Saturday, August 13, 2016

Savannah Gray Brick

ne of the items I came across while researching in Savannah, GA. was a rare brick called the "Savannah Gray Brick." Originally called McAlpin's Gray Brick because it was made from gray clay found on Henry McAlpin's Hermitage plantation located on the Savannah River. I'm not exactly sure when the bricks were first made but they played an important part in the rebuilding of Savannah after the fire of 1820. These bricks were made by the slaves who worked on the plantation. No one today, seems to be able to replicate these unusual bricks.

These bricks today are still found through out the city however they are extremely rare to find. I found a current auction online where someone was selling 400 bricks with a starting bid of $800.

One of the reasons these bricks stood out for me was that I grew up on Martha's Vineyard and we had a the remains of an old brickyard. We also had the Gay Head Cliffs that have been photographed over and over again. I'm fortunate to have some old photographs of myself and my family standing at the Gay Head Cliffs when there still was a giant red cliff that looked like the portrait of an Indian. Today that cliff is gone but it is firmly attached in my memory.

The other reason for us as historical fiction writers to consider bricks, brickyards and anything significant about them is that they played an important part in the lives of those living in the 19th century. Many homes were built with brick and if not the entire home, the foundations and the chimneys.

Here's another tidbit concerning bricks, long before our 19th century. In the building of the first Lutheran church built in Ebenezer, GA was built with bricks. The impressions of those early settler's fingers are still in some of the bricks.

Another time I'll go into the making of the bricks.

No comments:

Post a Comment