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The Town Of Wrenshall Is Famous For Their Brickyard – Our Town

Photo: Homie Kates

It’s hard to travel through the town of Wrenshall today and not see or hear a reference to the “brickyard”.  Whether it’s the “Brickyard Restaurant,” or “Brickyard Days,” a town festival in August. It probably doesn’t make sense unless you hear the story of how a gentleman named Mr. Habhegger discovered brick clay in the small town of Wrenshall in 1883.

After large white pines were cleared, Mr. Habhegger started to construction many buildings to house the brick making operation. First, a house for his family, and another for the men that would work in his brick plant. Of course, remember the year, they needed cows for milk, horses to help with farm work and a blacksmith shop. I’m sure they would balk at our modern day claims that we “work hard”. While we do, in our own rights, their manual labor was far more taxing.

The brick plant itself needed a large building. Here they had to mix the mud, form and cut the bricks. Then, move the formed bricks to a conveyor belts where they were hand-picked and placed in wheelbarrows. They need to be moved “gently” to drying sheds.

Drying was an intricate task, because air had to be able to circulate around the entire brick. After they were dry, they were again moved to a kiln, the heat of the kiln burned for 13 days to harden the brick.

After they were cooled, they were shipped across the US to be used in buildings.

More memories of the Habhegger Brickyard [here].

Now, you can visit the Brickyard Restaurant, where “homemade” was handed down from Mama Laveau to her daughter Caroline Johnson and her husband Byron.  While you’re enjoying your meal in the building abundant with bricks, you just might hear more  tales of brick making in Wrenshall from the long-time locals.

Photo: Homie Kates

Wrenshall is especially busy the first weekend in August!!  Mark your calendar for the Brickyard Days Celebration, everyone is invited!

It’s Friday and Saturday, August 3rd and 4th in Wrenshall!! Event starts Friday from 3:00-7:00 with a Classic Car Show in the park, Wizard’s Kingdom with inflatables and a bungee trampoline, pony rides and crafters! The Wrenshall Rumble Wrestling starts at 7:30. Tickets on sale at local Wrenshall businesses or by email at brickyarddays@msn.com. Saturday events include a 5-K, kids’ fun runs, parade, Wizards Kingdom, crafters, music, dancers, firefighters challenge and more!

Register for the Brickyard Days 5K [here].

 

 

 

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