The Dimond District is named after Hugh Dimond. A young 20-year old with three children, who made his money in the Gold Rush. In 1867, he purchased the acreage that included the area now called Dimond Park. However, he was not the first European to own the land.
Our very own 12-acre Dimond Park, was part of the Peralta family’s ranch, back in the days of the Spanish land grants. The family’s 1821 adobe, described in a book called “Oakland Park and Playgrounds” as the “first substantial house built in Oakland,” stood for many years until it burned in the 1950s. When visiting the park , search for a small, difficult-to-read plaque that sets forth a bit of local history. According to the plaque, the utility building across from the restrooms has incorporated adobe bricks from the 1897 Dimond cottage, described as a “playhouse” for the Dimond children, although a brief history on an Oakland Parks Department map references the adobe bricks as being from the Peralta home. Visit the old bricks that encircle the door, set aside from the rest of the blank wall of the building. Adjacent to the plaque is an 1896 bell, which originally hung in a streetcar barn, which later became the volunteer headquarters for the Dimond Volunteer Fire Department.
In 1917, the city purchased 12 acres at Fruitvale and Lyman streets from the Dimond estate for $24,000–today’s present park. Exploring the Dimond district can be filled with surprises. Finding out where the German Beer Gardens once stood, will bring out the true adventurer in you.