John's Journal...

Learn the History of Your Property to Increase the Value of Your Land

When Bricks Are More than Bricks

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Every property bought and sold today has a history. Who were the people who lived on the land before it was sold? What were their occupations? What role did they play in thClick to enlargee history of the area, the state or the nation? If you know the history of the people and the land, the value of the property is worth far more than the dirt, the timber, the wildlife and the scenery on it today.

For years, as a child I’d seen the old bricks, barely visible on the bank, jutting out from under the riverbank and lying in the water in south Alabama near the coast. The old bricks had been on the property longer than anyone I knew had been on the earth. The bricks were there when my dad and grandfather were boys. But from where did the bricks come? Why were they there? What was their purpose? Once I became an adult, I took the time to study the old bricks on the Magnolia River near Foley, Alabama. I learned that the landwas once a brickyard where slaves toiled in the blistering-hot sun all day to make bricks that were then loaded on barges and sent down the Magnolia River into Weeks Bay and then on out into Mobile Bay. On a point where Mobile Bay narrowed down to create a bottleneck, there were two mighty fortresses – which still stand today on either side – Fort Gaines, a small, old fort, and Fort Morgan, which was active under seven flags, owned by seven nations and builtaccording to the five-point star design createClick to enlarged by Michelangelo. The bricks from the old brickyard were used to help build Fort Morgan. Can you imagine the tales thoseClick to enlarge old bricks could tell about the lives and the times of the people who lived there?

Old barges would come up the Magnolia River empty. Once they were loaded with bricks by the sweat and the strain of the men who created them, the barges would move to Fort Morgan across the Mobile Bay and become part of the history of seven nations. Today the area around the old brickyard has been developed into home sites. What a great piece of history to buy for a lake-front property. If you think there’s no value in selling history, just look at the prices being charged to spend the night in an old historical home or to buy land around an old battlefield.

Sometimes, we can’t see the forest for the trees. Perhaps in buying land, we don’t look at the history because we only see dirt, timber and wildlife values. The history of the land, the history of the timber on the land, the history of the wildlife on the land and the history of the people who have owned the land can increase the value of forest-recreation property.

Tomorrow: The Old Barbed Wire


Check back each day this week for more about "Learn the History of Your Property to Increase the Value of Your Land"

Day 1: When Forest-Recreation Lands Are Worth More
Day 2: When Bricks Are More than Bricks
Day 3: The Old Barbed Wire
Day 4: Millions in Gold and Artifacts
Day 5: The Buffalo Jump



Entry 427, Day 2