Our hospital dates back to an earlier chapter of Tucson. Originally it housed the administration of one of Tucson’s oldest brick factories producing many of the bricks in Tucson’s landmark buildings. Years later we started our hospital in an apparently forgotten corner of Tucson and have since grown with Rita Ranch helping to establish our community’s unique southwestern flavor.
Many of our neighbors to the east would be surprised at what used to stand where their homes are now.
The pictures below are from the family of the late James L. Edel, General Manager of the Tucson Pressed Brick Company. We would like to thank them for allowing us to use them.
The photo on the right is from the mid 1960’s showing the brickyard office that is now Madera Veterinary Hospital.
This view was taken from what is now the clinic parking lot looking to the northeast. A subdivision now stands where this building once was.
This picture is a close up of the front doors shown in the picture above. The finished bricks are coming out of the plant, ready to be trucked out to build Tucson!
This equipment was used to move the raw materials into the brick plant. This was to the east of the building in the two pictures above.
The power substation just for the Brickyard. This was on the south side of the building in the second picture.
Below is an excerpt from Craig Edel:
A few years ago, I digitized some photographs that had once been on the wall in my father’s office (in the southwest corner of the building). These showed the major elements of the “new” plant (the one on Houghton Road) and the old plant, which had been between Congress and St. Mary’s Road, on the west side of the Santa Cruz river, from the turn of the century until the early 1960s. I’ll send you the “new” plant photos. In the photo of the office building, you’ll see the front of my dad’s company car, a 1963 Ford Falcon Ranchero, which I still remember. That was replaced with the new Fairlane version in 1968, so there’s an indication of the vintage of the photos.
Just a few minutes ago, I was talking with my brother (who’s in Philadelphia, to my Houston) about all the ways there were to get killed at the brick plant back in those early OSHA days. I’m glad to have just spent some summers there! (But let me note that, despite the dangerous machinery, I was never aware of anyone actually being injured by it.) We lived in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains; our father therefore lived about as far west as you can get in the valley, and worked about as far east as you can get. It was a wonderfully remote location back then, and the drive along I-10 revealed unspoiled alluvial fans spreading from I-10 all the way south to the Santa Ritas. You probably could have walked from the plant to I-10 without seeing a car.