Website by Steve Graves



                                             

History        Photos        preservation        BrickMaking        People        HOME





How to help
tell the story of the Medora Brick Plant

 

 

Steve Graves  

Steve Graves

St Petersburg, Florida

sgraves@tampabay.rr.com

727 804-3399

Steve is a great-grandson of Elmer E. Rudder who was a supervisor at the brick plant in 1914 and of lineage of John M. Rudder b. 1788 Virginia d. 1852 Salem, Washington County, Indiana. Steve is also a great-grandson of  John P. Henderson (1865-1942) and of that line of Medora area Hendersons: Joseph Patten Henderson (1831-1916) and William Henderson  (1794-1863). Both these Rudder and Henderson families are Indiana pioneer families having come to the state prior to 1825.

Raised in Central Illinois, where his mother, uncle and their Medora raised and schooled parents moved in 1922, Steve received 1920s photos of his Henderson and Rudder ancestors which put him, in 2004, to researching further and learning about Medora and that his great grandfather Rudder had a little connection to a brick plant.  

After reading that the plant was (then) on Indiana's 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites list, he gathered more information and photos pertaining to the plant and created a website, MedoraBrickPlant.org with that material. The site quickly caught the attention of a state legislator, who suggested he submit an application to the State of Indiana for placement of one of its historical markers to commemorate the plant's history. The marker was set in an event on May 3, 2008 in the center of the town of Medora where more people would appreciate it rather than out at the plant where there was no activity, and where, it was suggested, "the marker might well come under fire as a target for young folks with their deer rifles!" The bank parking lot seemed a better choice.

His research also showed that there is a similar brick plant, of age and style, called Claybank, in the middle of nowhere in Canada that has been saved by turning it into an educational and recreational park site. He spoke with the leader of that restoration project who said had they known how much work and money it took they might not have done it. And at that time the Medora Brick Plant site was privately owned and not for sale. The economy was not good in 2008; government had little money to put to projects such as creating a new park.  Prospects for saving the plant didn't seem possible.

In 2016 Steve, who has lived in Florida since 1981, was very pleased to learn of an uptick in local interest in the plant coupled with the nuturing watchfulness of the Indiana Landmarks organization. In September 2016 he attended the initial meeting of the Save the Medora Brick Plant group and continues to keep this website up in support of efforts to keep Medora Brick Plant alive.

Steve feels Medora area ancestors would be pleased that their homeplace area, particularly the brick plant, is remembered. "I'm glad I could help a bit and do appreciate the kindness extended to me by Paul Carr, Bernard Gray, Tim Reynolds, Dale Shoemaker and others on my visits to Medora, seeing the results of their efforts in saving the brick plant."

This site aims to tell the story of the Medora Brick Plant and foster thought, discussion and action about its future.