Friends of 89 year-old Marty Markin gathered on the front porch of the McCloud Heritage Junction Museum Saturday afternoon to bid her farewell and to thank her for many years of service in McCloud and especially for her many years as founder and president of the town’s Heritage Junction Museum.
Markin is leaving McCloud after 30 years because of health reasons and will be living with her son Dennis, who has a boating business in Sacramento.   Markin’s daughter, Sharon Estrada, who lives in Northridge and is department manager at Lockheed, was in McCloud for last week’s gathering.
Markin was a bit surprised at the large turnout and said, “I didn't know I had so many friends.”
Many of those friends brought her cards and going away gifts to show their appreciation and there was no shortage of hugs and handshakes. 
“She is a wonderful lady,” said Annette Spitsen. “Marty loves this town and I don't know what we will do without her.”
Markin’s interest in community affairs started shortly after her husband, Clifford Leroy, now deceased, moved to McCloud from Simi Valley in 1979. The couple had been visiting Marty's sister and brother-in-law, who worked for the US Forest Service since 1945.
“We just fell in love with McCloud,” she recalled.
Shortly after coming to McCloud she opened an art studio downtown.
During a 1981 McCloud Women's Association meeting in McCloud, Markin asked why no museum dedicated to preserving McCloud's rich history existed. As a result of that remark she ended up heading a committee of one person with a budget of $200 to investigate the possibility of creating such a museum.
Subsequent planning and organizational meetings led to the incorporation of the museum on January 26, 1983. McCloud Heritage Junction was suggested as a name for the project, and it stuck.
Luck smiled on the project when International Woodworkers of America- Local 364 disbanded, and deeded their two-story hall in downtown McCloud to Heritage Junction Museum on April l2, 1985. A grand opening celebration was held October 19, 1985.
Markin had succeeded in establishing a museum in the community. She was voted president to serve on the new McCloud Heritage Junction Museum Board and retained that position ever since.
McCloud Heritage Days 2003 was dedicated to her, and she was also the first  person chosen as Citizen of the Year by the newly-formed McCloud Grange 11 years ago.
She was past treasurer of McCloud Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Ladies Investment Club in Mount Shasta, a past member of the Garden Club, and an elder at the Presbyterian Church. She was also instrumental in getting McCloud Heritage Days started.
“Marty has so many friends here,” said Shareen Strauss. “She has been such a prominent influence in the community. We hate to see her go.”
“I've known Marty since 1981,” said Bob Gray. “I took art lessons from her. I don't know who is going to take her place. I know they are some big shoes to fill.”
Today the museum houses an impressive collection  of artifacts  from McCloud's colorful history. The museum opens for the 2009 season on May 1 and will be open daily through the summer months and by special arrangements during the winter months. It will be the first time since its grand opening in 1985 that Marty won't answer the call, guiding and answering tourists’ questions.