Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 141 years

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lac du Bonnet Brick Plant (Lac du Bonnet)

In the spring of 1898, a small mining boom took place in the area surrounding Lac du Bonnet and the Winnipeg River system that would impact on the region for years to come. In the same year, a group of men from Winnipeg and the Lac du Bonnet area had a vision for the future development of the natural resources. They formed the Lac du Bonnet Mining, Developing and Manufacturing Company, and as part of their enterprise, would extract clay from the banks of the Winnipeg River to manufacture bricks. A few acres of bush had been cleared away, clay samples taken and sent to the USA to be tested for suitability.

On receiving a favourable report, the company immediately ordered the necessary machinery from a USA manufacturer. A winter sled road was built along the old Manitoba-Ontario boundary from Lac du Bonnet to Shelly on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) line on which to bring in the new equipment. Saw logs were also cut and hauled on this road for the construction of new buildings. When the machinery arrived, a crew from Eastern Canada was hired to assemble the plant. With the building of the branch line from Molson, on the CPR line, to Lac du Bonnet (1898-1901), the necessary direct access to the outside market was available.

In 1901, J. D. McArthur bought the entire holdings of the Lac du Bonnet Mining, Developing and Manufacturing Company, which consisted of 810 hectares (2,000 acres) of prime timber land and the brick manufacturing plant. From the time the plant went into operation, it played a major role in the economy of the area and, by 1919, employed upwards of 50 men. The company produced bricks until 1920 when it was decided that the venture was no longer viable. For years following, left over bricks were given away, free for the taking, to residents of the area for the construction of local chimneys, etc.

Some of the bricks used in the construction of this monument were manufactured at the Lac du Bonnet Brick Plant.

Lac du Bonnet Brick Plant Plaque

Lac du Bonnet Brick Plant Plaque (August 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.26187, W96.05382
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Inter-West Fuel and Peat Company

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lac du Bonnet Sawmill

Historic Sites of Manitoba: John Duncan McArthur Commemorative Plaque

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Alex McIntosh Commemorative Plaque

Historic Sites of Manitoba: William Walter Wardrop Commemorative Plaque

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Edrans Brickworks (RM of North Cypress)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Leary Brickworks (Learys, RM of Lorne)

MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Lac du Bonnet Mining, Developing and Manufacturing Company


This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 May 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.

Search Tips | Suggest a Site | FAQ | Acknowledgements

Send inquiries to the MHS Webmaster.

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2020 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.