Posted in Advertisment, Early Montclair, History, Then and Now

“The Newspaper With The Hillside Slant”

Before “The Montclarion” newspaper rolled off the presses in 1944, there were two earlier editions of the paper.  The Montclair Garden Club published a newsletter called the Montclair Clarion in the early 1930s and then the Montclarion

Montclarion – Thanks to Chris Treadway

Montclair Clarion

In January of 1935, a small booklet of community news and poetry appeared in mailboxes in the Merriewood area. It was sponsored by the Merriewood-Pinewood Improvement Club.

The Montclair Clarion was distributed free of charge. It included poetry, stories, and community activities, advertisements, and a recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

The cover was a pen and ink sketch by Schuler of two pines, grass, and a view of the hills beyond. The sketch tool on slight variations, reflecting the seasons.

Montclarion 1992

The editor was Margery Lane Schuler, who lived at 5646 Merriewood Drive. Schuler was also the advertising manager, copyreader, publisher, and art director.  

In her first editorial, Schuler wrote that she hopes the Montclair Clarion will “have a great many people become more aware of the beauty of the district of the district and promote a desire for our living amongst the trees and nature, living close to God, thereby establishing us to live richer fuller lives.” We want them to see our sunset, to breathe our pines; and everyone should hear our birds sing in the morning, they like it too, out here.”

Some news from the Clarion

  • Mrs. Emerson’s garden party with an entrance charge of 50 cents.
  • The Women’s club was booked solid.
  • Realtor Ione Jones had a pine lot available for $1,500.
  • Montclair Realty at 6466 Moraga announced the permit for the Hamilton Market.
  • New street sign at the blind corner of Merriewood and Sherwood Drives.

On the cover of the April 1935 edition, it boasted a circulation of 1000, and by September 1935, the little book was less than ten pages.

Montclair Clarion Feb-Mar 1935 Thanks Chris Treadway

You can look at the above issue here: Montclair Clarion – Oakland Local Wiki

Montclarion

In 1940, the first issue of the Monclairion still a typed, mimeographed newsletter appeared. Promising its readers, “a personal newssheet will keep you informed on the interesting and important events in your community.

July 13, 1940 –Thanks Chris Treadway

The area’s monthly news source was published by the Montclair Townsite Association, “of, by and for the people of Montclair from Piedmont to Skyline.” The yearly subscription price: $1.00.

Thanks Chris Treadway

The editor, realtor Beatrice Pause of the Montclair Realty Co., had a staff of three nurserymen Elmer Warren, local resident Damond Woodlee whose forte was “scandal,” and her sister Pierette DeVincenzi.

Vol 2 No 54 July 1941

A popular and controversial column, “Well What Do You Know” by Yehudi, reported the goings-on of hill residents and merchants. “Yehudi” kept things stirred up by tattling on everyone, even himself.

“What local golf wizard took what local scribe’s pants at what club?” began a column in July 1940. “Little did he suspect this local scribe had shed his longies.” (and editors’ note read: Yehudi to be released from local klink Monday)

Vol 2 Oct 1941 Thanks Chris Treadway

Five months after that first issue appeared, The Montclarion became a weekly, six to eight-page publication that included the “important events of the community” gossip, meetings, gardening and cooking tips, new neighbors, and help-wanted columns.

Four months later, the paper was delivered by carriers every Friday to 2,150 homes.

Advertisements on the letter-size news sheet reflected the hill area growth.

  • Charles Huenneke had taken over the Montclair Pharmacy at the corner of Moraga and La Salle. 
  • Gil’s Market opened at 6120 La Salle.
  • Edward’s Cleaners and Hatters opened.
Thanks Chris Treadway

The following year four days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, urged residents to enroll in civilian defense classes. 

Vol. 3 No 1 Jan 1942 – Thanks Chris Treadway

But despite its popularity 2000 papers every week, the Montclarion died quietly som time in 1942 a victim of wartime shortages and rising production costs.

For nearly two years, the Montclarion was nothing more than a copyrighted title.

