Zimmerman's Gardens was a picnic, restaurant and recreation park in Oakland in the mid-19th century.
We will make the start at Zimmerman's Garden, which was on the north side of Second street. between Harrison and Alice. This was in the early '60s. It had a lot of willow trees, dancing platform, bowling alleys, shooting galleries, swings, wooden tables and benches, and was a very popular place. The different lodges and societies would have their annual picnics there, to which everybody went, and sure had some good times
The building was a two-story frame, with saloon and dining room. This place was known and popular for its dinners at 50 cents: and one of the star customers was the very wealthy Michael Reese, of San Francisco; and, as the saying was at the time, "It must be pretty good for Michael Reese to come over here and walk so far (from the foot of Broadway) for a dinner." Then it was a place where we boys could go on Sunday afternoon and pass away the time and were always sure to meet with the rest of our chums.
In an article about the history of parks of Oakland2:
One of the first in the 60's was Zimmerman's Gardens, on the north side of Second Street between Harrison and Alice.
A two-story frame building housed its restaurant and saloon, the former famed for its excellent fifty-cent dinners.
A listing of early parks: