Casa del Pomba

House of the Dove

History

Rev. Deacon Dave’s Great Grandfather, Frank Gomes and his wife came to the Bay Area from Portugal in the late 1800’s.  After living near San Pablo for a short time the family moved to Half Moon Bay where he purchased a ranch that bordered the Pacific Ocean.  Frank became quite a business man.  He owned the first power company in Half Moon Bay.  In addition Frank and family owned the Rail Road that operated in that area.

                    

Half Moon Bay had a land boom when people moved out of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake.  Great Grandfather sold his ranch for the high price of $500.00 an acre.  He sold the power company to a little company called P.G. & E.  and sold off the Rail Road.  He then moved to Livermore and bought 842 acres of the Alviso Ranch for $56.00 an acre.  (The Alviso Ranch was on both sides of what is now North Livermore Avenue and had been part of Rancho Las Positas.  Valentine Alviso married one of Robert Livermore’s daughters, and the ranch was her portion of the estate.)

Frank Gomes’s son, Frank J., married Mary Edwards, and his brother, Deacon Dave’s Grandfather, Manuel married Clara Santos.  Frank’s daughter, Amelia, married Antone Durta, another Half Moon Bay Rancher who had moved to Livermore in 1906.  The Dutra’s had a 460 acre farm west of Vasco Road.  Amelia and Antone’s children walked across the fields to the May School.  Ed Dutra was one of the Children.

Deacon Dave’s Grandfather & Grandmother, Manuel and Clara Gomes farmed on two ranches.  The lower Ranch was 143 acres across from the Albin Jensen Ranch which was part of the original Gomes Ranch and the Alviso Ranch of 570 acres which they farmed for 40 plus years.  Manuel and Clara had two children.  Mervin and Norma.  Tragically Mervin died from blood poising (penicillin was not invented at the time) at age 12.  Norma attended St. Michael School and also May School.

Norma married Charles Rezendes who was born in Fall River Massachusetts, and came to California when he was 6 years old.  Charles lived in Tracy, graduated from Tracy High School, and then came to Livermore in 1939 because he was interested in boxing.  Former Mayor of Livermore and local barber Manuel Madeiros became his manager and Charles lived with Manuel his wife Philamena for a time. Charles was Golden Gloves Champion 1940.  Known as the Tiny Tiger, we won most of his professional boxing matches. Later in life He taught many young boys how to box and co founded the Livermore Boxing Club. Charles married Norma Gomes in 1942 at St. Thomas Cathedral in Reno Nevada.  The couple had a baby born on Good Friday, April 23, 1943.  Little David was born at 7: 35 a.m. Believe it or not, followed by an earth quake.

Charles enlisted in the Navy and was stationed at Livermore Naval Air Station for 14 months before shipping out to the Hawaiian Islands.  On discharge he came back to Livermore and went back to work for Cresta Blanca.

Charles worked for Cresta Blanca for 43 years before retiring, and wanting something to keep busy began working for Security Eye Patrol, Inc. and retiring from that job due to health.  Charles died June 12, 2002.  

The family since moving to Livermore from Half Moon Bay has always had very close ties with St. Michael Church.  Through the generations the family has contributed financially to the growth and support of the Church.  A historically famous picture of the second St. Michael Church that was located on First Street and Maple, burning in 1916 had  teenage family members carrying sacred statues out of the burning church. These were Deacon Dave’s cousins.