David Glass and Eliza Jane Hall were married in 1844 in Iowa. He was an enterprising merchant in the Midwest which included two trading trips down the Mississippi River. David and Eliza came to California in 1850 with one child, staying first in Placerville where the child died, then moving to northern San Ramon Valley in November of that year. They ran a ranch and store and planted the first Valley apple orchard.
In 1858 they moved to a 718- acre ranch 3 miles south of San Ramon, purchasing the property from Leo Norris. Their prosperous ranch eventually included a handsome Italianate two-story house (1877), three barns, a worker’s house, a granary, three hen houses, a wind-mill and a tank house.
They had seven children and, although he joined the Danville Presbyterian Church in Danville initially, David was a pillar of the new Methodist Church in San Ramon which was built in 1888. Both David and Eliza were well respected and active in the community. Children: Albert W., Clara, Annetta (Anita), Loretta, Irena, Frank L., Frederick and Rolla C.
David and Eliza left the ranch property to their children, primarily to Albert Glass. Daughters Anita (1856-1922) and Loretta (1858-1931) managed the property and named it Lora Nita Ranch. Anita was an artist and a leader in several organizations, including serving as President of the San Ramon Hall Association which planned and built the San Ramon Hall in 1911.
The Glass House has been moved from its original location and beautifully restored by the City of San Ramon; it sits south of the Boone House in Forest Home Farms Historic Park and is available for tours.
As a girl, Eliza Glass was made to work without rest in her mother’s hotel and her mother made it very clear that she was not to marry. Young (and handsome) David Glass met her and, after a romantic courtship, they eloped to the home of sympathetic neighbors next door where they were married. Later her father came to California and stayed with them.
After 1900, three showcase homes were dotted along San Ramon Valley Road going from south to the San Ramon village: Boone, Glass and Harlan. Now both Boone and Glass houses are together at Forest Home Farms Historic Park. The Boones are buried in Alamo Cemetery. The Glass and Harlan family gravesites may be found at the Dublin Cemetery.
Dublin Cemetery grave sites, Illustrated Contra Costa County, 1879, History of Contra Costa County, 1882, p. 567-8; information from the family, Museum of the San Ramon Valley and Forest Home Farms HP archives B. Lane 3/30/2013