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The Highlands Walk

The Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group remains determined to go on a walk every Wednesday rain or shine, and last Wednesday, February 13, with torrential downpours through much of the day, they got their chance to prove it.

It was raining lightly at the appointed hour, 10:30 a.m., when the walkers assembled at the Exedra, but the forecast was for heavy rain through the day.

Given the weather conditions, the group chose to stay close to home with a shorter walk.

Dick Carter had learned that there is an unusual Piedmont real estate property for sale on Hazel Lane, so the group decided to see what was being offered and visit this historic section of Piedmont. It offered an opportunity to walk through part of Piedmont Park and see Bushy Dell Creek with rushing waters - an unusual and impressive sight.

The walkers took a shortcut to Hazel Lane, and then started on a loop that took them past some historic homes. They passed 141 Hazel Lane, the site of Piedmont's first school, the Ransom-Bridges School, which was founded in 1913.

Tom Reese told the group that this neighborhood was once the Requa Estate where Isaac and Sarah Requa built their mansion, named "The Highlands." The Requas made their fortune from mining silver in Nevada, and were among Piedmont's earliest pioneers.

The Highlands was one of the most impressive of the early Piedmont mansions. It was built on a prominent knoll that is now at Requa Place and Hazel Lane. This elegant 1876 Italianate mansion had 22 rooms and its buttercup yellow color and location made it easily visible from San Francisco. After Sarah Requa died, the property was subdivided into lots for private homes.

When the walkers finally arrived at the approximately quarter acre vacant Lot, they looked down its slope to a small building on the property and envisioned that someday there will be another lovely Hazel Lane home on this site.

The group emerged back on Requa Road, and after walking down Requa Place, realized it was

time to wrap up the Wednesday wet walk as the rain became a heavy downpour. It was one of the

group's shorter walks, but it was nonetheless memorable.


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