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MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Swan River Clay Products

A directory of brick-making in Manitoba

A directory of block-making in Manitoba

People involved in brick and block-making in Manitoba

A glossary of terms relating to bricks and blocks

In early 1951, a company called the Swan River Clay Products Limited was established to manufacture bricks, tile, and other clay products at Swan River. After purchased used equipment from Edrans, the plant beside at the Canadian National Railway line on SE29-36-27W made its first bricks in November 1952, using clay quarried from the A. K. Fraser farm at SW10-37-26W. It began full operations on 1 May 1953 with William E. Hales in charge of brick-making.

Bricks manufactured using the dry press method at the facility were said to be the best made in Manitoba at that time, used in mines at Flin Flon, a sewage pumping station and the Currie Block at Swan River, and an apartment building at Dauphin. While burning bricks in November 1953, the building caught on fire and was damaged. The company wrapped up, having operated for less than a year.


“A new industry for Swan River,” Swan Valley Star and Times, 14 June 1951, page 1.

“New brick plant makes test run,” Swan Valley Star and Times, 20 November 1952, page 1.

“Brick plant to go into operation May 1,” Swan Valley Star and Times, 12 February 1953, page 1.

“Brick plant now in operation,” Swan Valley Star and Times, 17 September 1953, page 1.

“Thank you,” Swan Valley Star and Times, 19 November 1953, page 1.

“Town of Swan River council minutes,” Swan Valley Star and Times, 12 May 1955, page 5.

100 Years in the Swan River Valley by Centennial History Book Committee, 1999, pages 559-560.

Manitoba Brick Yards by Randy Rostecki, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch Report, May 2010.

We thank Edwin Cotton for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 May 2020

Leary Brickworks

Manitoba Bricks and Blocks

A history of the manufacture of bricks and concrete blocks in Manitoba, based on research by Randy Rostecki for the Manitoba Historic Resources Branch and supplemented by information compiled by Gordon Goldsborough of the Manitoba Historical Society. .

Bricks | Blocks | People | Glossary

We thank Hugh Arklie, Gordon McDiarmid, and Heather Bertnick for their help in the development of this online guide. Financial support of the Thomas Sill Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. Additional information was provided by Ina Bramadat, David Butterfield, Neil Christoffersen, Frank Korvemaker, Ed Ledohowski, Ken Storie, Lynette Stow, and Tracey Winthrop-Meyers.

© 2010-2020
Randy Rostecki, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch, Gordon Goldsborough, and Manitoba Historical Society.
All rights reserved.

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