Changes at Summit Garage atop Altamont Pass

When I visited the Summit Garage in July 2006, Dan Silviera showed me around the shop. Among his many efforts to help youth, he managed Tri-Valley Youth Services, and the garage was serving as the Tri-Valley Teen Center for teaching youths to restore classic cars. There was an assortment of cool old cars on lifts and along the road. The only dark cloud was that a utility company wanted to demolish the old place for a right-of-way.


I recently checked on the garage with Gary Kinst, editor of LHA newsletter The Traveler for California. I was looking for news about the utility but was sadly surprised to hear that the teen center lost its lease July 1, 2007, and Dan Silveira (above) passed away July 30. Click here to read Dan’s obituary from the Boy Scouts, where he was a scoutmaster for 17 years; that and his many other accomplishments are an inspiration.

Click the images below from my visit to see larger versions on Flickr – then click the Flickr pics to see them REALLY BIG. The T-Bird, one of the youth projects, was across the road.

10 x 10 white square

A local rancher has purchased approximately 240 acres that include the Summit Garage and a dwelling. Gary reports that LHA member Mike Kaelin is working with the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and their State Representative to have the garage preserved as a historical site and the pass as a historic corridor. The new tenant, a former member of T.V.Y.S., has plans to open a antique/gift shop in the old garage. A “Historic Lincoln Highway” sign was recently dedicated there too.

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4 Responses to “Changes at Summit Garage atop Altamont Pass”

  1. “Historic LH” sign marks Summit Garage in CA « Lincoln Highway News Says:

    […] with Tri-Valley Youth Services that occupied the building last year – see LH News entry for 2/15/08). Mike is the Alameda County rep./consul for LHA California, and an ad hoc advisor to the Summit […]

  2. Susan Ghandehari Says:

    I’m glad to hear the Summit Garage will be preserved. My dad told me that his father (Frank E. Towle) ran a garage at the Altamont Pass at one time. This would have to have been in the time between 1906 and 1920. He said cars used to come up the hill from Oakland and get overheated. His dad would have to tow them to the summit, which made a good business.

    I was there today to take pictures of it and saw the name W. J. Armstrong on it. Does anyone know the history of that connection?

    (I’m assuming this is the same garage because I didn’t see anything else up there.)

  3. Dean Towle Says:

    That is my sister’s entry Susie on March 16. I also remember our Dad talking about the garage at the top of the Altamont Pass.

    One thing Susie didn’t mention is that our mother’s maiden name is Armstrong. Her father’s name was Jack Armstrong.

  4. Bill Uznay Says:

    It will be on Google Earth soon

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