The 128 acre Diablo Country Club was a parcel cut from the original 6,000 acres. Club members enjoyed camaraderie—dining in the Red Horse Tavern with panoramic views, riding horses at gymkhanas, canoeing or swimming in the man-made lake, dancing at midnight parties, playing golf and attending harvest festivals—the club anchoring them to the pristine community, while lending a sense of belonging, a sense of place.
The serene hideaway mushroomed from a sleepy resort to year-round living for over 400 families who took ownership of the club in the 1920s. As the arrival of guests burgeoned, Burgess built the 28-room Chalet in 1922 to serve as an inn. The present clubhouse served as a gambling casino, movie theatre and billiard hall during the heyday of The Jazz Age.
All was well until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, leading to World War Two. When supplies were restricted and food shortages trickled down to rich and poor alike—rationed gasoline hindered driving from San Francisco and neglected golf greens turned to seed. Diablo Country Club was put to wartime use for housing Naval Officers and military personnel stationed at Parks Air Force Base in Pleasanton, and 30 female telephone operators. The horsy history of the club slowed and the property gradually fell into disrepair.