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A Piece of History...
by Michael Valadez
This may look like just an old brick, but there is a definite connection to our mutual gold mining heritage.
I picked it up a few years ago near the ruins of what used to be a gold & copper processing mill here in the area.
Apparently manufactured by S.Mitchell & Sons in St. Louis, MO, it must have traveled by train, and then by horse drawn wagon to get to the back woods of Georgia to build a mill...a significant journey in those days.
Sadly, the mill burned to the ground sometime in the last century-I'll bet it could tell some stories!
While examining the brick closer, I noticed that it was not shaped like regular bricks.
It is clearly wider along the long edge on one side and narrower on the opposite side.
I wondered, "Why is that?"
Then I remembered seeing some old photos of old furnaces they used to smelt the gold and copper in. They had a curved, brick opening to create like an arch at the top of the opening...and the kind of brick I found could have been used for that purpose!
I currently display the brick in my "Gold Room" in my home to remind myself and others of the gold mining heritage of our area dating back to the early 1820's.