In 1888, F.C.Talbot of San Francisco lumber firm of Pope & Talbot purchases,1 property from Ellis A. Haines in the hills of Elmhurst and adjacent to the Souther Farm (now to Dunsmuir Hellman House ) for $15,000.
"Nestled in the hills surrounded by the choicest fruits and flowers, “Edenvale” as the name suggests is a veritable paradise".2
The estate was 140-acres (at least) of fertile land used for farming and orchards. The 60 acres of orchards including almonds, cherries, oranges, walnuts, lemons, prunes, apricots, peaches, and olives, and some of the land was planted with hay.
The garden had lighted pathways. There was a large man-made lake with a bridge and was large enough for a small rowboat.
The main house was a modern elegant colonial structure of 12 rooms, with four bathrooms with running water and gas. There was a large modern stable, a greenhouse, and servants quarters. There was a home for the caretaker, which is still standing today — a brooder for chickens and pen for pigs.
Edenvale is Sold
After F.C. Talbot died in 1919 through his estate, Edenvale was sold. Cliff Durant purchased it for $200,000 in November of 19194.
In December of 1921, the home was destroyed by fire.5
Knowland Park and the Oakland Zoo
Now the land where Edenvale once was is the home of Knowland Park and the Oakland Zoo.
Some of the trees planted by Talbot in the late 1890s are still standing in the lower meadow. The caretakers home is still standing and was once the home to Sidney Snow while he ran the Oakland Zoo6. It is now home to one of the zookeepers.
- Mr. Talbot's Purchase - Oakland Tribune Jul 30, 1888
- The Souther Farm - Oakland Tribune Mar 24, 1963
- Photos provided by Sourisseau Academy Kings Library
- Talbot Home at Edenvale is Sold - Oakland Tribune Nov 25, 1919
- Cliff Durant's Home Burns - Oakland Tribune Dec 20, 1921
- Oakland Zoo – A History as Told by the Founder's Daughter - Alive Magazine
- The Talbot Place - A bit of history -Oakland Unfolded