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The McKinnon Family

Friends, Neighbors, Sportsmen, Humanitarians
Friends, Neighbors, Sportsmen, Humanitarians

Hospitality was the byword in the McKinnon family home on East Street. Now identified as the Maltby-McKinnon House (photos circa 1978), it was built after 1890 as the initial residence for the Adolphus Maltby family while their mansion was being constructed. Originally located on the Maltby Ranch off the east end of Bonifacio Street, the house was moved to 2360 East Street (now Mt. Diablo Hospital property) circa 1915. The house had been occupied by several families until purchased by the McKinnon’s in 1934 for $2,500 on terms of $25 down and $25 per month. The then classic, hipped-roof box house had 12 rooms and a sleeping porch; it remained the McKinnon home until 1979. Subsequently, the Hospital, the Concord Historical Society, and the Concord Redevelopment Agency arranged for its relocation to the present 2350 Pacheco Street address.

Designated as Concord Historical Landmark 3-10-76/8, it has been remodeled, and is used by the Oakland Catholic Diocese for its Charities and Counseling Services offices. Leslie Bernard McKinnon and Cecilia Agnes (Dowdall) McKinnon were married in July 1914 in San Francisco. Having moved to Concord in the early 1920’s, Leslie McKinnon worked in area shipyards and at the Avon refineries. The McKinnons lived in several locations in Concord, including the flat above the market/saloon located on the Southwest corner of Willow Pass Road and Grant Street (present site of Wells Fargo Bank) prior to moving into their East Street home. The McKinnon family house became the primary focus, social recreation center, dinner table, haven, and rest stop for numerous relatives, family friends, class and teammates, and neighbors – in addition to being home for the fourteen growing McKinnon children.

Everyone was welcome; all were hosted with generosity, good humor and love. Needless to say their home was never locked. Leslie McKinnon worked for 16 hours a day operating Mac’s Bar And Pool Hall, located on the northwest corner of Salvio Street and Mt. Diablo Streets. Today it still stands– vacant. During prohibition he served “near-beer”, ice-cream sodas and light lunches; subsequently, it was operated as a tavern. Leslie also was an active supporter of of local school and semi-professional athletic teams, and a primary participant in the development of the old sports fields and grandstand on Salvio Street between Parkside and Esperanza. (present site of City Hall.) Cecilia, in addition to her many traditional roles of wife, mom and homemaker, was very active in the March of Dimes, Queen Of All Saints Parish, and – as a World War II Five Star Mother – a long time leader in the American Legion. Cecilia McKinnon died on April 20, 1977 at age 83; Leslie died on November 3rd , 1978 at age 84. Both are buried in Queen Of Haven Cemetery in Lafayette. The McKinnon children’s activities have been both widespread and diverse. They all remain in California: Claire Caldera lives in Concord; Robert, North Hollywood; William, now deceased; James, Concord; John, as Brother Bede, Oceanside; Richard, now deceased; Dorothy Schmidt, Walnut Creek; Raymond, Concord; Theodore, recently moved to Magalia; Lillian Bomben, Concord; Thomas, Concord; Donald, Bakersfield; Nancy Elsberry, Clayton; and Catherine Jane Donaldson, Concord.­