East County icon John Marsh died 142 years ago this coming September.
The fastest method of communication when he lived on his massive rancho here in Contra Costa County was a man on a horse riding very fast. That worked for local messages between ranchos. Contact with family to the east either went by ship around the horn or through Panama or by horse and wagon across country. Both methods took months.
Today, Marsh has his own Facebook page on the Internet. Within seconds, Marsh mavens can find Marsh's Facebook page and see photos, hook up with his other Friends and share information with them.
Marsh's alter ego, Public Outreach Manager Kathleen Mero, can reach far beyond the borders of Contra Costa County all the way back to Marsh's hometown in Massachusetts, and to his alma mater in Cambridge, Harvard University.
Mero hopes that the new Facebook site will complement the much larger, more comprehensive Web site, www.johnmarshhouse.com, which has long been the main source of information for Marsh enthusiasts.
Facebook will serve a different purpose, Mero said. It will give immediacy to contact between supporters and new people who find the Doctor and want to interact with other supporters.
Mero said she hopes the page will grow as people contribute. This site will start bare bones and be built by the visitors themselves.
Those interested in Marsh can post questions, get answers and even post their own photos of the Marsh property and any people they know who spent time there.
The Internet has brought us another new way to look at history, Mero said. Dr. Marsh would be both amazed and delighted.
To visit the Dr. John Marsh Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com. If you are not a member, you'll be asked to join Facebook, which is free and easy. Then type John Marsh Historic Trust in the search box.