Welcome to December! In the world of historic Minnesota brick making, all the brickyards would probably be closed down now for the winter months. They would probably continue to sell any remaining bricks from the summer’s batch, but brick making was a seasonal job. With the approach of winter, the construction season was also winding down. There may have been a few jobs yet to finish, but probably not too many. I doubt any of the old bricklayers had the comforts that those today have, like the protection from the elements that a good plastic wrap enclosure and heat provide. Those were tough old folks.
The December brick structure of the month has been posted….check it out! It is one of my favorite ACO structures in Minnesota. I wish I had more information to include with it, but I have not had a chance to look for any on this structure. Like many of the deteriorating old farm structures, information can only be found through sweat and time. The internet is a good source of information, but some things are not interesting enough to get many researchers involved. Since many of the old brick structures left in Minnesota fit this bill (like a typical old farmstead), historical information is sparse for many structures. Despite the lack of any historical information, I think this article is great.
Winter also means that snow can cover up some of the brick structures out there and make it tougher to get good photographs. I always encourage anyone to send me any that you think are worth posting. This site is not just about what I find interesting….if you see something that you think deserves some attention, let me know. If you have some accompanying historical information, all the better. Just remember, to be posted, any historical references need to be included as well. This web site continues to be a work in progress. I have things I will add as I get time. One thing I have is an old ACO silo book which describes how they were made. It gives a lot of specifics. I hope to get that posted sometime soon.
If you come across this site and like it, or have some information to add….just send me an email. I only list some of the old Minnesota bricks….Chaska bricks, Shakopee bricks, ACO bricks, Coon Creek bricks, etc., but I know there were many more. I also have a book on the clay types of Minnesota. This book has many great things I hope to add to this site in the future. One thing I really like is that it has a map of the active Minnesota brickyards in the early 1900s. You would not believe how many there were! There are so many old churches, schools, public buildings, and farm buildings still standing today that were built from these old bricks. In the future, I would like to add some information on brick preservation. There may be some people out there with questions on how to best preserve these old buildings. So there is always more information out there.