Santa Cruz County History - Making a Living

The Laguna Limekilns: Bonny Doon
by Robert W. Piwarzyk

[This article is excerpted from a manuscript titled, "The Laguna Limekilns: Bonny Doon," pp. 44-45. The maps, drawings, and photos of the manuscript are not included on this site. The manuscript is copyrighted 1996 by the author. It is used here with permission.]

Firebricks at the Laguna Limekilns

Some brick pieces can be found in the remaining lining of both kilns, and in the rubble around the kilns. Brick has also been found along the creek banks, as the flat area in front of the kilns was built up using kiln waste for fill.

The remaining lining in the left kiln has only chunks of brick embedded in mortar. However, there are impressions of brick in the wall mortar which indicate that the bricks in the outer layer of the lining have been scavenged. Fire chamber floors made from "Calder" firebrick were uncovered in the left kiln. Otherwise only two whole brick were found. It has been possible to determine names by fitting overlapping pieces together and by recognizing names found on bricks at other sites.

The following bricks were found at the site from October of 1975 to March of 1996:

  • Calder
  • Carr
  • Cowen
  • Foster
  • LAPBCo / * * *
  • Ls Escoyez / Tertre / Belgique
  • Pacific (several found with thumb prints)
  • Pacific (wedge shaped, only one found)
  • Patent / R Brown & Son / Paisley (no period)
  • Patent / R.Brown & Son Ltd / Paisley
  • Ramsay
  • Ravens / WBI & Co
  • RBC
  • Snowball (two found with the "b" upside down)
  • Tcarr
  • Tcarr (arch shaped, only one found)

Note: / denotes the beginning of a new line on the brick

Also found were several pieces of "arch" brick (keystone shaped), without any name, and one common red brick with a vitrified end (black and glazed).

Except for the LAPBCo / * * * brick (Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company), and the RBC (Richmond Brick Company?), these firebricks were most likely all imported from Europe. The discussion, presented under "Firebricks" in the interpretive section of this report, tells what is known about each brick. Adapted from "Bricks and Brickmaking," by Karl Gurcke, it is used with the author's permission.

>>Continue with: Introduction


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Bonny Doon, kilns, limestone


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