Fort Collins Brick Factory
at the Fort Collins Brick Factory"
Dwight was born in Craig, Colorado, but his parents
moved to Ft. Collins shortly after his birth. He's lived
in Ft. Collins most of his life. Between his junior and
senior years in high school, he had a summer job as a
laborer at the brick factory. Ruins of the brick kiln and
a wooden structure may still be seen near the railroad
tracks today on South Shields between Ft. Collins and
July 10, 1997
Interviewer: Betsy Ewing
A railroad siding was built near an
embankment of clay. Holes were drilled in the clay and
dynamite was used to remove the clay. Then Dwight and his
work partner would load the clay onto a small dump truck
with shovels. From there it went into the wooden
structure where the clay was formed into bricks. Then the
task was to load the bricks into the railroad cars by
hand. The men wore gloves to protect their hands and also
would cut pieces of inner tubes to fit around the gloves
up above the elbows to offer more protection.
Dwight recalls that it was a closed union shop, and
Dwight didn't join the union because he was making so
little money and was often cut short on employment. It
was a small operation with just he and another man
loading the clay and the bricks, the man who handled the
dynamite, the owner and some office personnel -- not over
ten people. He recalls the owner's name was Findley. A
small office was on the site.
There was no graffiti on the side of the kiln then.
Spray paint had not been invented and no one could afford
to waste regular paint.
When asked about his connection to Ghent Motor
Company, Dwight replied, "I was Ghent Motor company
for 40 years." His dad started the business in 1941
and he came into it in 1946 after returning from the
service, his brother joining the firm a few years later
when he also returned from the service.
The present Ford dealership building was built in
1966. Dwight retired in 1987 and sold the dealership to
his brother and nephew and about a year later it was sold
to Spradley Barr.
At one time several members of the Ghent family were
involved in the business. For more details, read The
Colorado Car Book by Bud Wells.