An American named Henderson Luelling planted the first orchards, a German family named Rhoda owned the most land, but it was Hugh Dimond, a wealthy Irish businessman, who lent the district his name.
The gently rolling terrain, the views of the Oakland hills, the clement weather and the easy access to downtown via the trolleys drew many settlers, most of them German, to the area once known as Upper Fruit Vale. By the 1890s there were so many beer gardens along the streets now known as Fruitvale and MacArthur that the district could have passed for a town in Germany. Visitors from San Francisco came by ferry to pick cherries and drink beer in the summer sun; they also enjoyed the hospitality at a number of resorts, the fanciest of which, the Hermitage, had dancing girls and a chef from France.
Soon after the turn of the 19th century the Dimond district was annexed to Oakland and the area grew with new residents. The beer gardens were either closed by Prohibition or replaced with bakeries, feed stores, banks and other businesses.
At the turn of the 20th century, the Dimond is a district in transition. The retail is a mix of nail salons, electronics stores, beauty supply outlets and banks. The variety of the family owned restaurants (and there are a lot to choose from!) suggests the diversity of the Dimond’s 21st century inhabitants. There is also a branch of the Oakland Library to enjoy, and just east of the library is beautiful Dimond park: a lovely wooded grounds in the midst of urban excitement.
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(all data current as of 5/19/2013)
$298,888 : 2028 DAMUTH ST, Unit: 2, OAKLAND2 beds, 1 full, 1 part baths
$519,000 : 3943 FRUITVALE AVE, OAKLAND3 beds, 2 full baths
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