California brick
CALIFORNIA BRICKS


James and John Hagan Brickyard

History


In 1874, James and John Hagan first started up a brickyard in Irvington. Their property was located about where Midas Mufflers is currently standing on Washington Blvd. But because of the lime-rich clay, it was not suitable for making bricks. So the Hagan Brothers moved their brickyard to Centerville, where they rented a lot on Peralta Blvd. near the intersection with Fremont Blvd. The clay here was said to be equal to that found at Pleasanton. By June 1875, they had fired 85,000 hand-molded brick in a kiln. They were expected to burn 100,000 bricks per month.

These bricks were used locally. The largest job was Clark's store in Irvington, on the corner of Fremont and Washington Blvds, which was built in January 1876. There were no further reports about this brickyard, so it probably closed during the early part of 1876.

Hagan Brick

Common brick is orange, uniform in color. A few visible rounded, white clasts up to a half inch across can be seen on the surface with some minor pits. Some have irregular lip around top edge. Sides and ends may undulate slightly. Edges are uneven and rounded. Faint transverse marks are present on some sides. Top and bottom faces could not be observed for description. This brick was made using the hand-molded, water-struck, soft-mud process. Length 8 1/2, width 4 1/4, height 2 1/2 inches.

Rear view of the Clark's Store in Irvington
View of the rear of Clark's store in Irvington.

Hagan brick
View of Hagan bricks in the Clark's store, Irvington.


References

Thompson and West, Historical Atlas Map of Alameda County, California, Thompson and West, Oakland, CA, 1878.

Washington Independent, June 5, 1875 to March 11, 1876.

Copyright 2006 Dan Mosier

Contact Dan Mosier at danmosier@earthlink.net.