The Claycord Online Museum – HELP! The Mysterious Wilke Realty/Clayton Wood Building

August 12, 2014 14:00 pm · 39 comments


OK, so we need a little help with this one from any Claycordian who has been here since the 1950s & 60s.

This picture came from a Mt. Diablo High School Yearbook (courtesy of our friend “Kirkwood”).

It’s a photo of the Wilke Realty building, but it also heavily advertises “Clayton Wood”

We have two questions for you….

1. What is Clayton Wood?
2. Where was this located?

Feel free to share your information in the comments section below. Thanks!

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

JET August 12, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Thats interesting, I know most neighborhoods in Clayton Valley and ‘Clayton Wood’ doesn’t ring a bell….. I wonder if it started out as Clayton Wood and then changed names or didn’t get built? Hopefully someone here will have answers!

Just_My_Two_Cents August 12, 2014 at 2:14 PM

The Clayton Wood subdivision is off Clayton Road – El Camino (the Pine Hollow side).

Marianne August 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Is that Mt. Diablo in the background?

Michelle August 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

From that angle, it looks like where the Clayton Club is.

Diane August 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM

It was a lumber yard on Clayton Road in the El Monte area.

matt mazzei August 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM

That is the corner of El Camino and Clayton rd. rd. Clayton Woods is what the sub-division was called that was El Camino -Yosemite Circle. Built in 1959. Wilke Realty was owned by Conrad Wilke. Great Guy. The Bus Stop was right in front of the big Clayton Woods sign. We moved in in August 1959. Matt Mazzei August 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Look at that, it took less than half an hour, you all are wonderful. Thanks for the comments!

@#1 August 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

You’re probably right. Looks like the bottom says something about “country living in the fabulous Clayton Valley”. My neighborhood is custom homes that don’t appear to be a sub – division, but on the deed the original developers that subdivided the lots and sold them gave it a name. Other than on the deed, you’d never know. Maybe something similar.

Mee August 12, 2014 at 2:35 PM

What are the cross streets there?? Can see the sign but can’t make out the names. This looks so familiar. I was born in 65 and first memories of visiting the Clayton Concord area is from late 60s’ when we went to buy shoes on Clayton road.. Very familiar. I would ask the Trost’s…

Mee August 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Ooops, I just saw the new comments. Awesome!

One of Many August 12, 2014 at 3:05 PM

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been looking for old photos of the Clayton Wood area as I grew up there. My parent’s are are going to love seeing this!

kirker Pass and Clayton Rd August 12, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Mr. Wilkie sold us our house. that place was close to the corner of Kirker and Clayton. I do not remember Clayton Wood, would like to find out though.

Mr.Pink August 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I woke up with some wood in Clayton. Does that count?

Duh August 12, 2014 at 3:26 PM

It was a place to buy wood, from Clayton…

Pucky August 12, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Mr Matt Mazzei…
Can you remember what you paid and the square footage in 1959?

warbirds45 August 12, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I was going to call Cliff Clavin from Cheer’s, he would know!

Mee August 12, 2014 at 4:40 PM

I would guess the average 3 bedroom home in this area was between $8,000 and $12,000 in 1959.

Mee August 12, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Sorry, just looked it up. That would not be here. Here , according to one web site, between $20,000 and $30,000 in 1959. wow. Chico CA in 1973 my parents bought a 3-B home for $23,000 I believe. So prop values were way more here, even then possibly…

nytemuvr August 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM

My Dad (and family) built our 3 bedroom house (approx. 1200 sq/ft) on Detroit for $5400 in 1952, my family were carpenters and tradesmen, the wood was bought from Diamond National Lumber (WPR & Diamond Blvd.) and some of it with recycled wood (mostly floors).

kax August 12, 2014 at 6:50 PM

that’s what Clayton has first thing in the morning….

MO August 12, 2014 at 6:54 PM

In ’55 a corner house on Esperanza and Jerilyn was 13,500. I don’t know the footage…but, it was the typical large 2 bath, 3 bedroom, hardwood floors….livingroom, diningroom, and galley kitchen with an eating area…double car garage. The yard was huge. This was my parents home.

Then I purchased a 1952 home in 1964….on Granada Dr….for 15,500. Typical rancher…but one bath, three bedrooms … living room and large square kitchen. Huge lot.

Both of these homes were in subdivisions, Holbrook Heights, and Monte Gardens…so there were other homes every so often that had the same floor plan…few looked alike cause my folks were able to choose the color scheme and type of wood and color of brick on the exterior.

The Esperanza home sold in 2011 for about 245 thousand…and the Granada home sold in 1970 for 29,000.

I remember the Realty office in the picture….that area was a good place to go cruising when I was a teenager. Etc etc etc.

