Ardsley Heights is part of Bella Vista Park and is now considered part of Ivy Hill. The streets of Ardsley Heights are Park Blvd, East 28th Street, Bay View Avenue, Lake View Avenue Elliot Street, and East 34th Street.
Ardsley Heights went on sale in October 1912 by the Realty Syndicate.
Adjoining F.M. Smith’s home
Directly across from the Home Club
Twelve Minutes by car from Broadway
The above photo shows the house at 1011 Bay View Ave. It was built in 1915.
The above photo shows the house at 985 Bay View Avenue –
View from Ardsley Heights
Showing the Home Club (later the German Pioneer Home) and the Smith Cottages (Home for Friendless Girls). The German Pioneer Home was demolished to make room for Oakland High School.
Every day while taking my kids to school, we would pass a street called Rifle Lane. I thought that was a weird name. I wondered why? (they named it that), as I do a lot of things as I drive around Oakland (or anywhere).
Fast forward a few years later. I was looking up the history of the area I lived in off of Keller Ave. The area is now called the Eastmont Hills (kind of boring). The area goes back to 1925 when the C.P Murdock Company put it on the market, and they called it Melrose Highlands. It is just up the hill from the new Chevrolet Assembly Plant (now Eastmont Town Center). They sold the area as an excellent place to live if you work at the plant.
In my research, I came across the following article from July of 1925. The Upper San Leandro filter plant (7700 Greenly Drive) and the State Rifle Range are adjacent to Melrose Highlands. I thought, wow there was a rifle range right about where Rifle Lane is now. Solved that one. Well, not really, but…close.
Maybe now, some of the smart people who read this blog can help me in figuring out where the range waslocated.Maybe someone remembers it.
From the Oakland Tribune Oct 29, 1929 – Major fire in the Oakland Hills – threatens the rifle range. Map of the fire below –
What I know
The range has been called the following:
National Guard rifle Range
California National Guard rifle range
State Rifle Range at Leona Heights
Leona Heights Rifle Range
In 1917 the National Guard rifle range was transferred from Marin County to Leona Heights in Oakland. They had purchased “140 acres of land directly back of the quarry for the purpose”. The land was formally the property of the Realty Syndicate. The range opened in 1920. The location varies. Close to Mills College, 2 miles from Mills College, a top of Seminary Drive, and the back of the Leona Quarry.
It may have also been the location of the stables of the 143rd Field Artillery Regiment. I know there were horse stables there.
The California Guardmans highlighted the rifle range in their Feb-March 1925 issue. You can see it here. From the Military Museum site. “A California National Guard range and local training area located in the Oakland Hills of Alameda County. It may have also been the location of the stables of the 143rd Field Artillery Regiment. The site was developed approximately 1919 and was actively used until at least 1941. The site supported elements of the 143rd Field Artillery, 159th Infantry, and 250th Coast Artillery Regiments. The April 1919 edition of The American Rifleman, stated that there were 60 firing points for rifles with targets placed between 200 and 600 yards. There was also a pistol range with 14 firing points. The range was described as one of the finest ranges west of Camp Perry, Ohio.”