1927: Rockridge scandalized by pagan love cult

The sleepy Rockridge district was an unlikely home for scandal. But in 1927, it came to light that a small Rockridge bungalow had become the international headquarters of a mystical society called the “Great White Brotherhood.”

Hills covered in beautiful homes

“Rock Ridge—a part of the city below, yet apart from it.”

“Rock Ridge—a city beautiful where dreams come true. Where successful men are building their homes apart from the noise of a great city.”

“Rock Ridge—a private park residence place built to an ideal—planned in the Broadway hills for successful men.”

These advertisements were a part of a 1910 campaign by the Laymance Real Estate Company which spent the then-whopping sum of $38,000 to attract the rich to buy in a new part of Oakland, in the hills among sandstones known as “Rock Ridge.”

Oakland North Presents: History of Rockridge

Oakland North is taking a look at the history of Rockridge. Go here to check out our page: We have stories on its early beginnings as a home for Oakland’s upper class by Ryan Phillips, a profile of one of Rockridge’s founding fathers by Amna Hassan, as well as what the area used to look like, in the words of some of its earliest settlers, by Megan Molteni. We also have photos of what the area looked like at the turn of the century.

Voices from Rockridge’s early days

In 1954, local historian Frank X. Flood interviewed many of Rockridge’s first settlers about what it was like back in the “good old days.” These are their reminiscences in their own words.