The Canary Cottage Roadhouse was located on the east side of the old Inter County Tunnel (see Kennedy Tunnel) above today's Caldecott Tunnel in the Oakland Hills. Travelers could purchase sandwiches and beverages, along with overnight accommodations when making the arduous journey over the hills between Oakland and Contra Costa County.
Frank and Ruth Enos ran the Canary Cottage Roadhouse, until 1922 when they abandoned the establishment for another they opened at the north end of Orinda Village, the 'White Swan.'
Frank Enos received free electricity (or possibly free rent?) on the Canary Cottage in return for changing the burned out light bulbs inside the Kennedy Tunnel. He would ride his hay wagon into the tunnel, park under a burned out bulb, climb up on the bales of hay and change the light bulb. There was only a single string of light bulbs running through the tunnel, making it still quite dark.
Records indicate that whoever operated the Canary Cottage were also the gatekeepers of the tunnel, though it's not clear that was the Enoses.
In the 1960s or 1970s on the site of the Canary Cottage the Park Security Residence/Maintenance Facility was built, and an architectural assessment of the property indicated that nothing of the original structure remained.
Links and References
- Walnut Creek by Catherine A. Accardi
- Transit may trump Caldecott Tunnel 4th bore Contra Costa Times
- Site Public Structures and Equipment Away from Constricted Portions of the Corridor or Outside the Study Area
Days Gone By: Depression gives the Caldecott Tunnel a leg up Oakland Tribune