Historic Pictures

A special thanks to Susan C. Davis for these photos of Sunol from 1920.

Susan fills us in on some the history behind the photos...

I had this photo in family album and think it is your temple. I sent an email of it to my Calif. cousin. She said it might be Hetch/Hetchy.... I looked up a web site for that, it wasn't the same one, I then sent it to that site owner and he referred me to your site. All in a few hours I have solved my mystery!

My mom, now age 87, is the little girl on the left, the woman with back to camera is her mother, and the Ford belongs to them, I believe. My grandparents, Charles F. and Lily Edwards and my mom (Doris) and her brother (Billy) along with my grandfather's mother, Lucy Audubon Edwards, great granddaughter of John James Audubon, drove the Ford from Chicago to Alameda beginning Sept. 7, 1919 and ending Peace Day Nov. 11, 1919. A long and difficult journey on muddy roads and sometimes no roads at all. We just found the "Log of the Hump Backed Liz," my great grandmother's 39-page handwritten log of that journey. This photo was among some of the pictures we already had of the trip although it was taken just after they got to Alameda.

Editors note: In the 1920's, Sunol was a common destination for family outings in the countryside. People either drove and took the train out from Oakland and San Francisco, often staying at one of the hotels or in the summer homes (small redwood cabins) nestled into the woods.

The house in the background of the second photo is the Butner House. It was built in 1898 as a private residence. In 1910, Molly Buttner converted one of the rooms into a county library. More recently, the house and surrounding property has been deeded to the East Bay Parks District.