Grouard's brickyard on North Olive Street began as a primitive operation with sand-molded bricks formed in wooden molds and set on the
ground to air-dry before being stacked and fired in rectangular field kilns. Wood was burned to fire the kiln. Initially, Grouard hired
Chinese laborers, but within a couple of weeks of work, they had all fled without warning to Los Angeles. Grouard hired only white laborers
afterwards. In 1899, Grouard's yard had manufactured 1,600,000 bricks. In April 1900, he was reportedly the first in Santa Ana to use oil
to fire the kilns. A Quaker brickmaking machine was installed on April 1, 1903. The machine was capable of making 2,000 bricks per hour.
The yard capacity was 8,000 bricks per day. The clay deposit extends over 11 acres and 8 to 10 feet in depth and is underlaid by
gravel. By 1904, 3 to 4 acres were excavated. This yard was acquired in 1905 by J. William Sackman, who continued to manufacture bricks here.
Grouard bricks were used in many of the buildings in town built from 1882 to 1905. The more prominent buildings containing these bricks was the Orange County Jail (1897) and the Orange County Courthouse (1900), the later which still stands at 211 West Santa Ana Blvd. in Santa Ana. The red brick is in the inner walls behind the sandstone exterior and in the walls of the foundation. A sample of Grouard's brick is on display in the old courthouse and another partial sample is preserved in the Orange County Archives. It is important to preserve these manmade objects for future study. I'm grateful to Assistant Archivist Chris Jepsen for showing me some of Grouard's bricks in the basement walls of the old courthouse for this study.
Common brick is orange-red to red and mostly uniform in color. The surface has a coating of subangular to subrounded white quartz sand.
Some pits are present on the surface. The form is good with undulating, nearly sharp edges and dull corners. A lip of 1/4 inch in thickness or
less is present around the top edges. Stack indentations were seen on both the sides and on the faces. Bottom face is flat and even with minor pits.
Top face is rough and pitted, with a faint longitudinal strike and visible rocks. The interior consists of 5 percent clasts of well-rounded red
and green chert pebbles and subangular white quartz, up to 1/2 inch across, in a porous orange-red sandy clay body. The pores are up to 1/2 inch
in diameter, round to irregular shaped, and constitute about 5 percent in volume. This brick was made using the soft-mud process. Length 7 3/4,
width 3 7/8, height 2 1/4 inches, but a range of sizes was noticed.
Aubrey, Lewis E., The Structural and Industrial Materials of California,
California State Mining Bureau Bulletin 38, 1906, p. 252.
Armor, Samuel, History of Orange County, California, Historic Record Co., Los Angeles, 1921, p. 1594.
Brick and Clay Record, v. 18, no. 3, 1903, p. 131.
Clay-Worker, v. 32, no. 6, December 1899, p. 470.
Federal Census Records, 1880.
Federal Census Records, 1900.
Federal Census Records, 1910.
Find A Grave Memorial, Charles Edwin Grouard, www.findagrave.com (accessed June 23, 2014).
Higgins, Josh, written communications, 2013.
Jepsen, Chris, Orange County Archives, personal communications, 2014.
Los Angeles Great Register, 1888.
Los Angeles Herald, April 5, 1900.
Los Angeles Herald, April 26, 1900.
Los Angeles Herald, April 27, 1903.
Los Angeles Times, May 2, 1882.
Orange County, Santa Ana, Los Angeles Herald, May 7, 1897.
Orange County, Santa Ana, Los Angeles Herald, December 30, 1897.
Santa Ana, Los Angeles Daily Times, April 23, 1882.
Santa Ana, Los Angeles Herald, November 25, 1897.
Santa Ana, Death of B.F. Grouard, A Pioneer Citizen, Los Angeles Herald, March 19, 1894.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1901.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1905.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1907.
Santa Ana City Directory, 1908-1909.
Santa Ana Daily Evening Blade, December 23, 1911.
Santa Ana Reports, Los Angeles Herald, April 28, 1882.
The New Orange County Jail at Santa Ana, San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 1897.
Trustee Grouard Mad, Los Angeles Herald, February 8, 1900.
Contact Dan Mosier at email@example.com.