Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Warner L. Marsh papers, 1910-1995 (1940-1987)
MSS 2001/14  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (107.93 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Custodial History note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Processing Information note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Accruals note
  • Conditions Governing Use note

  • Title: Warner L. Marsh papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 2001/14
    Contributing Institution: California State University, Sacramento Special Collections & University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 15.5 Linear feet (25 manuscript boxes, 1 record carton, 8 photograph/slide boxes, and 8 oversize folders)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1940-1987
    Date (inclusive): 1910-1995
    Abstract: The collection consists of professional and personal correspondence, published works, projects and community plans, slides, and ephemera pertaining to the lives of Warner L. Marsh and his wife Florence Marsh.
    Language of Materials note: Collection is in English.
    creator: Marsh, Warner L.

    Custodial History note

    Warner L. Marsh assembled these papers over many years. The collection was purchased from Barry Cassidy Rare Books, located in Sacramento, California on March 6, 2002.

    Scope and Contents note

    The collection consists of more than fifty years of the professional output of notable landscape architect, Warner Lincoln Marsh and the collaborative work of his wife, Florence. While this collection includes some of Warner Marsh's early work in Los Angeles as a landscaper of many public parks and private estates, it focuses on his career as a community planner of rural and urban developments in Sacramento and Northern Central California during 1940-1987. Throughout his career, Marsh's special interests included the development of private and public botanical gardens.
    Professional and personal correspondence of Warner Marsh is found in the papers including extensive correspondence from C.M. Goethe. Also contained in the papers are numerous community plans for twelve California counties with an emphasis on Sacramento. Documents relating to various grant applications can be found in the collection as well as material regarding the California Native Plant Society, Sacramento Valley Chapter. Published works by Warner Marsh include a book on landscape vocabulary, magazine articles, and formal project reports to government agencies.
    Florence Marsh took an active part in her husband's professional career and her efforts are well documented during the Sacramento period. The Annual Appointment Calendars from 1958 to 1988 were created and maintained by Florence. Additionally, as an accomplished musician and artist in her own right, Mrs. Marsh's correspondence and artifacts from artists and musiciains enhance the scope of the collection and reflect the richness of the Marsh's social life.
    A large collection of trade literature is contained in the papers including commercial brochures about building construction, private homes and yards; masonry, landscaping, heating, cooling, appliances, lighting, and recreation.
    Over 6,000 Kodachrome slides taken by Marsh are of botanical specimens, landscapes, architectural features and public gatherings. Approximately 40 black and white photographs include some of Marsh's early landscaping and architectural projects as well as family, friends, architects and notable California politicians. He maintained systematic index card files of botanical specimens including Native American food plants by common and botanical names, geographical area, and other characteristics.
    Art appears to be an integral part of the Marsh's professional and personal lives. Marsh's architectural plans and drawings reflect his work as an artist. The inclusion of children's art work, original paintings and handmade cards from friends and even greeting cards were saved for over 30 years. An original 1946 oil painting of Warner Marsh by Natalae Bixby is also in the collection.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition note

    The Warner L. Marsh papers were purchased by the CSUS Special Collections and University Archives in March 2002.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    Collection is open for research. Some restrictions may apply.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Warner Lincoln Marsh was born February 12, 1899 in Iowa and died February 15, 1987 in Sacramento, California. As an undergraduate, he attended Morningside College in Iowa studying mathematics and chemistry. He became an architect and was a member of the American Landscape Architectural Society. In his early work with architects Jens Jensen, Carl A. Taylor and Earl Fogelsong, he planned estates in Iowa, Nebraska, and Arizona. From 1923 to 1931 he designed and supervised construction of gardens, parks, and subdivisions for Los Angeles Park and Playground Departments. These included Fern Dell Park in Griffith Park, Point Firmin Park in Cabrillo Beach, Rose Garden at Exposition Park, Elysian Park, Holmby Park and others. In 1935-1936 he was Director of Research for Los Angeles County to study ways to develop jobs for the poor.
    In 1939 Marsh moved to Sacramento as a special assistant to Governor Culbert L. Olson, then as Deputy Director of the Deparment of Natural Resources. He was also a planning consultant, landscape architect specializing in subdivision design. He was founder and assistant curator of the California State University, Sacramento Arboretum and executive secretary of the American Institute of Landscape Architects. He consulted with Sacramento's Department of Education to include nature areas on public school campuses and received educational grants for preservation of nature areas in rural areas. One of the grants funded was an American Indian Botanical Garden of edible plants.
    Florence Mahn Marsh was born October 15, 1911 in Canada and died October 9, 1997 in Sacramento, California. She was a graduate of UCLA majoring in music and Spanish. She taught piano and was accompanist for the Sacramento Unitarian Universalist Society. She also studied art and produced oil paintings under the name Florence Camphuis. With her husband, Warner Marsh, she helped to establish nature gardens in 14 Sacramento area schools. She helped develop the California State University, Sacramento Arboretum and the Sacramento Science Center. Fron 1968 to 1990 she was treasurer of the Sacramento Valley Native Plant Society, a member of the Carmichael Garden Club and Sacramento Piano Teachers Society. Mrs. Marsh was instrumental in preserving the Charles Jensen Garden in Carmichael as a neighborhood park.

    Processing Information note

    Processed by Reiko Nagumo, Special Collections volunteer. Project began February 2007 and was completed March 2008.

    Preferred Citation note

    [Identification of item including date], [Folder Title], MSS 2001/14, Warner L. Marsh papers, Department of Special Collections and University Archives, The Library, California State University, Sacramento.

    Accruals note

    No additions are expected.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. Requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce from collections must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Permission for publication is given on the behalf of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Library, California State University, Sacramento as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American Institute of Landscape Architects.
    Barry Cassidy Rare Books.
    Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-1996
    Marsh, Florence
    Marsh, Warner L.
    Olson, Culbert Levy, 1876-
    Save the American River Association.
    City planning.
    Forest fires--Prevention and control.
    Landscape architects -- California
    Landscape architecture