The Fremont Tract opened in 1911. The tract is located at the intersection of MacArthur and High Street with frontage on MacArthur, High, Masterson, Quigley and Porter Streets. The Realty Syndicate handled the sales.
“The tract is near Mills College and commands a beautiful view of the hills.”
Every lot in the Fremont Tract was a full 35-front -foot lot. The prices ranged from $10 to $18 a front foot – the terms from $35 to $85 for the first payment. The balance paid at $5 or $10 per month.
“Natural beauty and delightful surroundings, combined with even temperature, make this a delightful spot to build a home and enjoy living every day in the year. Every lot is high and well-drained.“
The eastern side of Quigley Street is now the High Street freeway exit, and Redding Street is part of the freeway.
This photo was most likely taken from the hill behind the present-day Walgreens on High and Redding Streets.
3315 Vale Street
3333 Vale Street
St. Lawrence O’Toole
Location of Walgreens today
Freeway exit ramp
Macarthur Blvd and High Street
Kanning Street is now Masterson Street, and Franklin Avenue is now 39th Avenue, and Hopkins Street is now MacArthur Blvd.
3651 39th Avenue
3625 Patterson Avenue
3840 MacArthur Blvd
St. Lawrence O’Toole
St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church at the corner of Porter and High Street opened in 1911, in time for Christmas Eve Mass. The church was dedicated on August 25, 1912.
In March of 1956, the Diocese of Oakland broke ground for a new church just three blocks up High Street. They held the first mass on Thanksgiving Day in 1957.
“The Pines” was the beautiful home and the surrounding gardens of Mr. & Mrs. Philip E. Bowles. The house was built in 1910, and it stood at what is now No. 2 Bowling Drive.
Mr. and Mrs. P.E. Bowles on a garden path at The Pines
In 1909, Philip E. Bowlespurchased 51 (58 acres in some publications) acres of land in “Claremont Hills,” adjoining the Horatio P Livermore Homestead. Bowles was the president of the First National Bank of Oakland and a Regent of the University of California from 1911-22.
The house and grounds had an entrancing view of the bay and all of the surrounding country.
The view from “The Pines.”
The Bowles Home
He signed a contract for the erection of a residence to cost $31,000. The Architect was L.B. Dutton. He engaged an expert landscaper. Who designed the grounds of the estate by following Bowles’s own plans.
The home was built in the Italian Villa style with twenty-two rooms and a full basement. It had six master bedrooms, dressing rooms, five bathrooms, three sleeping porches, a library, a drawing-room, and a conservatory.
Inside the home
The home was surrounded by a veritable forest filed with quail and dotted with miniature lakes stocked with large rainbow trout and a well-stocked bass pond. There was a Japanese Tea garden with pools containing rare goldfish, golden carp, and unusual aquatic plants. There was also a tennis court, a swimming pool, a large garage, and a horse stable with a trotting park.
Mr. Bowles purchased from all of the worlds, he bought the best. The Rhododendrons were especially lovely.
The swimming pool and bathhouse.
A garden path
Architecture & Engineer
In 1911 the home was featured in January issue of Architecture & Engineer of California Magazine. It states the architect was L.B. Dutton. Architecture & Engineer of California Jan 1911, pg. 204 –
High Society at The Pines
Many dances and social events were held at The Pines.
In 1912 the Bowles daughter Amy married Hiram Johnson Jr., the son of Governor Hiram W. Johnson. The wedding was held at The Pines.
The extension grounds surrounding the Bowles mansion were transformed into a fairyland
On January 20,1926, Philip Bowles died at the age of 67.
The city of Oakland Park board was urged by Mayor Davie to purchase land and home for $700,000, for a public playground or park. That fell through.
In May of 1927, a year after Philip Bowles died, Mrs. Bowles sold the entire estate to a group of men from southern California, and they hired the York Company, Inc. of Oakland to handle to development and the sales.
The York company subdivided the land and called it Claremont Pines. The name Claremont Pines came from the nearby district called Claremont and the name of the Bowles Estate.
Claremont Pines Placed on the Market
In about 1927 or 1928, Andrew Williams of the Andrew Williams Store, a local grocery chain, purchase the home, which was located at No. 2 Bowling Drive.
After spending two years remodeling and adding new furniture including expensive Persian rugs, Williams put the home up for sale in 1932
Bowles Hall – UC Berkeley
In 1928 in memory of her husband, Mrs. Bowles donated $250,000 to the University of California to be used to build a dormitory for men, wholly and appropriately furnished, on or near the University campus, in Berkeley. It is known as Bowles Hall.
In 1938 the main house was destroyed by the wrecking and sold off piece by piece. A sad ending to a home that was just 28 years old.
The was a caretaker house located at the front gates of the estate. It stood at the portal through the high metal-spiked fence around the estate. The five-room bungalow, which formally served as the guardian of the estate, was used as the tract office from 1928- 1948.
It was at this little cottage where the streetcar once stopped.
In 1948 the cottage was sold to Charles Ray Jr. of 1028 85th Avenue, and he will be placing it on the lot next to his.