The old iron preservation community has lost another stalwart member. Bob Messick lost his battle with cancer on July 1. Bob was born in 1930 in San Joaquin County, where he grew up on a farm. He held a degree in electrical engineering from Coyne Trade School in Chicago. He served his country in the Korean war. He married Jean in 1953, and shortly thereafter they moved to Newark. They have resided in the East Bay since then. After he retired from his electrician work, Bob was hired to help open Ardenwood Historic Farm where he was known as “Farmer Bob”.
I first became aquainted with Bob when I joined the Daniel Best operating crew at Ardenwood in the mid-80’s, and Bob was the resident farmer at Ardenwood. He was always helpful, cooperative, and friendly with the Best crew, and we were sorry to see him leave. Ardenwood’s loss was the Alameda County Fair’s gain — He was in charge of Agricultural History at the fair from 1990 until 2001.
He leaves behind his wife Jean, two daughters, and grandchildren… he will be missed by many.