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 Montclair, Photos

Playhouse at Montclair Park

Most anyone who grew up in Montclair played at the park. The park was always full of kids.

Montclarion 1960

If you played in the park during the 1960-1980s, you would remember the two-story playhouse. It was built in 1960 and was located by the swing-sets.

March 1964 from Mary Jo Losso

It was demolished after a couple of fires in the mid to late 1980s. It is rumored that the fires caused by teens or someone smoking in the house.

I enjoyed playing in small playhouse. I would pretend I lived there and that my best friend lived next door.

Montclarion 1960

Built in 1960

In 1960 the Montclair Junior Women’s Club of Montclair held fundraisers and worked with the Oakland Recreation Department to finance a playhouse for the park in Montclair.

Oakland Tribune Apr 1960
Oakland Tribune 1960

The 120 square foot playhouse incorporated such features as kitchenettes with running water and toy stoves and refrigerators It had a living room with built-in play television sets and a circular metal stairway leading up to the sleeping balcony and sundeck in each unit.

The exterior of the structure was covered with heavy wire to create the illusion of a closed building. Bright colored squares of orange, yellow, turquoise and white decorate the front of the playhouse.

Oakland Tribune Sep 1960
Jan 1973 from Mike Shuken

The playhouse was designed and constructed by members of the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department

  • Bert Trubody
  • Robert Savattone
  • Paul Mortensen
From Beth Reynolds

Fun in Merrivilla

Oakland Tribune Sep 19, 1960

Dollhouse Named Diane

From the Facebook Group – Forgotten Montclair

There was also a playhouse located in Pinto Park/Carl B. Munck School play yard.

It was built in honor who Diane “Dede” Dobson who lost her life during the Columbus Day Storms of 1962.

Swiss Chalet at Pinto Park
From the Facebook Group – Forgotten Montclair
Oakland Tribune Apr 1963
Oakland Tribune Apr 1963
Oakland Tribune August 1964

I will add more photos as I find them

The End