During the 1850s, Elzie Daily established a brickyard on the north side of 14th Street,
between L and M streets, in Arcata. This yard furnished bricks for many early buildings
in Arcata, including the Jacoby Building, which still stands on the south side of the plaza
at H and 8th streets.
There is no description of this brickyard, though from the bricks in the Jacoby Building,
we can tell that it was made using the soft-mud process, probably hand-made using wooden molds
that was lubricated with sand. The material used was surficial soil and not screened, but thrown
directly into the pugmill. Yellow clay and sandstone, with unconsolidated well-rounded black metamorphic
sandstone and red chert pebbles, form the hillside near the yard site. The kiln was probably a
field-type of kiln that burned wood. It is not known how long Daily operated his brickyard at this
location or when it closed.
The Odd Fellows' Hall at 123 F Street in Eureka appears to be constructed with Daily brick, although
that building was built in 1882. If Daily's brickyard was producing bricks as late as 1882, they very well could
be from his Arcata brickyard, based on the materials that match from the brickyard property and not seen
elsewhere in Eureka. Otherwise, the bricks might be seconds, salvaged from an earlier building
constructed with Daily brick. The main feature in the brick is the abundance of black metamorphic
sandstone and red and white chert pebbles seen only in Daily brick, as displayed below. However, the
bricks in the Odd Fellows' Hall is slightly larger in size than those seen in the Jacoby Building in
Arcata, being as much as 8 inches in length and 2 1/4 inches in height.
Common brick in various shades of orange, uniform in color. Pits and clasts are abundant with visible
subrounded red and yellow chert, white quartz, gray sandstone, and well-rounded black metamorphic sandstone or siltstone
as pebbles up to 3/4 inch across. Some display minor light and dark orange flashing. Uneven edges and rounded corners.
Top face has an uneven pitted surface with no discernable lip. Bottom face is flatter. The interior consists
of as much as 25 percent clasts of the rocks mentioned above in an orange-red, highly porous clay body. This
brick was made using the sand-molded, soft-mud process. The bricks are distinctively small and thin.
Length 7 1/2, width 3 1/2 - 3 3/4, height 1 7/8 - 2 inches.
View of Daily brick in the Jacoby Storehouse, Arcata.
View of eroded sides of Daily brick in the Odd Fellows' Hall in Eureka.
View of Daily brick in the Odd Fellows' Hall in Eureka, showing the black metamorphic sandstone and chert pebbles.
Nash, Glen, Some stake their future on brick plants, The Humboldt Historian, May-June 1985, p. 19-20.
Copyright © 2006 Dan Mosier