Rouged Roads

In a few areas such as Stoll’s Alley and lower Church Street, visitors can still find brick street paving that once stretched for miles around historic #Charleston. As I feel guest on my walking tours, there was an abundance of brick manufactured in Charleston historically, but there was also much that was shipped here from other brick manufacturers around the country and world. The quality of brick depended largely on its underground origins and the methods used to fire it in hot kilns to create a sturdy mass of material. To that extent there were areas in the country that had superior raw materials and manufacturing methods, such as the Katterskill Brick Paving Company in Catskill, New York. The company specialized in waterproof “vitrified brick” made from shale, and in 1908-1909 the city of Charleston purchased tons of Catskill brick and used it to pave extensively. The city acknowledged that the brick from New York was superior, but just to make sure, purchased what were known as “rattlers” to test the strength of the brick by tumbling them in cages with hard pieces of iron. Obviously, the “rattling” proved the affirmative, as these bricks have held up under cars and trucks for more than a century. <img.src=”Charleston History” alt=”brick paved streets”

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