Special Bricks Make Special Homes

All, Get Involved     by Dan Muhlenkamp

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Submitted by Jim Sowar

     A prominent Coldwater resident (in the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s) was William Foss.  Mr. Foss was a builder of quality homes and also served as State Representative in the late 30’s and early 40’s.  He later developed an evergreen nursery, 4+ miles west of Coldwater, along with building an impressive colonial style white pillared home located in a beautiful wooded area (south side of 219).
     In 1938, Foss undertook a major salvage project by re-cycling bricks from two demolished kilns located along Sycamore St. , between 2nd and 3rd streets.  These kilns and a huge smoke stack had been the hub of the Birkmeyer Brothers Tile Company.  These were domed shaped structures built with a double layer of brick.  The inner layer was of special quality that was super hardened and double the size and weight of a standard brick.
     My oldest brother Dave, just out of high school, had the summer job of chipping the mortar off each brick; in addition to tacking up posters around the county urging people to vote for “Bill Foss”.
     So Bill used these bricks to build two quality homes; one on the corner of Plum and 5th and the other on the corner of Plum and 6th.  These homes should stand well into the 22nd century – as hard as those bricks are!!
     Something else special about these two homes:  in my high school years two very attractive young girls lived in them, Ginny Tangeman on 5th st. and Harriet Millet on 6th street!!!!!!


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