Friday, September 27, 2013

9/27/13 Report - Old Bricks and A History of Sebastian

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Old Brick Reading Ironton/Clarion.
Yesterday I mentioned that people collect old bricks and that old bricks are occasionally found on the beach.

Some beach bricks actually come from shipwrecks.  Galley bricks (bricks used in the ships galley) were found in numbers in the ballast pile of the San Pedro, for example.

You can also find pictures of bricks in the Mel Fisher artifact database.

But there are also more recent bricks that you can find.  You can tell the difference if you know what to look for.   There are differences in the clay and the size and shape of different bricks.  And some older modern bricks are marked with names, places or initials.

Above is one such marked brick.  It didn't come from the beach though.  Just an example.

Bricks like this, with names and markings are from the late 19th and early 20th century.  That can help if you come across an old home site and see a few bricks.

A little internet searching resulted in the finding that this brick is from the Ironton Firebrick Company of Ironton, Ohio.

Anything old with distinctive markings like this can be interesting to research.

I believe this brick originally came from an old building in Fort Pierce that was torn down.  

So how did it end up on the Treasure Coast?   I suppose that it was imported by train or ship, I believe ship is most likely, though I don't know.  I  believe it came from the old hotel building down by the private school by the intercoastal in Fort Pierce, part of which was torn down way back.  I think the old bricks of that hotel were sold and used for new construction around the Treasure Coast.  I'll try to research that a little more to see if that is right.

Here is a good site to start to learn about collecting old bricks if you are interested.

Here are a couple more examples of old bricks.  They are old fire bricks, used to build chimneys and things like that.

Quigley Uni-Tex Brick.

This one came from the Quigley Furnace and Foundry Co., which had manufacturing plants at Chicago, New York, and Springfield, Mass.  The plant was being built beside a railroad, so maybe that is how it was brought to Florida.  I believe it came from the same old building in Fort Pierce.

Here is a publication from 1916 telling about the construction of the brick yard in Springfield.

And one more example.

No 1 Arch Brick.
I don't know where this Arch brick was made.  If you can tell me, I'd appreciate it.

As I always say, keep your eyes open for non-metallic items that can provide important clues.

Make sure to read the following web site on the history of Sebastian.  If you are interested in the Spanish shipwrecks, you'll need to scroll down a good way to find the most interesting material.  It is a lengthy history and starts back 100,000 years ago and has sections from different sources.

It talks about the first and second salvage attempts of the 1715 Fleet by the Spanish, pirates and early finds by the Real Eight Corporation, and much more.

On the Treasure Coast today, the surf will be increasing a little.  The tide will be pretty flat today.  The high tide won't be very high and the low tide won't be very low.

Nothing much in the Atlantic right now.  Just one little disturbance that  is not likely to develop.

Happy hunting,