Following the Brick Road

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Following the Brick Road

A Journey into Palm Coast

It all started when I noticed a news evengt that had occurred at the intersection of the Old Dixie Highway and U.S. 1.

What I had hoped would be a feature on the Old Dixie Highway did not get very far. That story will just have to wait.

Instead, I share with you an interesting tale about a Brick Road.

This Brick Road is actually made of bricks and is in fact part f the aforementioned Old Dixie Highway.

Nine miles long and just nine feet week, "the Old Brick Road is a slowly decaying monument to a slowly decaying way of life" wrote Bryce Myers in a fascinating piece now part of the Flagler County Library archives.

"What remains of the road is only a short section of the original. In 1915 St. Johns County (of which most of Flagler County was a part) began con­struction of the Dixie Highway.

Most of the highway was ripped apart and paved over in the 20's and 30's. It was during this time that Moody Boulevard, which connects Bunnell and Flagler Beach, was constructed over the old road.

According to old timers, the bricks taken from the old road were used to build a number of structures in Bunnell, including the gymnasium at Bunnell Elementary School (which was then a high school as well). One person took a pile of the bricks himself and used them to build a fireplace and patio in his home.

Jack Clegg who lived in Flagler County since 1913 recalled driving on the bricks.

"We would drive from [Bunnell] to the beach," he said, "and not pass one car on the way." At nine feet wide, the road could accommodate only one Model T-sized-vehicle at a time; passing cars had to pull off to let one another by

A few miles north of Espanola on the part of the road still surviving are the remnants of what was another traveler's haven - Flagler City. Planners of the town had grand visions for it; a grid of sidewalks were carved into the brush and a gas station erected. Nothing more was built.

Today there is a small stretch of brick road that still exists - though they continue to disappear for souvenirs and other uses. But one can still travel in it connecting either to 204 and I-95 or to the Old Dixie Highway - truly a journey beyond the interstate and off the beaten path.

It may not be to yellow, but this brick road is still worth following.