The Montclarion

Fred and Micky Graeser bought the title for $100.00 and rented printing equipment and set up shop in their home on Sobrante Road. They sold the paper in 1977.

Montclarion

The first issue was on October 27, 1944, and started as a four-page semi-tabloid whose pages varied in size.

Over the years, The Montclarion moved their offices at least eight times.

Montclarion

Various Issues

Monntclarion June 1949 – Thanks to Chris Treadway
Montclarion March 1952 Thanks Chris Treadway
Montclarion August 1953
Montclarion Nov 17, 1955
Montclarion May 1957
Montclarion April 1957
Montclarion 1962

Thanks to The Montclarion for their history.

More Info:

The End

Posted in History, Montclair, Oakland

1937 Fire – Upper Broadway Terrace

A brush and timber fire that destroyed at least four Oakland hill area homes and menaced at least 50 more burned in the area of Pine Needle Road and Upper Broadway Terrace and came close to the buildings of the new Broadway Low-Level tunnel (Caldicott Tunnel). This was on September 25, 1937.

Oakland Tribune Sep 26, 1937

The photo below was taken at the hight of the blaze, but before the fire jumped Tunnel Road.

Families Flee

Scores of families fled their homes in fear; others who sought to save the belongings were ordered out by fireman.

Mrs. G.H. Cowles with Eunice and Hazel Cowles
of 6142 Pinewood Road
The W.R Powers Family lost their home at 6142 Ruthland Road.
Edith Thorpe 6, holds her pet Rhode Island Red Hen

Burned Area

The fire started close to the home of Police inspector Jesse Jackson at 6019 Pinewood Road at around 3 pm on September 25, 1937. During the first six hours, the fire had burned across the western edge of the Pinehaven district up Broadway Terrace to a point just below Skyline Blvd. and back down another canyon to the west.

Oakland Tribune Sept 26, 1937

The fire chief estimated the fire burned over 9 square miles of rolling hill county.

Oakland Tribune Sept 26, 1937

Hose lines Burned

Several hundred feet of hose laid across brushy areas to link the pumps to the fire area were destroyed by flames. Lack of water was a problem, they had used up all the water in reservoirs in the immediate area.

Eyewitness Accounts

C.F. Humphrey – 13025 Broadway Terrace

Mrs. Marguerite Risley – 6493 Farralone Way

Homes Lost or Damaged

  • 15030 Broadway Terrace – Ted Gould – gone
  • 16060 Broadway Terrace – S. Albright – damaged
  • 17014 Broadway Terrace – Ed Pohley – damaged
  • 17044 Broadway Terrace – S. Sund – damaged
  • 17050 Broadway Terrace – S.C. Purser – damaged
  • 6539 Gwin Road – V. Sagues -damaged
  • 6142 Pinewood Road – G. H. Cowles – damaged
  • 6142 Ruthland – W.R. Powers – gone
The Press Democrat Sep 26. 1937

Fire Started –

The fire started when a “backyard bonfire” got out of control.

1929 Fire

There was a fire in November of 1929 in just about the same area. Some of the same homes were damaged then. The W.R. Powers home was saved in 1929 only to burn down in 1937.

Oakland Tribune Nov 15, 1929
Oakland Tribune Nov 15, 1929

1933 Fire

The was a fire in 1933 with the loss of one home at 7135 Pinehaven Road.

1930 Directory
Oakland Tribune Oct 23, 1933

The End

Posted in Homes, Montclair

10 Overlake Court –

10 Overlake Court –

Oriental Theme in Small Home

Oriental (now we would say Asian) theme in a small home. The five-room home is located at 10 Overlake Court above the Montclair Pool (Swim and Racquet Club).

It was designed with both far Eastern ideas and California architecture. Oil finished wood in a natural color, accented with Chinese red in finish and outside trim, grasscloth wallpaper, and bamboo moldings were some of the Eastern ideas.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

The living room opens onto a private garden with beautiful oak trees. The house is somewhat like a modern ‘farmhouse’ with an exterior of oiled, heart redwood, and an off-white limestone finished roof with wide overhanging eaves.

