History about the Brickyard
In 1916, S.P Brick Co. was organized to manufacture red brick on Belmont Avenue in Exeter, CA. The office was located in Fresno at the Powell Building and then switched to the Pacific Southwest Building. S.P Brick Co was employed by about 25 men. Machinery for the production of tile was added by 1919. The clay deposit covered 20 acres which made the clay 20 to 40 feet thick. The pit was 1,300 feet long by 300 to 500 feet wide. In 1958, the deposit was exhausted and changed to clay hauling to be trucked from a excavation at the county dump on Belmont Avenue south of Exeter.
The clay was hauled to the plant by cars that were mounted on tracks and pulled by mules. The clay was then dumped into a hopper which passed through a pulverizer, or a roll disintegrator, then it was elevated by a belt to a set of Hummer screens 12 feet long by 5 feet wide. The clay the passed to an American Pug-Mill and auger machine equipped with a cutter, with a capacity of 55,000 bricks per 9 hours. Then the wet bricks were stacked on pallets and dried under sheds, which were capable of holding 550,000 bricks. The drying process took three weeks, after they were trammed to kilns and loaded.
Everyone that is familiar with Exeter knows where the Brickyard is located, therefore our company felt that it was important to keep the historical name of the Brickyard. Enjoy some historical facts about the property.
The tile and brick were fired in six kilns using oil atomized as steam to fuel. The capacity of each kiln was 100,000 bricks. The firing period took 5 1/2 days and the kiln turnover cycle was 12 days. In 1930, the plant produced about 2.5 million bricks and 150,000 to 200,000 tile per year. The bricks were loaded on pallets and shipped by either truck or train. The Southern Pacific Railroad ran along the south and east side of the property.
The S.P Planet was operated by the San Joaquin Materials Company from 1931 to the mid 1940's, which was based in Fresno. The S.P Brick and Tile Company resumed operations until about 1982.