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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.

Volunteers needed

On Friday May 5 and Saturday May 6 The John Marsh Historic Trust will be holding a pair of clean-up days at Marsh’s Stone House in the Marsh Creek State Park, and we hope you can help.

Several years ago, some failing brick walls inside the house were removed to re-enforce the building’s exterior walls. The bricks were placed on pallets in the front yard of the house, where they currently remain.

A photo taken in the Stone House attic a few years go shows  a failing brick wall. Several such walls were removed during stabilization work. The bricks have been stored in the front yard, but on May 5 and 6 volunteers will clean up around them and move them to make more room for visitors during events.

A photo taken in the Stone House attic a few years go shows a failing brick wall. Several such walls were removed to stabilize the house. The bricks have been stored in the front yard, but on May 5 and 6 volunteers will clean up around them and move them to make more room for visitors during events.

Although the final disposition of the bricks has not been decided, we have received permission from State Parks to move them from the front yard to the back to in order to make room for events, including our annual Heritage Day (Oct. 21 this year).

We have scheduled two days to do the work. On Friday, May 5, we will clean up the grass and weeds around the pallets and in the area to which they will be moved. The work will involve string trimmers, rakes, shovels and other hand tools.

On Saturday May 6, we will move the bricks. We will have a fork lift to do the heaviest work, but need some help placing new pallets on the ground, picking up loose bricks or bricks that fall off etc. Additional weed clearing will also be done.

Work on both days wil start at 9 a.m. and probably end around noon. If you have time on either day, your assistance would be greatly appreciated. We will have some tools, but if you have some you can bring, it might help. Please plan to wear long pants, closed-toe shoes or boots, and work gloves.

The address is 21789 Marsh Creek Rd. in Brentwood. If you can help, please call 925-679-5811 to let us know or to get more more information.