Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Brick House, Stratford - demolished!

     The "Brick House" in Stratford was torn down this week - it was located at 29 Stratford Road.  
     It's gone for good!!   There are few 188-year-old buildings left on Prince Edward Island.  I undertand the building was in poor condition, but there should have been some effort put in to saving it.  The first I heard of its impending demise this afternoon on CBC Radio's loccal Mainstreet Island news.
     The Brick House was built in 1928 by William Mutch (1811-1884) aka. Brickhouse William.  He had 200-acres of land here.  The Mutch family lived in this house for many generation until it was sold out of the family in 1959 to Richard MacKinnon.  
     Brick houses are rare in rural Prince Edward Island - of the nine brick kilns operating on Prince Edward Island in the 19th-century, seven of them were located in Lot 48/ Stratford and Area. 
     The above information comes from the Historic Places website: 
 I took the above photo on Feb. 12, 2003 / Below photos Historic Places Website 2008
Showing front elevation
Showing side elevation
     Below is an article written by Nancy Smith of Emyvale, P.E.I - she was a former member of Winsloe South United Church, one of the few brick churches on the Island.
Give Them Clay and They Will Make Bricks
By Nancy J. Smith - January 12, 1999
We are well aware of the hard work and creativity of our Island ancestoers and here is yet another example of their ingenuity.  Clay or ‘brick clay’ as commonly called, causes filtration problems and sets limits for land use.  The presence of clay is suspected in areas with a number of  springs and or swampy conditions and can be identified by its very plastic and greasy texture when wet.
The clayey type till, prominent in the western and south central parts of the Island, consists of silt and claystone (up to 3 meters thick) and accounts for approximately 30% of the exposed soils types.  
Jim Young, Paul Baker, Scott Stewart and George Gaudet live in an area which is known for it prominent clay soils.  Jim will tell you that his property in Stratford would not handle an on site system because of the clay structure of the soil but because of  central sewer areas like Zakem Heights, where he lives, are developed on a larger scale.
 In the book, A History of Southport, the chapter on businesses begins with the brick kilns.  It states “ The brick industry in Southport was once very important to the Island economy.  Of the nine kilns operating in the late 19th century, seven were in Lot 48.  The good brick clays as found in Southport were relatively rare on the Island.  Most (bricks) were used for chimneys and foundations.”   In Charlottetown, Southport bricks can be seen in the Prowse Bros. building, the Masonic Temple, Trinity United Church and City Hall.   And it has been said that the bricks were also used in the construction of the streets in Boston.
Tignish and Rocky Point are areas also known for their brickyards which operated throughout the 1800’s. The Main Building on the Campus of UPEI and Tignish’s St Simon and St Jude Church (1861) are  made from bricks manufactured in Tignish.  The history of the Winsloe South United Church  refers to the winter of  1880 when the horse and sleigh convoy traveled to Rocky Point for bricks to build the church.  Even though the Rocky Point  brickyard closed in the 1880’s it is still indicated on the PEI’s 1988 soils map as a bored pit, this is an indication of  just how restrictive uses for clay soil areas can be.
The Water Resources Division is certianly aware of the problems associated with brick clay or tight soil conditions. With the use of soils maps, well drillers records, onsite inspections and experiences the low permeability areas are identified.  Improvements in technology has allowed for some of theses areas to be utilized with on site sewage disposle units such as contour trenches systems or package treatment plants.
Today, through research and development Islanders, like their ancestors, continue to show their ingenuity for problem solving. 

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