The East Contra Costa Historical Society’s Community’s Barbecue fundraiser, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 12, is the Society’s biggest event each year. It raises money to help maintain the museum for public and school tours and preserve historical documents and photos. Money raised last year helped Society volunteers gather the resources to replace the septic system on the museum grounds so that members may get to work renovating and restoring the 1890s-era schoolhouse on site.
“We are a nonprofit organization, so we rely on the contributions from the community to keep the museum and our archives in their best condition,” said Society member Virginia Karlberg. “The barbecue is a big deal for us because all the money raised during the event will go toward keeping the museum open for field trips and restoring the Eden Plain schoolhouse as well as the Brentwood gazebo, which the society recently purchased from the city for $1.”
The refurbishing of the schoolhouse has been in the works for a long time. And since the new septic system was installed in June to bring the facility up to county codes, volunteers are ready to start working on the school as soon as the building permits are approved by the County Board of Supervisors.
Karlberg said the plan for the schoolhouse is to restore it to its original state, complete with blackboards, period-style desks and a coal-burning stove, which provided heat in the winter.
“We are going to completely overhaul the schoolhouse to bring it back to its glory days,” Karlberg said. “When we’re done with it, it’ll look just as it did in the 1890s. And hopefully, with support from the community, our barbecue event will be a great success and we’ll be able to start the renovations by the end of the year.”
The barbecue will feature live music, food served up by the Brentwood Rotary and a luscious tomato salad provided by Smith Family Farms. The event will also feature museum tours and a raffle.
“This is going to be a good time for all,” Karlberg said. “I’m a city girl, so it’s wonderful to see what the community does to keep its history intact. People are donating all kinds of things to help create an overall picture of this area’s history so that children for many years to come will be able to understand and appreciate the heritage of this community.”
The East Contra Costa Historical Society Museum is located at 3890 Sellers Ave. on the Knightsen/Brentwood border. Barbecue tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 6 to 12. Children under 6 eat free. There is no charge for museum tours, but donations are welcome. The barbecue runs from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 12. For more information, call Jody Merriam at 925-240-0288 or e-mail email@example.com.