It Happened Here: Granger Bricks Help Build Yakima Valley Irrigation Project | Pass

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Granger is known today as the “Dinosaur Roam” town, thanks to the collection of concrete statues of prehistoric creatures that dot the town.

But during the first half of the 20th century, this lower valley town was known for brick and tile, with many of its products entering buildings around the valley, as well as one of the largest construction projects in the state.

The Granger Clay Products Company opened in 1903, a year before the Granger Land Company established the town, which was incorporated in 1909.

Brick-making usually took place during the winter months, offering farmers in the area work to help them, with the bricks being sold in the summer.

Granger Clay Products used clay mined from the south side of Cherry Hill, which was then mixed with soil and made into bricks and drainage tiles, dried and fired in large beehive-shaped kilns near Emerald Road. The kilns – with 4-foot-thick walls at the base held together by tight-fitting bricks and gravity – were heated to 2,000 degrees, first with coal and later with natural gas.

At its peak, the brickyard was producing 7,000 bricks per day. In April 1917, the Brick and Clay Record reported that the Granger Brickyard had received orders for more than 3 million bricks, which the trade magazine said would warrant 24-hour operation to meet demand.

Many bricks found their way into homes and offices in the Yakima Valley, some of which still exist today.

He also provided drainage tiles for the Columbia Basin Project, the massive irrigation system that serves Adams, Douglas, Franklin, Stevens, Okanogan, Grant, Lincoln and Walla Walla counties, and includes the Grand Coulee Dam. .

The project’s irrigation division headquarters in Ephrata – which is on the National Register of Historic Places – is faced with red Granger rag bricks.

mined in 1958, workers found bones belonging to a woolly mammoth, the only prehistoric creature found in Granger.

In the 1960s, the clay quarries were finally played out, which put an end to the brickyard. The last building to be constructed with Granger bricks was the Granger High School gymnasium.

Subsequently, plans were discussed to turn the ovens into apartments or use the property for a mobile home park. In the 1980s, Love Israel, a Seattle-based township, purchased the land with the intention of creating a winery on the site,

but these plans did not materialize as internal strife and a lawsuit caused Love Israel to collapse.

The land was then purchased by Dennis Harris, a former mayor of Granger.


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