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MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Wilson Yard

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 1898, Magnus Wilson, a blacksmith, carriage builder and pump manufacturer by trade, purchased a Henry Martin No. 1 brick-making machine at Winnipeg. It was his intent to establish a brick yard by Gladstone near where he found brick-quality clay on an island in the Whitemud River. He hired Alex Clan and a Mr. Seeley, formerly from the Sidney Brick Yard, to run his plant. Employing only high-quality workers, they began to produce bricks on 3 May 1898. By the end of the first brick-making season, Wilson employed 18 men and shipped bricks along the Manitoba and North-Western Railway to Dauphin and Winnipeg. In 1899, he had escalated his production by increasing the capacity of the brick machines and building a large number of brick-drying sheds, to protect the new bricks from the rain, and constructed a new kiln with the capacity to produce 100,000 white-coloured bricks in one firing. Most of the brick he produced was used in the local Gladstone area. Wilson’s home on the island was constructed in 1905 using brick from his yard. He continued to make bricks well into the 1900s, after which he turned the former brick yard into an orchard and lived at the site until his death in June 1942.


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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 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.
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