With many red brick window boxes and large glass areas of windows that are divided into horizontal panes, creating a streamlined effect that is unusual in residential construction. A large circular grille in the garage door was also new and different.

Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

Montclair’s Most Talked-of Home

I don’t know who designed the home, but it was built by Robert Darmsted of Pinehaven Road. The Darmsted’s moved to Montclair in about 1920.

From 1924

Another local Montclarion F.A. Christopherson, who lived on Abbott Drive in the Merriewood area, did the brickwork.

From 1944
Oakland Tribune Feb 1940

Modern with “oriental touch.” Delightful patio. Price at $6450.00 in 1940.

Oakland Tribune Apr 1940
10 Overlake Court – Google maps

It is priced in the low 30’s! – 1964

Oakland Tribune 1964A

A true hideaway on a secluded cul-de-sac with a gorgeous living room in Japanese style. Price $289,000 in 1992.

SF Examiner Nov 15, 1992

The End

Posted in History, Montclair Tracts

Merriewood

Merriewood is a section or neighborhood of Montclair District of Oakland.   The Realty Syndicate were the exclusive agents selling the tract.  It first went on sale in 1924.

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Oakland Tribune Yearbook 1926

Oakland Tribune stated that:

no other tract in Oakland can offer such a “combination of magnificent view and comfortable home”   The ad went on to say  “it is so pleasant and healthful with trees all around and birds singing away –Great for youngsters”  October 1925

Lots in Merriewood were selling for as little as $1750 and as much as $2450 for a completely finished home.  $30 a month with interest.

 What your money bought in the 1920s:

  • Large lot wooded and clear
  • Well built roomy house
  • Variety of floor plans
  • Gas, lights, water, paved streets
  • Fast local and San Francisco transportation

Public Stairways

The Merriewood Stairs are divided into two sections the Lower Merriewood stairs (from Thornhill Drive to Marden Lane to Merriewood) and the Upper Merriewood stairs (from Merriewood Drive to Valley View Road to Merriewood again). Merriewood Stairs _ Oakland Local Wiki.

Street Names

In Merriewood, there is a group of streets named for the signs of the Zodiac. The streets are Aquarius Way, Capricorn Ave, Leo Way, Taurus Ave, Uranus Ave, and Virgo Rd.  There are small cluster streets named in honor of Robin Hood. They are Nottingham Dr., Robin Hood Way, and Sherwood Dr. Street Names Oakland Local Wiki

Various Clippings from the Oakland Tribune

From the Oakland Tribune 1924

First Model Home

The first model home was located on Thornhill Drive and Grisborne Ave.  The address was 5815 Thorn Road (now Thornhill Drive).  It served as the model home and tract office for Merriewood.  Later it was the offices of  Phil Hearty, who sold real estate in Montclair for years, he also was involved in the development of many tracts in Oakland.

It is now the home of Montclair Community Play Center, which has served Oakland since 1933. Montclair Community Play Center

Model Home 5815 Thorn Road Oakland Tribune Sep-Oct 1924

Various Homes in Merriewood Oakland Tribune 1924-1927

Many of the old houses on Merriewood Drive were built as vacation cabins, and several retain their original clapboard siding: 5574 (1924), 5826 (1925), 5844 (1925), 5857 (1925), and 5876 (1926). An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area

Posted in Model/Display Homes

Honeymoon Haven

Honeymoon Haven – 13049 Broadway Terrace – opened Jun 1935

A five-room residence planned to harmonize perfectly with it’s charming among pines.”  Oakland Tribune June 16, 1935

The home sits on 1/4 acre lots among the pines.

“1000 People attended the opening of Honeymoon Haven” – Oakland Tribune June 23, 1935

  • Merriewood Tract
  • Spanish -Colonial
  • George Windsor- builder
  • Jackson’s Furnishers of Homes
  • Phil Heraty – Real Estate Agent
  • Price – $4740
  • Sold $783,000 – 2015

Realtor info on home

Honeymoon Haven in 1935 and Honeymoon Haven in 2017

From the Oakland Tribune 1935