top of page

Updates and questions


  • I scanned more photos and added them to the Blair Park page (and the blog post before this one), Piedmont Park's page (new maze, clubhouse and park pictures) and the home page adding some of the new additions I have acquired.

  • I'm slowly going through all my house records and newspapers for house information... this will most likely be finished in a few years gathering all the information and then posting it.

  • Upcoming topics I'm researching and future posts:

    • Suffrage movement in Piedmont (Piedmont Park had quite a few Pageants of Progress at the Park)

    • City Council historical achievements with women

    • Prohibition in our city

    • Adding new maps I have

    • Adding more pictures from schools, city buildings, people

    • Keep working on house research


  • Why are there so many tea houses in Piedmont? Blair Park had one in the late 1800s and Piedmont Park had at least two and our current third one that was moved.

The first tea house (often not mentioned or recognized), 1898 - at least 1909:

Oakland Tribune - Tue - Sep. 22, 1903:

The admission fee of 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children will include refreshments, which will be served on the side of the veranda of the club house and in the artistic tea house adjoining.

The second tea house (incorrectly called the first on the historical marker in the park):

The first tea house in Piedmont Park was built by Frank C. Havens and opened on June 30, 1907. It was a replica of the late-fifteenth century Silver Pavilion (or Ginkaku) in Kyoto, Japan and was the largest of its kind in the United States. To the rear of the tea house were a koi pond, moon bridge and Japanese style garden.

When the City of Piedmont acquired the park in the 1920s, it tore down the tea house and many other park features to make room for a new master plan for civic center.

Piedmont League of Women Voters pamphlet (second tea house - but really the third):

This rather unusual structure formerly occupied at the site at 400 Hillside Avenue, now the site of the Middle School. It was built at some point in the 1930's as a private retreat for the owner's daughter and her friends. During the 1940's it was owned by relatives of Chiang Kai-Shek, the president of what is now Taiwan. His wife, the former Miss Soong Mei-Ling, was a frequent guest at the house in the 1940's. The Tea House was donated to the City of Piedmont in 1971 and moved to its current site shortly thereafter.

  • Why did we have two tea houses in Piedmont Park but the historical marker says there was only one?

  • $1.25 an acre -- I still have not found any proof that Blair bought Piedmont land vs squatting.


bottom of page