Posted in Early Montclair, History, People

Shepherd Canyon …a bit of history

Have you ever wondered why it is called Shepherd Canyon?

Oakland Tribune 1927

It named after the Shepherd Family who owned about 200 acres and lived there from about 1875 to the early 1900s.

You can view the location of Shepherd’s land in a Map of the City of Oakland, Berkeley, Oakland & Brooklyn Townships, and Alameda dated 1889 Published by E.P. Vandercook & Co. Real estate agents.

View map here Georeferencer.com

William J Shepherd (1844-1921) emigrated from England in about 1865 with his parents Thomas and Ellen Shepherd, brothers John and Thomas and sisters Mary Ann and Elizabeth.

Oakland Tribune Nov 04, 1876
Wm. J. Shepherd granted citizenship

In 1878 William married Mary Rogers (1842-1907). They had six children, William, James, Mary, Ellen, Louise, and Robert. They attended the Hays School.

Oakland Tribune 1875
LARGE LANDOWNERS OF 1876-BUSINESS DIRECTORY OF OAKLAND TOWNSHIP-OF ALAMEDA TOWNSHIP-
Oakland Tribune 1878
From the 1895 Directory

Hays School Graduation – 1901

William Shepherd died in San Jose in 1921

Oakland Tribune June 1921

Shepherd Pass Road –

A few articles discussing building a road that would run through the Canyon to connect to Skyline using County Road 2457 (now Shepherd Canyon Road).

Oakland Tribune Jun 15, 1896
Oakland Tribune Sep 18, 1897

Oakland Tribune Daily Knave 1953. Settling a moot point in Oakland nomenclature from William’s nephew.

Oakland Tribune 1953

Links

Posted in Early Montclair, History, Montclair, Montclair Tracts

Smith Reserve

The Smith Reserve is a subdivision in Montclair and is now known as Piedmont Pines.  

The area is located at the top of  Park Blvd with borders on Shepherd Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park and up to Skyline Blvd.

Oakland Tribune 1928

“Selected years ago By F.M. “Borax” Smith as a private estate”.

Oakland Tribune May 22, 1926.

F.M. “Borax” Smith set this land and another piece of further down on Park Blvd aside for his own private estate.  The area at the top of Dimond Canyon and included two creeks where Smith could hunt and have picnics.

He chose to build his home “Arbor Villa” on land located at Park Blvd between E 22nd and E 28th. Arbor Villa – Oakland Local WIki

In 1919, 25 acres of the Smith Reserve was sold to the Oakland-Piedmont Council of the Boy Scouts of America, for camp for the scouts.  It was called Camp Dimond was in use from 1919-1948.

In 1948 the Oakland Public School district took over the land and built Joaquin Miller Elementary and Montera Junior High Schools.

Smith Reserve Goes on Sale May 1926

Smith reserve is the most beautiful tract of land opened by the Syndicate Company” 

Oakland Tribune May 23, 1926

In July of 1926, two months after the subdivision was open, the Realty Syndicate reported nearly $250,000 in sales.  It was also reported that a bus transportation system will be put into operation, connecting with both local and San Francisco electric lines. -Oakland Tribune, July 18, 1928.

Bus Service to Smith Reserve

Admiring Smith Reserve

In an October 1928 edition of the Oakland Tribune noted actress, Miss Grace Valentine acclaims. Miss Valentine was staring at the Fulton Theatre.

Smith Reserve the most beautiful home-park that she had ever seen in the Eastbay”. “If I were a permanent resident of the East Bay I would certainly wish to make my home in this beautiful park”

Miss. Valentine Oct 1928

 More clippings about Smith Reserve

Please see: Casa Altadena 

Please see: Casa Maria Luisa

The End

Updated Dec 16, 2019