The Milton Brick Manufacturing Company

The Broadkill River and its river banks were once home to a flourishing shipbuilding industry. During the eighteenth century, European settlers built vessels on the banks of the Broadkill and its tributaries. The forests along the river contained plentiful lumber for building ships. Early vessels provided for travel and transportation of products to markets in Lewes, Wilmington, Philadelphia and beyond. In 1737 the shallop Broad kill was the first of over two hundred Milton-built vessels to register in Philadelphia. By the early nineteenth century Milton had permanent shipyards where sloops, schooners and a brigantine were built, all before 1850. The shipbuilding industry was at its height in the 1860s and 1870s, flourishing well into the early 20th century.

To the best of our knowledge, there was a 19th century landing on the water frontage area of the proposed project site, where goods and cargo were loaded (and later bricks). It is also possible there was early 18th century shipbuilding activity at this site. Round Pole Bridge resident Pete Reed has knowledge of a sailor’s path that local mariners would use to gain access to the ship building and fishing areas. The site is also of importance for its association with the brick making industry. With shipbuilding in decline by the late 19th century, new industries like brick making and canning emerged to compensate for the loss.

The Milton Brick Manufacturing Company opened its brickyard in September 1887. At that time, it employed 15 men and the yard manufactured 200,000 bricks per month. The Milton Brick Manufacturing Company operated until 1929. Further research needs to be conducted into the history of the brick making industry in Milton. The Beardsley and Lofland brick mills were also known to exist around the same time and may have merged with the Milton Brick Manufacturing Company, pushing the final dates of operation into the 1930s. With water and railroad access, the brickyard was strategically located. Early in the yard’s history bricks were loaded onto boats via water access, and after 1897 bricks were shipped via the Queen Anne Railroad. Several homes built in the late 19th century in the Milton area used local brick in their construction. The bricks have a distinctively orange tone and are stamped “MILTON”.

The Milton Historical Society holds in its collection an account book and journal from the Beardsley brick operation, bill heads from the Lofland Brick Company, and several bricks made by the Milton Brick Mfg. Company
The Broadkill River and its river banks were once home to a flourishing shipbuilding industry. During the eighteenth century, European settlers built vessels on the banks of the Broadkill and its tributaries. The forests along the river contained plentiful lumber for building ships. Early vessels provided for travel and transportation of products to markets in Lewes, Wilmington, Philadelphia and beyond. In 1737 the shallop Broad kill was the first of over two hundred Milton-built vessels to register in Philadelphia. By the early nineteenth century Milton had permanent shipyards where sloops, schooners and a brigantine were built, all before 1850. The shipbuilding industry was at its height in the 1860s and 1870s, flourishing well into the early 20th century. To the best of our knowledge, there was a 19th century landing on the water frontage area of the proposed project site, where goods and cargo were loaded (and later bricks). It is also possible there was early 18th century shipbuilding activity at this site. Round Pole Bridge resident Pete Reed has knowledge of a sailor’s path that local mariners would use to gain access to the ship building and fishing areas. The site is also of importance for its association with the brick making industry. With shipbuilding in decline by the late 19th century, new industries like brick making and canning emerged to compensate for the loss. The Milton Brick Manufacturing Company opened its brickyard in September 1887. At that time, it employed 15 men and the yard manufactured 200,000 bricks per month. The Milton Brick Manufacturing Companyoperated until 1929. Further research needs to be conducted into the history of the brick making industry in Milton.

The Beardsley and Lofland brick mills were also known to exist around the same time and may have merged with the Milton Brick Manufacturing Company, pushing the final dates of operation into the 1930s. With water and railroad access, the brickyard was strategically located. Early in the yard’s history bricks were loaded onto boats via water access, and after 1897 bricks were shipped via the Queen Anne Railroad. Several homes built in the late 19th century in the Milton area used local brick in their construction. The bricks have a distinctively orange tone and are stamped “MILTON”. The Milton Historical Society holds in its collection an account book and journal from the Beardsley brick operation, bill heads from the Lofland Brick Company, and several bricks made by the Milton Brick Mfg. Company.

Read a recent article about developing the Milton Brick Company here: Sussex officials want state to review Brickyard project

Site Date : September 1887
Site Excerpt : Historic brick manufacturing company in Milton, Delaware. Opened in 1887.
Site Location :
Cave Neck Road
Milton , DE 19968

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