Silicated Brick Company

Designated: June 19, 2007
Location: Southdowns at Roxborough
Current Owner: Roxborough Park Foundation
Nominated by: Susan Trumble

Historic Significance

The Silicated Brick Company played an important role during the 1900 to 1920 time period in the development of industry and rail transportation in the northwest region of Douglas County.  The brick company was also responsible for an increase in population of this sparsely settled corner of the County.  A small community, known as Silica, was identified on the 1915 and 1937 maps of Douglas County.  This community consisted of 6-8 homes immediately west of the brick yard.

The Silicated Brick Company operated as a brick manufacturing plant from 1904 to 1916.  In 1909, the Colorado and Southern Railroad extended a branch line to the site to haul bricks and raw materials into Denver.  In 1910, the company employed 27 men in the mining of local mineral deposits and the manufacture of silica bricks.  By 1912, the company was struggling and the Silica Brick and Clay Company was formed to take over the operation of the brick plant.  By 1916, this company also failed.  By 1919, the property was acquired by the Helmer family and the area returned to ranching and mining mineral resources.

The rise and fall of the Silicated Brick Company and the small community of Silica is representative of early 20th century industry and growth.

Photographs taken in 1910 show that the site of the Silicated Brick Company once comprised several structures including a limestone kiln, brick manufacturing building, superintendent’s office, boarding house, a railroad coach or mail car converted to dormitory housing, and several outbuildings.  A spur line of the Colorado and Southern Railroad known as the “Silica Branch” ran from Platte Canyon to the site of the brick company.  The property comprises approximately 1.5 acres and contains the remains of the lime kiln, cart track south of the kiln and some remaining walls of the brick manufacturing building west of the kiln.

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