Posted By Bill Payer on Mar 3, 2021 | 0 comments

Interesting article in this week’s Moultrie News about brick making along the Wando River, citing a thick layer of red clay just below the black topsoi.

“The earliest mention this writer has found of brickmaking on the Wando is in June 1692, with a Lease and Release of lands at Long Point mentioning “John Bell, brickmaker,” who sold Joshua Wilks 200 acres of land on Rowser’s Creek (today’s Wando Terminal and parts of Belle Hall.)

This is the only reference I have of Bell being a brickmaker. He is referred to as “Captain” in other contemporary records with landholdings on the seaside at Copahee. He also owned Dewees Island, known as “Bell’s Island,” in 1700 when explorer John Lawson camped there for a night. He later settled on the Santee River and was granted lands at Hopsewee in 1704.

It appears that Bell’s lands on the Wando came from his marriage to Mary Stevenson, widow of John Stevenson, who first obtained the Rowser’s Creek lands in 1682. If there was already a brickyard operating there, the only reason Bell was called “brickmaker” was because he married into it and was now the owner.

But a brickyard there even that early makes sense. The Long Point area has clay and a long history of brickmaking. Peter Crofts advertised 500 acres for sale in 1785 as being “well calculated for a brickyard having a large quantity of standing pine and a landing at which a schooner of 140 barrels may conveniently load, likewise a brick Café already finished suitable for a brickyard.” A brick “café” was the archaic word used then, generally translating to “kiln.”

To see the rest of the Moultrie News article CLICK HERE.

Brickmaking was featured in our February 2018 DIHS program, ““Bricks…Building Charleston’s Past and Present”, featuring Cary Briggs.

CLICK HERE for a report on that meeting and more links.

And still more at this 2018 blog post “Helping to Preserve Local History” CLICK HERE

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