Posted in Architecture, Model/Display Homes

26 Ascot Court – Piedmont Pines

Model Home Opens –

26 Ascot Court is on a quiet cul-de-sac in Piedmont Pines and it opened for inspection in October 1935.

Oakland Tribune – Oct 07 1934
See here
in 2019 from Realtor.Com

The French regency designed home was a joint effort of Frederick L. Confer and his father F.W. Confer.

The house was built on slopping lot  among the pine trees with a picturesque view of the bay and the Golden Gate . The lot is just under 1/2 acre in size.

The home was sold before it was completed. The buyer was R.F.D. Le Mon of New York, who was planning on making Oakland his home.

R.F.D Le Mon was the developer of the Le Mon Park section of Piedmont Pines.

Mitchell & Austin were the realtors in charge of the property.

Featured in Architectural Magazine

October 1936

The house featured in an article called ” Homes – They Are Building Them Now” in the October 1936 edition of The Architect and the Engineer.

Architect and Engineer October 1936
Architect and Engineer October 1936
Architect and Engineer October 1936
Architect and Engineer October 1936
Architect and Engineer October 1936 –

Frederick L. Confer has designed many homes in the Oakland. Including the Style House which was discussed in a previous post.

In 1937 he designed another home for R.F.D. Le Mon at 14 Cornwall Court .

Putting down roots in Montclair

In 1944 Admiral Thomas Sprague and his family moved into 26 Ascot Court . But his life in the Navy took off and the traveled around the world. In 1951 Sprague retired from the Navy and they settled in after only living in the for 2 weeks in the 8 years they owned it.

The Sprague Family lived there until about 1963 after Mrs. Sprague passed away.

A Montclair Treasure – March 2019

In March of 2019 the house was put on the market for $ 1,249, 000 and it sold for April of 2019 for $1,300,000.

From Realtor.com
Realtor.Com
Realtor.Com

Links:

The End

Posted in Early Montclair, History

Early Photos of Montclair

Some early photos of the Montclair District of Oakland – all are from the Oakland Public Library History Room.

When I can I will show the area now.

I will start off with one of the earliest photos of Montclair that I have seen. This is circa 1886. I hope that there are more like this.

Then

Students and teachers at Hays School front of the school.
Circa 1886
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Now

Montclair Fire House – Google Maps

Another photo of the Montclair Firehouse

Storybook firehouse on Moraga Avenue in the Montclair
Circa 1934
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

The photo below is overlooking the area that is now Montclair Elementary School and in the distance you can see the intersection of Thornhill and Mountain Blvd and the Women’s Club.

Tracks for the Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railway
(later Sacramento Northern Railway) in Montclair
Circa 1925
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Then

LaSalle Avenue looking down the hill towards Mountain Boulevard
Montclair Real estate offices and trolley depot in view.
circa 1927
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Now

Looking down LaSalle Ave towards HWY 13 – Google maps

The photo below is probably on LaSalle Ave from Mountain Blvd. the small building are where Highway 13 is now.

Sales offices of real estate broker and home builder Cos Williams in Montclair –
circa 1925 Eston Cheney, photographer.
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

The photo below is probably taken from where Highway 13 is now. Off in the distance is the Sacramento Northern Station located at what is now the top of LaSalle Ave as seen in the above photos.

Graded and staked lots in the undeveloped Montclair
Signs for the Cos Williams Montclair sales offices
circa 1925
Eston Cheney, photographer.
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room

Then

North east corner of Mountain Boulevard and Medau Place
Fred F. Chopin on Montclair Realty Co.
circa 1950
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Now

Corner of Mountain Blvd and Medau Place – Google Maps

Then

Sidewalk construction on Mountain Boulevard near Antioch Street Montclair
Cica 1958
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Now

Looking Up Mountain Blvd. Google Maps

Then

Construction Scout Road and Mountain Boulevard in the Montclair
circa 1955
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Now

Scout Road and Mountain Blvd – Google Maps

The photo below is overlooking the area that is now the intersection of Oakwood and Thornhill Drives. Showing houses on Oakwood Drive

Looking out towards the bay from near the ridge-line above the Montclair
Several winding dirt roads and homes in view.
circa 1930
Eston Cheney, photographer
Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

The End

Posted in History, Other

Audrey Lucinda Robinson

Audrey Lucinda Robinson – 1915-2008

Audrey Robinson was the first African American teacher at Thornhill Elementary School in Oakland Ca.

Mrs Robinson 1966 thornhill
Thornhill School 1966-1967

Early Years

Audrey Lucinda Robinson was the daughter of Charles Nelson and Maude Gibson.  She was born in 1915 in Oakland. She attended Peralta School and graduated from Claremont in 1930 and University High in 1933. The family lived at 6148 Colby Street.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jan_15__1928_.jpg
Oakland Tribune 1928

She was a member of the Colored YWCA at 8th and Linden in West Oakland.  She was a member of a club that included Lionel Wilson the former Mayor of Oakland.

Audrey married Frederick D. Robinson, a Washington, D.C. police officer in 1941 shortly before he was deployed to fight in World War II. In 1944 Robinson died during combat in Italy.

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Apr_5__1942_
Oakland Tribune April 1942

 

Thornhill Elementary School

She was the first African American teacher at Thornhill School in the Montclair District of Oakland. She taught kindergarten for 10 years from 1966-1976. She said that she never experienced any form of racism from the children, staff or parents. She said about one African American child would join her class every year. She loved her time at Thornhill and love the children. She was loved by the children.

