After Years of Study, I’m Still a Student

When someone invites you to check out their Clay City Tile barn, you do! Amy Smith proprietor of Bohemian Farms, an outdoor venue for photographers, invited me over to see the barn and several other Clay City Tile outbuildings.

First off, from a map you can see why Clay City Tile would be here. It’s just a short trip up Polecat creek to the Fish River where Clay City Products began back in 1916.  

Amy was a wonderful host and keen on learning everything about the tile. So naturally, I gave her a book, in exchange for a personal tour and letting me look around her barn and several other farm buildings made of Clay City Tile.

While we had a fantastic fall day, the buildings were new to me. Not the tile, but the fact that all the clay walls were built on sandstone form or footings. Typically, and this is of course just the type of construction I have seen, but the footings in the ground and above the ground are typically built entirely of Clay City tile, so it was very unusual for me and therefore difficult to date. Also, none of the buildings had a concrete slab. Oftentimes the building would have Clay City Tile floor covered by a layer of concrete. These were dirt floors, or they had just a thin layer of concrete poured over the dirt, the chicken house being one example. If I had a guess, much of it was built or rebuilt, after World War II, and Amy agreed, though based on the stories she’d heard of the original family living in the barn, she’d thought the barn was older. We didn’t solve any mysteries and Amy’sstill investigating the rich history of her home. She’s interested in the tile, so no doubt she’s pointing out to her friends and family when she’s driving down the road.

She wanted to know if there were any other barns in Baldwin County made of Clay City Tile. I think we were in the barn when I said, Whoa! Do you know Baldwin County’s bigger than the state of Rhode Island?” Sometimes my interest gets the better of me, but not this time. That is a monumental task. However, that’s why I’m posting it here. Anyone have a barn, or a farm that with Clay City Tile structures? I know someone who’d like to talk, so please contact me.

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