The Big Four

Tycoon William Randolph Hearst, whose printed words were peerless, compared the rugged wild magnificence of Mount Diablo to Yosemite; his newspapers focusing on Diablo Country Club’s sporty horsy set, Jazz-era dances and parties that he splashed across the society pages—dimmed only by movie stars’ antics at his own Hearst Castle. The Bay Area’s social upper crust flocked to be near their own kind.

They were not the first Big City seekers of peace who migrated to the serenity of Diablo’s undulating hills—green in winter, golden in summer—a palette of painterly perfection. In the late 1880s, Golden State captains of industry, the Southern Pacific Big Four; Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington and Mark Hopkins, ran the land parcel as the Railroad Ranch. They left their marks of luxury on the rolling hills, an imprimatur of pioneering prestige if you will, and other entrepreneurs followed.

Burgess carpeted advertising all over the Bay Area and people flocked to the raw beauty of the storied place. By building the Diablo Country Club; he knew they would come—600 potential buyers arrived in one day.

Top