Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: La Riviere Brickyard (La Riviere, Municipality of Pembina)

A brickyard operated east of La Riviere, in what is now the Municipality of Pembina, from early 1902 for about a decade. Incorporated as the Press Brick and Tile Company, the firm’s President was Winnipeg businessman Elisha F. Hutchings, with investors including William Brydon, Hugh Armstrong, E. L. Drewry, and J. A. Davidson. Four kilns were constructed in early 1903, with four more later that year. The local gray shale produced brick that, when fired, ranged in colour from pink to deep red. Among the first buildings made using bricks from the facility was the La Riviere School (1903). The facility was sold in mid-1906, with Brydon assuming control. It was renamed the Phoenix Brickworks in 1910 and sold again in 1913. A downturn in the economy, combined with the advent of the First World War in 1914, doomed the plant and it never reopened.

The buildings of the brickworks were eventually demolished and the site was occupied for a time by a cattle feedlot. It is presently vacant.

Postcard view of the La Riviere Brickyard

Postcard view of the La Riviere Brickyard (circa 1908)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2015-0005

Former site of the La Riviere Brickyard

Former site of the La Riviere Brickyard (May 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.23927, W98.67449
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Press Brick and Tile Company / Phoenix Brick Works

Sources:

“New brick manufacturing co.,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 May 1902, page 8.

Turning Leaves: A History of La Riviere and District by La Riviere Historical Book Committee, c1979. [Manitoba Legislative Library, F5649.L38 Tur]

This page was prepared by Chris Thompson, Gordon Goldsborough, and Randy Rostecki.

Page revised: 9 May 2020

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