Follow the Red Brick Roads (Part 1)

On July 11, 1899 newly bricked West 6th Street was opened to the public.

West 6th Street was the first bricked street in town, according to this clip from the July 12 Register. (Colonel Athelstan Owen Jones worked for Green & Hunter Brick Company of Thurber.)

brick 12-11-1900 regBrick paving continued into the 1930s. Many of the bricks would indeed come from Thurber, home of both Green & Hunter and the giant Texas & Pacific Coal Company. In 1901 the coal company would buy Green & Hunter. In 1907 Fort Worth would get its own brick company when the Cobb boys set up shop along Sycamore Creek. Clip is from the December 11, 1900 Register.

bricks shinyEveryone is familiar with the bricks of the North Side (Stockyards, pictured), West Side (Camp Bowie Boulevard), and downtown (Main Street), so we can take those “as red.” But the South Side and the East Side have a few stretches of brick that haven’t been replaced by concrete or slathered over with asphalt.

bricks dug upSouth of the Convention Center, Main Street’s bricks have been covered by asphalt, and South Main continues to lose its hidden bricks to street repairs and development. This pile was uncovered in the 400 block in 2015.

bricks sawyerBut here and there, especially at intersections, our past still shows. These bricks lie in front of the Sawyer Building (1909) on South Main at Daggett.

The intersection of South Main and Broadway in front of a building built in 1926. (That’s one of the B-cycles rented from a bike-sharing station on East Daggett.)

bricks here and there bryan daggettAround the corner, according to the mural, these bricks lie at the intersection of Here and There, otherwise known as “East Daggett at Bryan Avenue.”

And bricks peek out of the asphalt at the intersection of South Main and Annie streets. The exterior of the building is much altered, but if just looking at it makes your sweet tooth throb, that’s because for two decades the building housed Simon Hubig’s bakery and the American Pie Company.

bricks octaviaAt the corner of South Main and Leuda streets, the Octavia Hotel was built in 1916.

bricks vandervoortsThe bricks at the corner of South Main and Terrell streets, near Vandervoort’s dairy, are jumbled but sticking together.

bricks s&s carAcross Main Street from that jumble of bricks is the little 1932 American Austin at S&S Wheel Alignment & Brake Service.

At  the corner of South Main and East Cannon streets is a scene little changed in decades. The building (1895) once housed Eagle Steam Bakery.

bricks s&r 1913The building that now houses Shipping & Receiving bar on Calhoun at Broadway was built in 1913.

Nearby at the corner of Daggett and Bryan streets is another postcard from the past. Beyond the bricks is the Salerno Building (1909), where Jacob Salerno operated a saloon and grocery a century ago. During Prohibition Salerno’s saloon dispensed (wink wink) “soft drinks.”

In January 1917 the Star-Telegram reported (complete with dialect!) some excitement at the Salerno Building. (The robber was called the “‘Movie’ Robber” because on the previous night an “audience” of passersby stopped to watch passively as he robbed three men in succession at gunpoint near the T&P station.)

bricks-bewleyOn the eastern edge of downtown, East 9th Street at Harding Street still betrays its brick past. The buildings in the background are all that remains of the Bewley flour mill.

Follow the Red Brick Roads (Part 2)

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3 Responses to Follow the Red Brick Roads (Part 1)

  1. Buster says:

    A big reason we don’t have brick roads is that Thurber, the company town that manufactured the bricks, is no longer in existence. There’s a neat little museum on the site of the old brick factory operated by Tarleton State University that tells the history of the town. My husband worked there while in grad school at Tarleton. It’s off 20, west of Weatherford. It’s a nice little day trip and has a couple of pretty awesome restaurants. Another reason is that the upkeep is wildly more expensive.

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