The Claycord Online Museum – The Cowell Smokestack 1936 – 2009

June 3, 2020 13:00 pm · 16 comments

The 244-foot Cowell Smokestack, which was located in the crossings neighborhood of Concord, was demolished 11 years ago this month.

Click on the slideshow above to view many photos from the demolition, as well as photos from a long long time ago when the smokestack was in its prime.

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: news@claycord.com. It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

Bob June 3, 2020 at 1:39 PM

Took many years before driving by there with no smokestack ceased to be weird.

But, I get why they had to do it.

LimeRidge Larry June 3, 2020 at 2:15 PM

If the stack had been in Lime Ridge it would still be standing. The residents of Lime Ridge have what’s known as intestinal fortitude (i.e. guts).

The residents of the Crossings do not have guts. At the first hint of danger they immediately buckled and had it torn down. Sad for such a great historical landmark.

If only it had been in Lime Ridge.

Bill Bob June 4, 2020 at 11:48 PM

The HOA at Cowell has a much better board lately. The corrupt recycled faces that ran it for like a decade were mostly voted out late last year.

Cowellian June 3, 2020 at 2:51 PM

Yeah, sure, Larry. If you say so, . . .

Gary Benton June 3, 2020 at 2:55 PM

Great slide show

PESFG June 3, 2020 at 3:15 PM

In a few years from now, the Claycord Online Museum will be: “Do you remember how pretty this side of the bay used to be?”. There will be pictures of clean parks, neatly maintained homes, not destroyed shops and restaurants. That post is coming soon.

PicHunter June 3, 2020 at 4:04 PM

This story is the reason I first found Claycord.

http://cowellsmokestack.blogspot.com/

Lauren Scroggins June 3, 2020 at 4:58 PM

What is the history of the smoke stack? I always wondered why it was there and why it was torn down. I forgot all about it until this post. Anyone have any info?

Cowellian June 3, 2020 at 5:42 PM

Try this:
A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE CEMENT PLANT AND TOWN OF COWELL

It was written by Mr. Bill Larkins, noted author and local historian whose wife worked at Cowell.

Ancient Mariner June 3, 2020 at 8:27 PM

The Cowell smokestack was my landmark for many years.
I had to go out there and take pictures of the police academy as part of the tentative map for moving the building to its current location on Avila Road.

FPN June 3, 2020 at 9:58 PM

When I was a kid my brother and friends played inside the stack.

American Citizen June 4, 2020 at 8:11 AM

That was a really iconic structure. It’s always sad to lose living history.

Antler June 4, 2020 at 10:30 AM

The smokestack was a figurative and literal beacon for me:
* I respected the vital part the workers of Cowell cement plant played in WW2.
* The small whitewashed frame homes strongly reminded me of the little North Carolina settlement where I was born.
* As a new resident in 1960, I could drive without a map anywhere In our valley to explore the 28,000-people strong city of Concord, and I could get my bearings by finding the mountain and the smokestack.
* When we passed near the smokestack, it meant I was almost home again.

I’ve always wished the bricks had been saved perhaps to pave a plaza in memory of its contribution and of all the people who worked there over the years. But I do not recall what DID happen to all the bricks…. do any of you?

Cowellian June 4, 2020 at 10:51 AM

I got a brick. Actually, a lot of us got a brick. And there is a memorial in the middle of the greenbelt. It includes the base of the smokestack and a plaque. There are pictures on the CHOA blog: http://cowellsmokestack.blogspot.com/

WhoDat Gurl June 4, 2020 at 11:09 AM

I remember the smokestack and was very sad to see our history taken down. Too bad. The music was a bit too much EMO for me; after all, it was just a smokestack.

Bill W. June 5, 2020 at 9:45 PM

NOT FAR FROM THE STACK WHEN THEY WERE DISMANTRLING THE HOMES I BOUGHT A CLAW BATH TUB FOR FIVE DOLLARS, TOOK ABOUT SIX OF US TO GET IT ON MY TRUCK.
THE KIDS PAINTED IT PINK AND I THINK IT BECAME A GARDEN.
WISH I BOUGHT A HUNDRED OF THEM, THE GO FOR FIVEHUNDRED NOW UN-RESTORED.
GREAT MEMORY’S.

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