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The Camron-Stanford House is the last remaining Victorian home from an era when Lake Merritt was publicly inaccessible, being ringed by private estates. Built in 1876, the Camron-Stanford House housed the Oakland Public Museum from 1907 to 1965. Today the building is a museum and offices, and is available for event rentals like weddings.

The home was built by Dr. Samuel Merritt while he was developing the area. The home is named for some of its residents: the first family were the Camrons (1876-1882). Later residents were the family of Josiah Stanford (1882-1905), brother of “Big Four” member and university founder Leland Stanford. Other notable residents include the family of David Hewes (1877-1881), an associate of the “Big Four” who is probably best remembered for donating the “golden spike” for the ceremony marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869.

The last residents were Capt. John T. Wright, Jr. and his family (1903-1907). They sold it to the city of Oakland in October of 1907 for $40,000, and it became the Oakland Public Museum. 1

The Camron-Stanford House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and on January 7, 1975, the home was designated an Oakland Landmark, under Zoning Case #LM 74-335. 2

William Camron Family in the driveway, c. 1876 1

postcard c. 1908, via The Real Devil Doll

Links and References

  1. Camron-Stanford House website
  2. Oakland Landmarks