Location: 1027 4th Ave E
|Grimm Brothers brickyard, ca. 1880, State Library Collection||Le May Market building now (2013) photograph by Deb Ross|
Brickyards existed in and around Olympia from its earliest days. Early bricks were made by mining the extensive clay beds around Olympia’s shores, molding them, building wooden kilns to hold them and then setting the kilns on fire to bake the bricks.
The brickyard at the corner of Fourth and Eastside was one of at least two in East Olympia. It was owned by the Grimm brothers, and then by William Burchett and Christopher Baker until early in the 20th century.
The building currently at this site was erected in 1929, according to the Thurston County assessor. It was one of many commercial buildings built at the dawn of the automobile era, after the Carlyon Fill eased the way for Fourth Avenue to become a major east-west arterial through Olympia. The city directory for the following year shows this was a grocery store, the Le May Sanitary Market, owned by the Le May family (see also Le May House , Le May/Hedges House, Le May/Leonardson House, and Le May Meat Market on Capitol Way).