1930 4

The State Rifle Range (also Leona State Rifle Range or State Rifle Range at Leona Heights) was a practice ground for the California National Guard and U.S. Army. It was moved there in 1917, 1 and is the origin of the name of Rifle Range Creek, which runs through the area.

The land was previously the Hewston ranch and extended across the hills of Leona Heights, east of the Ransome rock quarry, over the valley of Rifle Range Creek (where the Leona Preserve is today) and up to the crest of the high hills. The range was inaugurated in March 1921.2

In July 1921, there were serious fires all over northern and central California. "National Guard rifle range practically wiped out and several residences endangered by grass fires, sweeping over 10,000 acres." 5

The range was also used by local high schools and ROTC programs. 9,10 c.1933, the range was open to civilians on the 3rd Sunday of the month. 6

It's unclear when it closed. The latest references found in the Oakland Tribune are from 1935,3 but militarymuseum.org says it was active until at least 1941. 7

1923 map excerpt1925 7clubhouse 7,111923 9 1924 10

Links and References

  1. State Rifle Range Is Moved to Oakland Oakland Tribune April 12, 1917
  2. Leona Heights Range to Open Thursday Oakland Tribune March 14, 1921
  3. Oakland Army Men Win Annual Shoot Oakland Tribune October 9, 1935
  4. Turlock Rifle Team Wins Oakland Tribune April 1, 1930
  5. Millions Are Lost in Fires Over Sunday Oakland Tribune July 4, 1921 (p2)
  6. Ask the Tribune Oakland Tribune June 26, 1933
  7. Leona Heights National Guard Rifle Range militarymuseum.org
  8. State Rifle Range at Leona Heights A Bit of History
  9. High School Girls Join Rifle Class Oakland Tribune December 10, 1923
  10. Boys Are Found Good Marksmen Oakland Tribune May 28, 1924
  11. Journals of the Legislature of the State of California, Volume 3 1922