Latest Minnesota Brick News

Merry Christmas from the Minnesota Brick web team…Vince and Andy!  We are looking forward to the future, as we have big plans to add new Minnesota brick information as we come across it.  The more you dig into this historical aspect of Minnesota, the more surprises you find.  Just this week, I was looking through a book called Little Sketches of Big Folks Minnesota 1907.  I searched this book for people associated with bricks, and was amazed that it turned up around 30 people!  I knew that brickmaking was a huge industry in Minnesota around the turn of the century, but did not know how many influential Minnesotans were associated with it.  Many of the owners of the old brickyards branched out into other fields with their new wealth, and became store owners or bank owners.

I am adding some information on the brickyards at Wrenshall and Excelsior this week.  Some relatives of mine found an Excelsior brick several years ago.  It is in great shape.  The brickyard at Wrenshall also produced bricks stamped with their name on them.  If you search local antique stores or garage sales, you occasionally come across these old pieces of history.  Wrenshall is the furthest north brickyard I have on my site to date, being located southwest of Duluth.  I know there were brickyards even further north, but have not added any information on them yet.  In some research I have done in the past, I know there was a brickyard in East Grand Forks, MN.  I also have some old maps which indicate a few brickyards in far northern Minnesota.  However, research indicates that the Ochs Brick Company is the longest running Minnesota brick producer.  The Chaska brickyards ran into the early 1950s, so they made it quite a while too.

Every now and then, I run across current newspaper articles that talk about Minnesota bricks or brickyards.  I found and am adding a couple of these articles to the site this week.  Both of these were written by Mark Olson of the Chaska Herald.  Mark has agreed to let me post his articles on this web site.  One is on Fireman’s Park in Chaska and the other is about Guardian Angels Church in Chaska.  These are a wealth of information to brick and history lovers out there.  Thank you very much to Mark and the Chaska Herald for these great pieces of history.  Check these out!!  I am also open to information or articles from anyone.  I will post them and give you full credit.  Just trying to preserve the memory!

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5 Responses to Latest Minnesota Brick News

  1. Julie K. says:

    Please contact me if you would like information on the Wrenshall brickyards. My great-great-great-grandfather Frederick J. Habhegger founded the first of the Wrenshall brickyards and my mom lives on that site now. Her and my grandma’s cousin (who also lives in Wrenshall) have a lot of photographs of the brickyards in their heyday. She also has some bricks, that although they don’t have Wrenshall stamped on them, they have the characteristic yellow coloring. Cheers!

  2. Jerry Grewe says:

    I need some help. Am looking for old brickyards that still have narrow gauge rail tracks in them yet& possibly a old locomotive. Thanks Jerry Grewe C 952-807-1167

  3. Carl Kruger says:

    On the City of Wrenshall website (http://www.cityofwrenshall.com/city-history/), it was noted that the Brickyard Restaurant was made from bricks from the first brickyard in town. My understanding is that the Brickyard Restaurant was built well after the last brickyard closed in the 1950′s. This would lead me to believe they were salvaged and repurposed for the restaurant – is this correct?

    Thank you for your time.

  4. To answer the question about the Brickyard Restaruant – you are correct it was built using salvaged brick. I believe they were salvaged from the barn and/or garage from the original farmstead. I am the Great grand daughter of Frederick J. Habhegger.

  5. Anthony says:

    I’m interested in the saving of our country’s resources. I was curious if there is any Process that allows for the re-grinding and re-firing of used bricks..There are so many homes and buildings across the country that are being demolished, and just curious if you could use the existing bricks in a process to make new ones. I appreciate your expertise and advice on this subject. Thank You Anthony

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