Gartcraig brick found in Port Gamble, Washington, USA

The following information and photographs were forwarded by Sherry Pollard.

A Gartcraig brick found on the beach at Port Gamble, Wa. where Pope & Talbot had a lumber mill and the tall ships came into the cove to load lumber.

The sawmill that William Talbot and Andrew Pope founded on Gamble Bay in 1853 remained in operation until Dec. 1995. It was the longest continually operating mill in the United States at that time. Now, the mill is gone, but the little town that grew up around it gives visitors a chance to see how early lumbering communities looked and functioned.

Fewer than 1,000 settlers lived on the Sound in 1853, and most of them were busy felling enormous trees or working in mills that sawed the logs into lumber for the San Francisco market. Their mills were built close to the water for easy transport, and their towns were built on the bluffs above. Their communities closely resembled the New England or Midwest Villages where they had been born. Steepled churches and gabled clapboard houses with steep roofs and picket fences were common, but these simple buildings were soon replaced with more updated and stylish structures when the rail tied the region to the East in the 1880s. Change moved slowly in Port Gamble because it was a company town. Some early buildings remained in use, and Pope & Talbot continued to construct many structures in a modified New England style.

Pope & Talbot was a leader in both lumbering and shipping. Prudent business practices helped the company weather severe economic downturns that bankrupted many of its competitors. It shipped Port Gamble lumber to Australia, Peru, England, Hawaii, and other points around the globe. It burned sawdust to power a “flouring” mill. It welcomed settlers throughout the region to shop at the town’s general store, a particularly welcome source of income in the early years.

On November 30, 1995, the mill whistle blew its last time in Port Gamble. Pope & Talbot made the decision to close the mill; until its closure, the mill was the oldest continuously operating mill in North America. Source 

​Gartcraig Fire Clay Works, By Millerston, Glasgow.

Below – The 2 Gartcraig bricks found at Port Gamble.


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