Most of the activity in Villa Grande (upper photo) centered around the General Store and the old hotel. It was a real treat for kids to gather some spare change after a barbecue dinner and head down to the General Store (lower photo) where they would load up on hard candy, root beer barrels, candy grab bags and RC Colas. Warren Payne recalls his failing ritual of purchasing a toy balsa wood airplane only to invariably lose it to the limbs of a nearby redwood. The post office was located here as well where a mynah bird and a dog named Laddie would great patrons upon entering.
Many of the homes in Villa Grande are Craftsman style originals, built for summertime use only. Since few homes had full kitchens back then, members of the community often took their meals at the old Villa Grande Hotel, which was built around 1920. In addition to the main building, ten tent-cabins on wooden platforms were built for summer visitors. Hearty Italian fares as well as delicate pastries awaited consumption. The hotel was razed and replaced by a private residence at 21849 East St.