In 1888,  F. C .Talbot  of San Francisco lumber firm of Pope & Talbot purchasesthe property from Ellis A. Haines  in the hills of Elmhurst and adjacent to the Souther Farm2 (now to Dunsmuir Hellman House property, 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 rich land used for farming and orchards.  The 60 acres of orchards including almonds, cherries, oranges, walnuts, lemons, prunes, apricots, peaches and olives and and some of the land was planted with hay.

The garden was laid out with rare trees and a variety of plants and lighted pathways.  There was a large man made pond with a bridge the crossed it.  The pond was large enough for a small rowboat.

The main house was a modern elegant colonial structure of 12 rooms, with 4 baths running water and gas throughout.

There was a large modern stable, a greenhouse, servants quarters. There was a home for the caretaker which is still standing today. A brooder for chickens and pen for pigs.


2.  OutWest Magazine - July 1907 page 125



The Stables 3The Gardens 3Man Made Lake3

The bridge over the lake3The main house3


Edenvale is Sold

After F.C. Talbot died in 1919 through his estate Edenvale was sold.  It was purchased by Cliff Durant for $200,000 in November of 19194.

In December of 1921 the home was destroyed by fire5.

Knowland Park and the Oakland Zoo

Now the land where Edenvale once was in 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.

Sidney Snow's home at the Zoo3Home today - Google maps 



  1. Mr. Talbot's Purchase - Oakland Tribune July 30, 1888
  2.  The Souther Farm - Oakland Tribune March 24, 1963
  3.  Photos provided by Sourisseau Academy Kings Library 
  4. Talbot Home at Edenvale is sold - Oakland Tribune November 25, 1919
  5. Cliff Durants Home Burns - Oakland Tribune Dec 20, 1921
  6. Oakland Zoo – A History as Told by the Founder’s Daughter  - Alive Magazine