Our History – Marty O’Brien

Marty O'Brien Owner of Novato Lumber and FenceMarty O’Brien owner of Novato Lumber & Fence.

Novato Lumber Co.
and Novato Fence Co. to
Novato Lumber and Fence Company


Marty O’Brien started in the lumber business in 1966, the summer before his senior year at Marin Catholic High School, at Gallager’s Hardware and Lumber in Terra Lunda. In the early 1970’s he moved to north Idaho and worked at lumber mills while building his log cabin, returning to San Rafael in between stays. He moved to Petaluma 1978 to 2013.

In 1977 Marty started to work for Gene Yates, who started the business in 1955, with Novato Lumber Co. and it’s affiliate Novato Fence Co. as yard manager.  In 1987 Marty purchased the business and renamed it Novato Lumber and Fence Company focusing installing both fences and selling lumber to the general public. Marty decided later to curtail retail sales  to concentrate on the fencing division – as many big box retail outlets had moved into the are.  Also Novato Builders Supply was already in town with a larger inventory 0 we still consistently get phone calls from them.

Novato Lumber and  Fence focuses today on custom and basic fences, arbors, gates, framed wire, deer fences, and retaining walls for residential and commercial clients in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties.