Castaic Brick Company
The Castaic Company began operations in 1950 at their brickyard at 32300 Old Ridge Route Road,
Castaic, Los Angeles County, California. Mike Mallow was the owner. This company produced 2 1/4 x 3 7/8 x 8 1/4-inch common brick,
1 1/2 x 3 7/8 x 8 1/4-inch split pavers, 3 x 3 x 10-inch commercial oversize, and thin brick of various shades
Overview of the Castaic brick plant and clay pit, Castaic, CA.
The red-burning clay from the Upper Miocene Modelo formation of fine-grained siltstone and shale, was mined from an open cut using
Catepillar bulldozers and power shovels. The clay was passed through an 8-mesh screen. Large size material was sent to the W.C. Stoll
and Sons hammermill capable of grinding 100 tons per hour. The clay was conveyed to the storage bin capable of holding 8 days worth of
production. The ground clay next was conveyed to the pugmill, where it was mixed with ground up brick. Then the mix was loaded into a
Stoll hopper and sent to the J.C. Steel and Sons vacuumed extruder to make a clay column. A Lingl slug wire-cutter sliced the column
into standard-size common brick. The bricks were fed into a Lingl setter, which loaded 7,056 brick per car.
Castaic brick plant and brickyard, Castaic, CA.
After the bricks were cured they were placed into two Lingl tunnel driers, which were 316 feet long and 17 feet wide.
Each drier was capable of handling 28 cars of bricks and it required 42 hours of drying using waste heat from the kilns.
The driers reduced the water content of each brick to less than 3 percent. From the driers, the bricks were then fired
in a Lingl tunnel kiln of the same dimensions as the drier. The kiln contained 5 zones, each with 18 burners and a preheat
zone with 16 burners. The top-fired unit also contained a flashing zone. The cars took 42 hours to complete the trip through
the kilns, with temperatures reaching 1,865 degrees F in the hottest zone.
The finished bricks were removed from the cars by a Stoll crane. Sorters hand blended the brick. The Stoll unloading machine placed the
brick on pallets and then they were moved to the stretch wrap machine for final packaging. The bricks that needed additional
treatment for that manufactured "used brick" look were sent to the company-made tumbling machine, where the bricks were mixed
with cement, lime, and asphalt during tumbling.
Stacked Castaic bricks in the brickyard.
Plant capacity in 1950 started at 30,000 brick per day. This was increased to 75,000 brick per day in 1953. By 1984, the plant was
producing 13.5 cars per day, or 95,000 brick per day. By 2004, this was increased to 200,000 brick per day. The company had 80-85 employees.
Bricks were shipped internationally and, in 2004, was the primary supplier of Home Depot stores. The antique red brick often splashed
with white cement can be seen in such buildings as Wendys restaurants in Southern California. A good variety of colors is produced. Some
of the names of the brick are Tumbled Red, Typic, Antique, Flash Classic, Chocolate Brown, Tumbled Flash Chocolate Brown, Red, Classic,
Chocolate Typic, Flash Burned, and Tumbled Flash. Manganese was added to the clay to create the Chocolate Brown brick that was popularly
used in Tudor-style houses.
The Castaic plant closed about 2012 with a large inventory of bricks in the yard.
The brick is red to cherry red or brown with smooth sides. White cement on certain bricks was applied to give
the brick a used look. The top and bottom faces display curved wire cut marks and longitudinal grooves and pits.
Smooth sides show minor transverse grooves and stacking impressions. Minor crazing is present.
The broken surface displays tiny red specks of ground up brick within a compact clay body. This brick was made by
using the extruded stiff mud process. Length 7 5/8 - 8, width 3 5/8 - 3 3/4, height 2 1/4 inches.
One of the faces of the Antique Castaic brick showing the longitudinal groove and pit marks with cement wash.
Side view of the Antique Castaic brick showing the smooth cement wash face.
One of the faces of the Red Smooth Castaic brick showing the longitudinal groove and pit marks.
Side view of the Red Smooth Castaic brick showing the smooth face with transverse grooves.
View of the end of the Red Smooth Castaic brick.
Castaic All White
Castaic Chocolate Flash Matt
Castaic Chocolate Primero
Castaic Chocolate Ruffle
Castaic Chocolate Typic
Castaic Flash Classic
Castaic Flash Matt
Castaic Flash Primero
Castaic Flash Tumbled
Castaic La Costa
Castaic Old Pasadena
Castaic Red Brash
Castaic Red Matt
Castaic Red Primero
Castaic Red Ruffled
Castaic Red Tumbled
Castaic Sacramento Blend
Castaic San Rafael
Castaic San Rafael Primero
Castaic San Rafael Tumbled
Castaic Santa Cruz
Castaic Brick Company,
www.castaicbrick.com (accessed 2004).
Copyright © 2004 Dan Mosier
Endicott, Wayne A., New Plant Makes "Used Brick" With High Fuel Efficiency, Brick and Clay Record, v. 1, 1983, p. 38-40.
Gay, T.E., and Hoffman, S.R., Mines and Mineral Resources of Los Angeles County, California, California
State Mining Bureau, California Journal of Mines and Geology, v. 50, no. 3-4, 1954, p. 467-709.
Higgins, Josh, written communications, 2013.
Howser, Huell, Brickyard, VHS video.