Hawthorne Ave., a one-block long street with 10 houses, had no name in 1903 when Homestead Valley was subdivided. In 1904, John C. Bone bought the block of land on the west side of the street from Evergreen to LaVerne. In 1905, he constructed a house on the Evergreen end. He later subdivided the rest of the property into four lots. By 1913, all five lots had houses. By 1916, the street had acquired the name Hawthorne Ave.The lot on the LaVerne end was
purchased by William Veale. In 1909 he built a small house close to the north property line on the flat part of the lot. The photo on the left was taken in about 1910. Note Mt. Tam in the distance and the water tank on the hill that is today circumscribed by Sunrise, Molino and Janes Avenues. The white house on the right was built in 1906. It has a privy behind it.
The 1910 census lists William Veale, age 39, a stationary engineer, his wife Mamie, 31, and four children: Mervyn, 9, Helen, 8, Rachel, 3, and Margaret, 3 months. Both Mervyn and Helen entered Homestead School on August 1, 1910 having transferred from another school.
The photo in the middle was taken
from LaVerne in the 1920s. Note the brown house between the Veale house and the white house. It was built in 1913.
In the early 1930s, the Veale house was moved closer to LaVerne and a larger house was built around it. The photo on the right was taken from LaVerne in about 1940.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Mervyn’s sons, Leonard and Wally Veale, spent summers at their grandparents house. Homestead Valley was much cooler than where they lived in eastern Contra Costa County.
If you have comments or questions about this article or other topics
pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.