California brick
CALIFORNIA BRICKS


Grant Brick & Tile Company

History


In 1904, Peter T. Grant and Donald C. Grant opened a brickyard on Rancheria (later Ladera) Street between Gutierrez and Montecito streets, Santa Barbara. They were first known as the Grant Brothers. Peter was born in 1879 in Canada, and Donald in 1882 in California. At the west end of Monticeto Street, they found a yellow clay deposit which was favorable for manufacturing common brick and red tile. There is no description of this early operation, but it appears from the character of the brick that the clay was hand-molded and fired in open field kilns.

In 1913, the Grant Brothers reorganized under the name of Grant Brick & Tile Company, with Peter Grant as manager and Donald Grant, brickmaker. During the time this company operated, 1904-1916, it was the only producer of common brick and red tile in Santa Barbara. The Grant Brick Company closed in 1916. The brothers entered the contractor business until 1923, when they opened the Toro Canyon Brick Company in Montecito. Peter died in Santa Barbara in 1955 at the age of 75 years. Donald died in Santa Barbara in 1964 at the age of 82 years. The Grant brick plant was reopened in 1917 by the Parker Brick Company.

Edgerly Arm Hotel in Santa Barbara
View of the front entrance of the Edgerly Arm Hotel, 105 Sola St.,
Santa Barbara, which was built of Grant common brick in 1913.


Grant Brick

Common brick is orange red to red to pale red, variable in color. The sides and ends are lightly coated with fine sand and display light red with black rimmed flash patterns. Deep stack indentations are commonly visible on the sides along with minor transverse grooves. Visible clasts are subrounded red pebbles and subangular white feldspar up to 1/4 inch across. Minor pits up to 1/4 inch across may be seen on the surface. Edges are undulating and corners are rounded. Top and bottom faces show minor pitted surface with an irregular lip around the top edge up to 1/4 inch thick. This brick was made using the sand-molded, soft-mud process. Length 7 3/4 - 8 1/4, width 3 5/8 - 3 7/8, height 2 1/4 inches.

Grant brick
View of the Grant brick in the wall of the Edgerly Arm Hotel, Santa Barbara.

Grant brick
View of the face of a Grant brick at the Edgerly Arm Hotel, Santa Barbara.



References

Bradley, Walter W., Huguenin, Emile, Logan, C.A., and Waring, Clarence A., The Counties of Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, California State Mining Bureau 15th Report of the State Mineralogist, Part 5, 1919, p. 590-769 (735).

Santa Barbara City Directories, 1904-1923.

Copyright 2006 Dan Mosier

Contact Dan Mosier at danmosier@earthlink.net.