An American named Henderson Luelling planted the first cherry orchards, a German family named Rhoda owned the most land, but it was Hugh Dimond, a wealthy Irish businessman, who gave the district his name when he purchased the land and settled there in 1867.
The gently rolling terrain, the views of the Oakland hills, the pleasant weather and the easy access to downtown via the trolleys drew many settlers, including many Germans, to the area once known as Upper Fruitvale. By the 1890's there were so many beer gardens along the streets of Fruitvale and MacArthur that the district could have passed for a town in Germany. Visitors from San Francisco came by ferry to pick cherries, drink beer in the summer sun and enjoy the hospitality of a number of resorts including the fanciest of the bunch, the Hermitage, which boasted dancing girls and an authentic French chef.
Soon after the turn of the 19th century the Dimond district was annexed to Oakland and the area grew exponentially. The beer gardens were either closed by prohibition or replaced by bakeries, feed stores, banks and other businesses. Every October the people of Dimond now pay tribute to this history with an Oaktoberfest that celebrates the Dimond beer gardens of times past.
The residents of Dimond's real estate have also rallied to save its local post office branch, have a derelict motel replaced with a modern senior housing facility, and has an active litter patrol of volunteers, fueled by donations from Peet's and LaFarine, that regularly scour the area.