An American named Henderson Luelling planted the first cherry orchards, a German family named Rhoda owned the most land, but it was Hugh Dimond, a wealthy Irish businessman, who gave this Oakland district its name when he purchased land and settled there in 1867.
The gently rolling terrain, the views of the Oakland hills, the pleasant weather and the easy access to downtown via the trolleys drew many settlers, including many Germans, to the area once known as Upper Fruitvale. By the 1890s there were so many beer gardens along the streets of Fruitvale and MacArthur that the district could have passed for a town in Germany. Visitors from San Francisco came by ferry to pick cherries, drink beer in the summer sun and enjoy the hospitality of a number of resorts, including the fanciest of the bunch, the Hermitage, which boasted dancing girls and an authentic French chef.
Soon after the turn of the 19th century, the Dimond district was annexed to Oakland and the area grew exponentially. The beer gardens were either closed by prohibition or replaced by bakeries, feed stores, banks or other businesses. Every October the people of Dimond now pay tribute to this history with an Oaktoberfest that celebrates the Dimond beer gardens of times past.
These days, the Dimond district is on the upswing. Its local improvement association rallies to the motto “involvement builds community,” and the friendly and well-organized community has attracted many businesses.
The residents of Dimond’s real estate have also rallied to save its local post office branch, replace a derelict motel with a modern senior housing facility, and create an active litter patrol of volunteers, fueled by donations from Peet’s and La Farine, that regularly scour the area.
Some of the local schools include Fruitvale Elementary, The Renaissance International School, Redwood Day, Sequoia Elementary, and Bret Harte Middle School. There is also a branch of the Oakland Library, and just east of the library is the beautiful Dimond Park, a lovely wooded grounds in the midst of urban excitement that plays host to a great community picnic every July and a recreational center with swimming, tennis and children’s activities.
The close-knit community of Glenview is one of the treasures of the East Bay and has been one of Oakland's most popular neighborhoods for decades. On its long list of assets are old-fashioned mom-and-pop shops, grassy parks, tree-lined streets, colorful bungalows, a strong sense of community, and convenient freeway access.
Glenview’s main street, Park Boulevard, contains a small but charming commercial district where a Saturday afternoon of errands may include catching up on neighborhood news with the local dry cleaner and chatting with neighbors before heading over to Dimond Park for a barbecue or swim at the public pool.