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.

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. 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.

Durant Park 3 in 1937

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 Zoo.3Home today - Google maps 



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