John Marsh Stone House

The rubblework masonry method used in the John Marsh Stone House is seen in this photo, taken before the construction foam was installed last week to stabilize the 159-year-old building.

The effort to save the 159-year-old home of Contra Costa County’s first pioneer has taken two major steps forward.

Last week, crews applied a heavy layer of construction foam on the inside of the fragile walls of the sandstone mansion built by John Marsh, in what is now Marsh Creek State Park, near Brentwood. The unique construction method will add support and bind the stones together, helping to prevent movement in windstorms and earthquakes.

Workers also began installing steel tie rods that will extend through the foam and into the exterior stones, and then be attached to a new framework of steel studs inside. The studs, set in a new concrete foundation, are expected to be installed in the coming weeks.

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