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MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Nelsonville Brick Yard / Nelsonville Brick and Tile Company

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 the summer of 1879, Joe Rinn prepared a site to establish a brick yard two miles west of Nelsonville. Rinn had hoped to begin production in six weeks and sell his bricks at a reasonable rate. However, it seems as though this venture never got off the ground and there is no further mention of Rinn’s brick yard. In 1880, Thomas Moran started the Nelsonville Brick Yard that is believed to have been on the site previously developed by Rinn. Moran fired his first kiln of brick late in October 1880 and sold his product directly from the brick yard. However, by January 1881, Moran seems to have disappeared.

George Young, an entrepreneur from Winnipeg, attempted in late 1881 to continue manufacturing brick at Nelsonville but his deal fell through. By the spring of 1882, the Nelsonville Brick and Tile Company was formed by Henry McKay, a local businessman. It is believed that McKay started his brick yard at the site previously owned by Rinn. McKay hired L. S. Sims of Snowflake and planned to make 2,000,000 bricks in the 1882 season. Bricks from the Nelsonville plant were used in the summer of 1881 to construct the St. Thomas Anglican Church at Nelsonville and it supplied bricks for the veneer of Dr. D. H. Wilson’s residence and the expansion of a local hotel owned by McKay.

By late 1883 or early 1884, McKay stopped producing brick and was trying to sell off any of his remaining stock. As people at Nelsonville began to move to Morden, most of the town’s industry, including brick making, moved there.


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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 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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