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Heritage Day to include music, hiking and a peek inside

Ground-floor windows will be opened for a look inside the John Marsh Stone House during this year's Heritage Day event, set for Oct. 17 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Here, workers can be seen through the windows doing stabilization work on the house earlier this year.

Ground-floor windows will be opened for a look inside the John Marsh Stone House during this year’s Heritage Day event, set for Oct. 17 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Here, workers can be seen through the windows doing stabilization work on the house earlier this year.

Building on last year’s successful inaugural event, Heritage Day at Marsh Creek State Park this October will feature more of the Stone House, the park and the sort of entertainment locals enjoyed there in days gone by.

Ground-floor windows in the 159-year-old structure built by John Marsh, Contra County’s first American settler,  will be opened, and the public will be able to walk right up to the building and look at some of the 7,000 square feet of space inside.

“It won’t be possible to enter the building because the stabilization work is still going on, but the windows are six feet tall and provide a good view of the rooms inside,” said Trust Executive Director Rick Lemyre. “Visitors will also be able to see the detail of the original clay porch tiles and the hand-tooled sandstone used to build the house.”

The Brentwood Concert Band, seen here during their Starry Nights performance in City Park on Aug. 21, will provide period music from 12 to 1:30 p.m. during this year's Heritage Day event.

The Brentwood Concert Band, seen here during their Starry Nights performance in City Park on Aug. 21, will provide period music from 12 to 1:30 p.m. during this year’s Heritage Day event.

Heritage Day 2015 will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17. The event will also include  a performance by the Brentwood Concert Band, the East County community band under the direction of Sue Stuart and Carey Hurst. Reminiscent of days when community bands performed in public places — including the Stone House — the band will play period pieces like those performed in the late 19th and early/mid- 20th Centuries.

Another first for this year’s event will be an exploration of parts of the park usually inaccessible to the public. A guided hike will allow visitors to enjoy the landscape, wildlife and views in parts of the park, which is planned  to eventually include 70 miles of trails.

Attractions from last year’s event will also return, including performances and presentations on the former Native American inhabitants of the area, the pre-statehood Californio period, and the Westward Movement triggered by Marsh’s letters back east encouraging settlers to come to California years before gold was discovered. Educational kids’activities will include excavating “artifacts” from midden boxes located near the site of 7,000-year-old archaeology discovered near the house.

“There’s so much about the history and the nature of the park we’d like to share, and we’re really only scratching the surface with a six-hour event,” Lemyre said. “We want people to know about the possibilities, and hopefully build the support needed to get the park open year-round.”

Like last year, admission to Heritage Day will be free, although donations to help support the Trust and the park will be welcomed. A $5 suggested donation for the hike will help cover costs, and root beer floats and hot dogs will be available for purchase.

The event is co-hosted by California State Parks, and local sponsors are being sought. People interested in sponsoring or volunteering to work the event should call Lemyre at 925-286-4591, or by e-mailing ricklemyre@gmail.com.

Get your own piece of history

Get the latest on the effort to restore the John Marsh Stone House, and get a chance to take home a bit of history.

Brick crop1As work continues on the stabilization of the historic John Marsh stone house, the John Marsh Historic Trust is continuing its effort to spread the word about Marsh, his house, and the 3,700-acre Marsh Creek State Park that surrounds it. The Trust will staff information booths at three upcoming community events. Drop by and sign up for our newsletter, and your name will be entered in a drawing for an authentic piece of brick from the house itself.

The bricks used in the construction of the house were hand-made and fired on Marsh’s Rancho Los Meganos in about 1854. Used mostly for the house’s interior walls, many of the bricks failed over the years, and were removed during renovation work. Large pieces of the brick, like the one seen here, have been salvaged, labeled and numbered, and are being sold as part of the fundraising effort.

The pieces of history usually go for $40 each, but the Trust will be giving several of them away this month. Just stop by our booth at one of the events below and sign up for our free newsletter, and you’ll be entered in the drawings.

This months events are:

The July 4 Oakley Cityhood Celebration. This free event will feature food, music, and games, and will be topped off by a spectacular fireworks display. The event will be held on the Freedom High School soccer fields, at the corner of O’Hara Avenue and Neroly Road. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

The Brentwood Harvest Time Festival. This celebration of food, fun and family will be held July 11 and 12 in Brentwood’s City Park and Community Center. It includes music, a beer and wine garden, fine arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations and activities and contests for the kids. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, and admission is free.

Trilogy at the Vineyards New Model Gallery Grand Opening. On July 18, more than 80 of Brentwood’s finest local businesses, restaurants, and artists will offer live music, wine and food tasting, prizes, giveaways and raffles. There will even be an air show provided by the Patriot Jet Team, as well as a look at five new Shea3D model homes. The free event runs from 1 to 5 p.m at 1700 Trilogy Parkway in Brentwood.