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Wetmore House



In Dick Carter’s absence this week, a couple of volunteers led a very pleasant walk from the Exedra to Bonita, down Park and into Dracena Park on one of Piedmont’s most scenic and peaceful trails.

The attached photo shows Wednesday’s walkers, plus three new walkers, in front of the historic Wetmore House at the corner of Vista and Bonita Avenue. It was built in 1878 by Jess Wetmore and his brother, who constructed it without plans. It is Piedmont’s oldest structure and is now registered with and protected

by the National Historic Register. The house was the Wetmore family’s summer home, hav- ing been built when it was only one of five homes in the area of farmland. The Wetmore family’s main home was on Clay Street in Oakland. The house in Piedmont had only two owners until 2006. After the last Wetmore family member died, the house was purchased in 1942 by Alice Erskine, an art instructor at Mills College, who appreciated the history of the house. It was she who was able to register the house with the National Register, thus saving it from becoming a city parking lot. She raised her three children there and lived in the house until she died in 2006 at age 97.

After viewing the Wetmore House, the walkers ventured over to Dracena Avenue and into Dracena Park. They returned on Ricardo, Arroyo, Monticello and back to central Piedmont on Hillside. One of our walkers pointed out a secret trail from Monticello to an adjacent cul-de-sac .

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