There are a lot of people like me who relish the chance to enjoy history you can put your hands on. We sometimes go to a lot of trouble to immerse ourselves in another era, but the fact is you don’t always need to go far to do that. Come Sept. 14, there’s a prime example of that taking place right here in East County.

That’s when the East Contra Costa Historical Society will hold its annual barbecue at the Byer-Nail House, the ECCHS museum located on Sellers Avenue. The house was built in 1878 and donated to the ECCHS in 1986. Today it houses an amazing collection of relics, from a shotgun owned by Charles Marsh to farm equipment, fire engines, tools and even an omnibus (wagon) used to ferry passengers to the Byron Hot Springs Resort during its heyday.

But although there are hundreds of things at the museum that definitely look their age, don’t expect everything to look that way. The house and many of its displays (including the like-new omnibus) have been restored over the years by volunteers whose efforts are remarkable both in the volume and quality of the work they’ve done.


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