The Hermitage (or Hermitage House) was (circa 1890) a somewhat infamous club in what is now the Dimond. Owned by Leon Faure, it was one of several drinking establishments in the area at the time. Others included the Neckhaus Gardens, Bauerhofer’s, and Tepper’s Beer Garden.
‘Gentlemen’ were picked up and discreetly transported there, to be entertained by “French dancing girls”. But more average people went to the Hermitage, too, like the Sight-Seers Club of San Francisco. 1 The grounds included a two-story structure at the corner of Fruitvale Avenue and Hopkins (now MacArthur), and a smaller house in the yard behind.
In 1893, The Hermitage was owned by the Taylor brothers, Billy and ?. 9
After battling the local temperance movement, the authorities and losing his license 4, owner Leon Faure closed the club in 1902. 2 Fred C. Schnarr tried to reopen it in 1903, but his license application was denied. 3,6 Leading the fight against the local saloons was Reverend Franklin Rhoda. One resident who supported (or at least, didn’t oppose) the re-opening was Joaquin Miller. 7
Links and References
- The Dimond Shines! walking tour on Our Oakland, September 2011
- The Sight-Seers Club San Francisco Call June 6, 1891
- "To Let" Sign on Hermitage San Francisco Call January 18, 1902
- Will Close Up The Hermitage San Francisco Call August 25, 1903
- Board Closes Five Resorts San Francisco Call July 17, 1901
- Found A Robber's Bloody Pistol San Francisco Call June 16, 1897
- Still Fight License of the old Hermitage San Francisco Call August 18, 1903
- Joaquin Miller Favors Bacchus San Francisco Call June 30, 1903
- Make Protests Against Dives San Francisco Call July 16, 1901
- A Boxing Match at The Hermitage San Francisco Call October 7, 1893