Department of “Why Bother?”

Skinny brick building in Glouster OH 11-09-2014I didn’t pay much attention to this building when I was northbound through Glouster to the Burr Oak Lodge where I was staying the last time I was in Athens, Ohio, but I did a double take on the way south. (Glouster is the place where I shot the epitome of a small-town football game last fall.)

That is one skinny building

Skinny brick building in Glouster OH 11-09-2014I had to stop to make sure it wasn’t an optical illusion.

No, it really WAS that skinny. It got bigger at the other end, but I could easily span the back wall without having to stretch my arms out as big as I had gestured before to describe the size of a fish that got away. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Only eight bricks wide

Skinny brick building in Glouster OH 11-09-2014That wall was only eight bricks wide. If a standard brick is eight inches long, and you figure the space for the mortar between the bricks is half an inch or less, that would be, let’s see 8″ x 8 bricks x 7 mortar rows @ 1/2 inch equals just 67.5 inches or a little more than 5-1/2 feet wide. Allowing for the thickness of the walls, the open space inside the thin end would have had to have been less than four feet.

Why would anybody use that many bricks, not to count the labor of laying them, for such a small return of space?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but my guess is that both bricks and labor were cheap in Glouster when that building was constructed.

Bricks were a big deal

Hocking Block - Ray Charles Plaza - 05-14-2014Here’s a really good history of the region that explains how important the iron, coal and brick industries were.

Curator Jessica is somewhat of a brick expert, so she’s always looking for SE Ohio bricks like this Hocking brick she spotted when we were walking around the Ray Charles Plaza in Albany, Ga.

7 Replies to “Department of “Why Bother?””

  1. …. and people were smaller. You and I could barely turn around in that place!!! Of course the new svelte metro-sexual MagnumPU Hopkins could skip freely along unhindered.

    And as Rusty Limbaugh (Dickie McClard’s hero) would say “and for those of you in Rio Linda, CA”

    SVELTE: svelt,sfelt/
    Submit adjective (of a person) slender and elegant.
    synonyms: slender, slim, graceful, elegant, willowy, sylphlike, “svelte swimsuit models”, metro sexual, gay-looking, Pretend Producer, etc.

  2. Ken, I do not have access to the Ohio Public Library Online, otherwise I would look at Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Glouster to identify what that building was used for in the past.

  3. This building intrigues me no end. I’ve thought of all kinds of activities such as belly up to the bar, a really long skinny bar.

    Years ago, we went to a county fair and a group of bricklayers were
    teaching the craft and let we, the community, build a brick wall that
    would be our end product. I was dazed by all the measuring we had to do instead of slapping some bricks and mortar around.
    They explained it was a dying industry and needed some marketing to interest younger folks.
    I hope you find out what this particular building was used for.

  4. I’m from Glouster and I can tell you that it used to be a storage building at one point. Also, most recently, it was being used by a local company called Frog Ranch. Frog Ranch is known for its incredibly delicious salsa and pickles!! I’ll ask my grandpa what he knows, he could shed some light on the situation. That building has always fascinated me since I was a child.

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