badger completed the menagerie.
After many complaints were filed with the city council and the park board from the neighborhood residents around the Zoo, who said the collection of animals were a nuisance.
The new location was in Sequoia Mountain Park (now a part of Joaquin Miller Park.)
In 1926 Henry Snow had a stroke and died in July of 1927. Snow’s son Sidney Snow continued in father’s footsteps.
In 1936, Snow established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was incorporated as the Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society.
The new Society was seeking to move the animals to the 500-acre Durant Park.
In 1939 the Zoo moved from Joaquin Miller Park to Durant Park.
Durant Park was once the home to R.C. Durant, the President of Durant Motors. Before that, the land from owned by F.C. Talbot. The park is located at the top of 98th Avenue.
Knowland State Arboretum and Park and Zoo
Visitors enter the Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park through the landscape of the Historical Park and Arboretum. The trees throughout this area are the remnants of the Frederick Talbot estate (see Edenvale.)
A row of Canary Island Palm marks the park entry. There are Mexican Fan Palms, Chilean Palms, and exotic Bunya Bunya Trees from Australia in the meadow and picnic grounds. These trees were all planted early part of the 1900s.
Knowland Park consists of approximately 443 acres, of which 350 acres are in the undeveloped Upper Knowland Park. The Zoo (in 1996) had 56 acres within the Historical Park, and 37 acres are in the Zoological Park.
Under a contract with the City of Oakland, the East Bay Zoological Society (EBZS) has full responsibility for the operation, maintenance, and development of the 37-acre Zoo and the 443 acres of Knowland Park.
The first significant addition was the construction enclosure for Miss Effie, the elephant, at the cost of $15,000. The move from the lower park to the upper area began. Video of Miss Effie in 1965 can be seen here: website
There was a 60-foot cylindrical gibbon tower at the entrance to the Zoo. The baby zoo was located in the lower area of the new Zoo.
“The Zoo, when completed, will be the most modern and beautiful one in the country.”
Oakland Tribune 1960
By 1967 the Zoo had relocated entirely to a canyon rising to a mountain overlooking the entire East Bay Area.
The Skyline Daylight a miniature train complete with a “Vista Dome” coach.
The Baby Zoo was completed in 1965 and totally rebuilt in 2005.
When completed, the Zoo would be 100 acres.
Sidney Snow Dies
People Came to See
Zoo Under Fire
In 1983 the Zoo was listed as number six of the “The 10 ‘worst’ zoos.’
The Humane Society of the United States said the conditions at the Zoo were so adverse that the elephants might be better off “serving five to ten years in Leavenworth.”
The Zoo was “a random collection of animals maintained in amateurish fashion and failed to meet even one criterion of an acceptable zoological garden.
They called the Zoo “concrete oasis.”
The report noted that there were no signs of cruelty to the animals, and they were generally healthy.
The Zoo’s response was, “it will be a first-class zoo in a few years.”
Since 1988, Oakland Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.
New and Improved Zoo
In his tenure, Dr. Parrott has turned the Zoo entirely around, making it one of the best in the country.
Many new exhibits have been created, including those for the hamadryas baboons and the chimpanzees. A new, spacious elephant exhibit was built in 1987.
The current sun bear exhibit was finished in 1995 and was featured on Animal Planet “Ultimate Zoos.” The white-handed gibbons now live on a lush island in the heart of the Rainforest. The African Savannah, with camels, lions, elephants, meerkats, hyenas and more, was completed in 1998.
The Zoo Today
In the summer of 2005 the 3-acre Valley Children’s Zoo opened with spacious new animal exhibits along with plenty of interactive play-structures for children. The ring-tailed lemurs, century old Aldabra tortoises, the interactive Goat and Sheep Contact Yard along with the river otters can be found in the Children’s Zoo. The popular American alligators, the bats, the pot-bellied pigs, the Old-World rabbits along with the Bug Room, and the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Room are also in the Children’s Zoo.
June 20, 2018 – Almost three years since breaking ground and more than two decades in the making, Oakland Zoo’s highly anticipated California Trail opens. The expansion more than doubles the Zoo’s current size from 45 acres to 100 acres.
The California Trail also includes the interactive California Conservation Habitarium, Conservation Action Tent, California Wilds! Playground based on California’s diverse eco-zones, and Clorox Overnight Experience ‘safari-style’ campground.
Timeline of the Zoo
1936– Snow established the nonprofit organization East Bay Zoological Society, which was incorporated as the Alameda County Botanical and Zoological Society.
1939-moved from Joaquin Miller Park to Durant Park.
1948 – Became a State Park
1949: State Park property is leased to the City of Oakland for 50 years, and the City of Oakland subleased the zoo property to the East Bay Zoological Society.
1950: -The zoo property changed its name Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park.
1964 –City Parks Dept and Society run zoo
1965 – The baby Zoo opened
1975 Knowland State Park was conveyed to the City of Oakland.
1982 –East Bay Zoological Society took over the maintenance, operation, and development of the city-run Zoo. The 10-year lease agreement saved the city almost $315,880 a year. The Society signed a ten-year contract.
1985 – Joel Parrott was appointed the Executive Director. A 20-year renovation plan was put in place,
1994- Renews 10-year lease.
Timeline of Major Developments
Hamadryas Baboon Exhibit 1982
Chimpanzee Exhibit – 1988
African Elephant Exhibit – 1989
African Lion Exhibit – 1992
Siamang Island Exhibit – 1993
Malayan Sun Bear Exhibit – 1996
African Savanna – 1998
Maddie’s Center – 1999
Warthog Exhibit -2000
Mahali Pa Tembo – Elephant Exhibit 2004
Wayne & Gladys Valley Children Zoo Opened 2005
Baboon Cliffs – 2009
Wild Australia – 20110
Veterinary Hospital – 2012
The East Bay Zoological Society has operated and managed the Zoo for the City of Oakland from 1982 until August 2017, when it was renamed the Conservation Society of California to reflect better Zoo’s evolving purpose mission in its commitment to conservation.
In 1980 the Mckinley family of Oakland was one of seven Oakland families that were approved for a construction loan of $45,000 to participate in the Owner-Built Housing Program of Oakland Neighborhood Housing Services (ONHS).
The homes are located on 73rd Avenue between International Blvd and Holly Street.
The families were trained in construction techniques and were supervised by professional construction personnel. They took classes at the Owner Builder Center in Berkeley. The highly technical and most finish work was subcontracted out.
Each family was obligated to provide 40 hours of labor week on the construction of their home.
The couples had to have incomes of between $21,000 and $31,000. They had to be Oakland residents for a year and be first-time homeowners.
Architects at the University of California, Berkeley, contributed to the beginning design stages of the project and made the model used in the presentation to the City of Oakland.
The three-bedroom, two-bath homes were designed by Architect Richard McCarty of Morro Bay.
The project took about a year to develop, arrange for the money, and purchase the lots.
The City of Oakland purchased the lots for $3000 each.
The first seven homes took about ten months to build. In all I believe there were 14 homes built.