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The de Fremery House was built in 1864 in a Gothic Revival Style as the home of James de Fremery and his family. The house, which became known as "The Grove", was originally part of the Rancho San Antonio land grant. James de Fremery lived in the home up to his death in 1899 but his family members lived in the until the property was sold to the City of Oakland in 1910. The house is now used as the de Fremery Recreation Center. The de Fremery House was designated as an Oakland Landmark On November 17, 1981.


  • The house as it stands today.
  • A black and white shot of the house (date unknown).
  • James de Fremery and his wife.

Born in 1826, James de Fremery was a rich merchant who immigrated to California from the Netherlands. He first set foot in San Francisco at the age of 23 and at that time was a commission merchant. He married Virginie Therese Herckenrath, daughter of wealthy Dutch merchant Leon Herckenrath and his wife Juliette Louisa McCormick de Magnan and the oldest of 15. Leon was theConsul of the Netherlands in charge of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and his wife was a former slave who he had purchased when she was 11 years old. 

James de Fremery founded the Savings Union Bank of San Francisco (which eventually became Wells Fargo) and owned large amounts of real estate in Oakland. He was also president of the Chamber of Commerce, involved in the Savings and Loan Society, the Giant Powder Company, the American Sugar Refining Company, and even the railroads. de Fremery died of heart disease with an estimated estate of $100,000 and $500,000 or $100 million and $500 million today. 

de Fremery House. Local Wiki. Accessed June 15, 2017. https://localwiki.org/oakland/de_Fremery_House.

James de Fremery. Accessed June 16, 2017. https://localwiki.org/oakland/James_de_Fremery.

De Fremery Park and Recreation Center West Oakland. Found SF. Accessed June 15, 2017. http://www.foundsf.org/index.php?title=De_Fremery_Park_and_Recreation_Center_West_Oakland.