Latest News

Planning for the Future

Facilitator Randy Widera of Blue Oak Consulting leads the John Marsh Historic Trust through a recent planning session at the Big Break Regional Shoreline Visitor Center made possible by grant support from a California State Parks Foundation grant and support from the East Bay Regional Park District.

Facilitator Randy Widera of Blue Oak Consulting leads the John Marsh Historic Trust through a recent planning session at the Big Break Regional Shoreline Visitor Center made possible by grant support from a California State Parks Foundation grant and support from the East Bay Regional Park District.

Trust board members recently held a workshop to set a course for the rest of 2017 and beyond. Funded by a grant from the California State Parks Foundation, Consultant Randy Widera of Blue Oak Consulting helped develop a game plan that includes events like our annual Heritage Day (Oct. 21 this year), plus planning and fundraising for the new Interpretive Center we’re working on for in front of the Stone House. Regular access to the Marsh Creek State Park and Marsh’s house are in the works!

Volunteers hit the bricks

Elliot, Maxwell and Steve Torgeson transfer hundreds of bricks from a broken pallet to a new one.

Elliot, Maxwell and Steve Torgeson transfer hundreds of bricks from a broken pallet to a new one.


About a dozen hardy volunteers turned out to cut down weeds and clean up the grounds at the 161-year-old John Marsh Stone House in the Marsh Creek State Park on May 5 and 6. In addition to cutting weeds and tall grass, they relocated about 10,000 bricks taken from the house during stabilization work.
A few of the 30-plus pallets of bricks moved. The total was about 10,000 bricks, or 10 tons' worth.

A few of the 30-plus pallets of bricks moved. The total was about 10,000 bricks, or 10 tons’ worth.


The bricks had originally formed a second wall behind the exterior sandstone walls. Fired on the premises during the house’s construction between 1853 and 1856, the bricks had begun to crack and the wall to fail. They were removed and replaced by steel studs and construction foam during $750,000 project completed this spring.
Ted Alesna mows weeds while Barry Margesson watches for hazards.

Ted Alesna mows weeds while Barry Margesson watches for hazards.


After their removal, the bricks were stacked in the front yard of the house about 10 years ago. The volunteers moved them to the back yard to make room for educational programming that will be provided for local elementary school students studying California history. The cleared area will also allow the Trust to hold more of its Heritage Day activities inside the property’s perimeter fence.
The Trust would like to thank those who turned out, and is looking forward to showing off their handiwork during this year’s Heritage Day, which is set for Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jeremy Tovar and Peggy Harmon spruce up the

Jeremy Tovar and Elaine Harmon spruce up the sidewalk in front of the house.


Charleen Earley, Rick Lemyre and Barry Margesson take a break from clean-up duty in the front yard.

Charleen Earley, Rick Lemyre and Barry Margesson take a break from clean-up duty in the front yard.