Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Nauvoo Brick Yard

This is the demonstration for brick making. First you start with the clay and sand mixture. You put water into it to create a cookie dough like substance known as "pug". I don't recommend eating it however. Then they would put it into the mold and level it off. After they took it out of the mold, they would turn it several days to dry the brick. (Remember they were doing about 40,000 of these at a time and they had several days worth going at a time) . Finally they would stack the bricks so the fire could get through them. It took about 60 cords of wood in order to do one firing. When they were done with the fire, they had to let the bricks cool for a week before they could use them. The bricks on the table represent different levels of bricks. The more salmon the color the more perfect the brick.
The clay pits were up on the bluff, so that's why seven of the brick yards were located on the bluff,and only two were located down on the flats. These are the brick hauling equipment and the means with which they got the clay from the ground to put into the mixture to make the bricks. Someone should have told them about Home Depot.

This is symbolic of the seven brick yards that existed in Old Nauvoo. The early saints built most of their homes out of logs and then finally built some frame homes and finally they were able build brick homes beginning about 1841. The Red Brick Store was one of the first brick buildings in Old Nauvoo. There were 350 brick homes when the Saints left. This meant that they were going to have a permanent dwelling and a beautiful dwelling. There are only two frame homes from the early days that are standing--the rest are brick homes. In the front is the representaion of the way they would stack the bricks to bake them. They would put somewhere near 40,000 bricks together before they would start the fires. The most amazing thing to all of this is that we have been asked to give this presentation if someone comes in between 9-11 AM wanting to have a tour. I don't think I want to do this when I grow up, however.


Mr C said...

It always makes me sad when I think about all those beautiful brick homes being left behind in Nauvoo. Some of them were barely finished. I didn't see anywhere that you were hosting the brick demo. Were you?

Anonymous said...

Most of the early Saints had only lived in their brick homes for a few months. 2 or 3 months was the least amount of time, the most was 4 months. They left behind a beautiful city that had taken them years to build. I am mormon, and I am thankful that they sacrificed all that they did so I could know, as they did.