Retirement

Audrey was dedicated to preserving the history of African Americans in the City of Oakland and she volunteered with the African American Museum and Library of Oakland (AAMLO). She also became very active at the Oakland Museum, serving as Docent Chairman for the History Department. She also served as Vice President of Administration for the Cameron-Stanford House Preservation Association.

Audrey passed away in June of 2008 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.  Audrey was predeceased by her husband, a WW II fatality, and her son. She is survived by her daughter, Jeri, her grandson Frederick and two great-grandsons.

References:

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 Early Montclair, History

The First Bus lines in Oakland

New Service to Montclair
From Ac Transit Time Sept 1961

In May of 1921, The Key System began to operate motor coach service. The first line opened up on May 16, 1921, to Mills College and a week later on May 21st, service to Montclair began.¹

The Realty Syndicate purchased and paid the bills for the motor coaches, to provide transportation for potential customers to Montclair. The coaches were painted to match the street cars.

There is a little dispute as to which line was first, the Montclair or the Mills College lines  My feeling is a tie that both started in May 1921.

The first tract office was a tent and later it was a small building. The tract office was later moved the triangle piece of land at Mountain Blvd, Antioch St, and Antioch Ct.  Antioch Ct.  The building later became the offices of Winder Gahan, real estate agents in dealing with Montclair.  The original site as seen in photo was located on the opposite side of Moraga Rd (at LaSalle) which is now in the middle of the Warren Freeway (Hwy 13).¹

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Feb_25__1940_ (1)
Offices of Winder Gahan at Antioch St and Antioch Ct. circa 1942

 The Schedule

During the commuting hours 6am-9am and 5 to 7pm every 20 minutes. During the remainder of the day a 40-minute service. The fare was 6¢ with transfer privileges to street cars.  In 1924 they offered service to run until midnight. Before this bus transportation had been confined to out-of-town service along the highway.

New Terminal – October 1928

In 1928 a new $18,000 Terminal was built in Montclair.  It was located at the corner of Mountain Blvd and La Salle, a short walk to the Sacramento Northern station.  The Spanish Style building was designed by local architect  Hamilton Murdock and was the first building structure in Montclair.  An Architectural Guide – Pg. 276 

The building is still standing and is located at 6206 LaSalle Ave. 6206 La Salle

A Reunion

In September of 1961, a forty-year-old photo led a reunion between to former drivers who pioneered local motor coach service in the East Bay.

J.L. “Marty” Martin started working in May 1921 and C.E. Pehrson started in September of that same year.  The met in Montclair at the approximate site of the first terminal and discuss new verses or coaches and how much things had changed.

AC Tansit newsletter
Sept 1961 – Reunion – Please see link ( 2) below to read online version of this

Various from the Oakland Tribune

References
    1. Historic Photo of Early Bus Found  Transit Times April 1975
    2. Reunion of early drivers  Transit Times September 1961
    3. More on AC Transit – Transit Times September 1963
Posted in Early Montclair, Montclair Tracts, Uncategorized

Montclair Highlands – Top of the World

Oakland_Tribune_Sat__May_16__1925_ (1)
Oakland Tribune May 17, 1925

Montclair Highlands was one the earlier subdivisions in Montclair.  Located in the hills back of Piedmont and just above Montclair’s Business district or the “Townsite” as locals called it in 1925.

“Montclair Business Center as the name indicates is the tract opened as a community trading district”.   Oakland Tribune May 17, 1925

“Montclair Highlands is separated by the Business Center from the original Montclair” (more on that later).  Oakland Tribune May 17, 1925

Montclair Highlands fronts out overlooking the bay and beyond.

“It is said that the elevation of Montclair highlands affords a view which surpasses anything from any other point in Oakland”.  Oakland Tribune May 17, 1925

Montclair Highlands is soon called the “Top of the World”.

The wonderful panorama afforded from the “Top of the World” is available to you all today – to be framed permanently by the windows of the home you will build”   C P Murdock  Vice President of the Realty Syndicate – Oakland Tribune May 31, 1925.

“Skyline Blvd, which runs through Montclair Highlands has for years been the great scenic drive of the Eastbay”.  Oakland Tribune Tribune May 31, 1925

Oakland Tribune May 1925

 

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__May_31__1925_ (2)
Oakland Tribune May 31, 1925

 

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_7__1925_
Oakland Tribune June 7, 1925

 

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Jun_14__1925_ (4)
Oakland Tribune June 14, 1925

 

Coming soon:

  • Observation Tower – Top of the World
  • The Model Homes of Montclair Highlands
  • Bus Service to Montclair Highlands

 

 

Posted in Montclair Tracts, Tract or Subdivisions

Casa Altadena

 

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Feb_5__1928_
Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1928

 

Casa Altadena the exhibition home of the Realty Syndicate company had a successful opening on January 29, 1928, when over 500 people motored out to Smith Reserve (Piedmont Pines) to view the beautiful dwelling.  Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1928.

Casa Altadena 1928 by Cheney Photo Advertising

 

Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Feb_5__1928_ (1)
Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1928

Casa Altadena is of Spanish architecture and was completely furnished and decorated by the John Bruener company.  The Spanish motif was tastefully brought by drapes and furniture.  Occupying a knoll overlooking the panorama of the bay on one side and beautiful wooded vistas and canyons on the other side.

 

 

Casa Altadena 6401 Chelton
Casa Altadena today 6401 Chelton Drive Oakland CA

 

 

  • Casa Altadena
  • Smith Reserve (Piedmont Pines)
  • Open Jan 29, 1928
  • Spanish design
  • Realty Syndicate
  • Still there
  • 6401 Chelton Drive

 

Location on Google maps