What do you know about Glen Avenue? About 1900, my maternal grandmother Alice Katherine Jesperson moved to Oakland from Pt. Arena with her parents Mary and Seren Jesperson. In 1913, she married John Arthur Swenson whose family (Nels and Koersten) had a wheat farm and some animals on Glen Avenue. Gradually the Swensons acquired more adjacent land and built more houses on it. The property ended up being a pie shaped parcel from 40 Glen continuing to 66 Glen ("The Glen") around the corner and up 41st Street including 3 properties on the street. The property remained in the Swenson family until the 1950's when my mother, Katherine Swenson Ronay, inherited it from her parents. My sister and I inherited the building at 66 Glen. About 1985, my parents sold all the property to Chris Brown who beautifully restored and remodeled the buildings. Before Brown purchased the property, the original barn remained and was used as a garage. There was a creek that ran under it and flowed across Glen Avenue to Panama Court and beyond.
During my grandfather's life as a teenager in Oakland, he knew Jack London who was quite the rowdy man. He asked my grandfather if he knew how to swim, and when he said no, London threw him in the estuary for a crash (splash) course in swimming.