Antler August 12, 2014 at 7:04 PM

#5 is correct.

Just_My_Two_Cents August 12, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Conrad and Doris Wilke were both good people.

Nat August 12, 2014 at 9:05 PM

If the Clayton Rd crossing with El Camino Dr is correct the following 2 aerial images would pertain. & Aerial shots from 1949 and 1968 showing differences thru time.

RedFoxRun August 12, 2014 at 9:43 PM

I believe @6 matt mazzei is correct. That
is Mt. Diablo in the background.
Ranchers on the opposite side of Pine
Hollow from Clayton Woods (4 bedroom/
2 bath/1800 sq ft/large lot w/o swimming
pool) went for $25,000 in 1958.

Happyness August 12, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Mee #9, Kinney Shoes was on Clayton rd, near Clayton Valley Bowl, where Anna’s attic is now.

Also, there is a Wilke Drive near the States Streets.

My parents paid $15,000.00 for their 1200sq ft home in 1964.

Mee August 13, 2014 at 6:36 AM

Thanks Happyness. That’s right. And we made special trips just to get shoes.. We moved to Claycord ( which we called the Concord area/South of Kirker Pass/ Ygnacio rd. area ) back in the 70’s, in 1976. But visited before that a few times.. Anyway, my mom was born in 1934 and as a kid she remembers going out to Marsh creek… And in the 40’s, and tells of the drive through Concord, Clayton back then. Man I wish I had a video of that drive. More photos.. I know there are, but even I can remembers orchards more, and open space. Beautiful. Everything changes and nothing good last forever. Sad. The Clayton I remember from the 70’s sure has changed. When it was still al little unknown old town and lots of memories, tarnished now by development and change. Sad.. But this photo looks very very familiar to me..

ClayDen August 13, 2014 at 7:47 AM

My parents paid $15,000 for a 1,300 square foot well constructed (non-tract) house on 1/4 acre in Campbell in 1953. It’s now worth about $900-950,000. People are buying similar houses in the neighborhood for similar prices, tearing them down and building new (bigger) ones. Of course this is in a prime part of Silicon Valley, and is seen as a slightly cheaper alternative to Los Gatos.

Isabelle August 13, 2014 at 8:03 AM

looks like the saturday party place?

ClayDen August 13, 2014 at 8:12 AM

I have lived in Clayton since 1977, and it has changed a lot. However it still feels like the Clayton we fell in love with enough to move here, in spite of the commute down YV Rd every day to the freeway (I figure that I have driven close to 200,000 miles on YV Rd. since moving here). Oakhurst has changed it a lot, but original plans for what is now Oakhurst included almost twice as many homes and building all over the ridgelines. All things considered, I think it has worked out rather well.

Anon777 August 13, 2014 at 8:39 AM

My parents paid $17k for their house in 1966, right next to Clayton Valley High.

Eddie spaghetti August 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Can you believe that 50 years from now people will be saying “My grandparents bought their house in Clayton back in 2014 for only $650,000!!…..what a steal that was!”

Silva August 13, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Nat #24, Those are terrific, thank you.

anon 1951 August 13, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I believe Bill Plambeck and Dade Skinner built many of the houses on El Camino and Yosemite Cirlcle. They were custom home builders in Clayton during the late 50s and into the 60s.

Mimi (original) August 13, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Purchased a 1205 sq ft, 4 bdrm, 1 3/4 bath house in Concord in 1997 for $151,000 – just before prices went skyrocketing up! When I had to buy the ex out, I got out at $360,000 (augh!) in 2003. Then prices crashed! Now they’re back up in the $450,000 + . I think it’s time to start planning my escape from Claycord! (sorry mayor!)

matt mazzei August 15, 2014 at 3:21 PM

My Dad told me he paid 32.500 for the house in 1959 it was about 1500sq ft. 3 bed 2 bath. You can see the rooftop of it in the picture in the left side right over the small clayton wood sign. That Clayton Wood sign stayed there for a few years till it faded and they took it down when the sub division was complete. The county sheriff lived across the street. His name was Ray Stoffel . We would walk around the corner to go to church at St. Bonnies. I went to 1st grade at the little church on kirker pass rd. on the right hand side because there were too many kids for the elementary school. Mrs. Kinsey was our teacher. 2nd grade we went to Mt. Diablo elem.

matt mazzei August 15, 2014 at 3:24 PM

The home builders were Horace Ascanio and Phil Mutalo from Pittsburg. Plambeck and Skinner built other sub divisions homes all around Clayton.

@matt mazzei August 15, 2014 at 4:44 PM

An across the street an up about 3 houses was Carl Jefferson, of Jefferson Motors

Cowellian August 15, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Carl Jefferson was also responsible for creating the Concord Jazz Festival and building the Concord Pavilion.

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