Bricks and Blocks

Despite the traditions that the bricks for the step-gable buildings of colonial Albany came from Holland on ships as ballast, most of the earthen materials used on the hundreds of buildings erected in the city before the Industrial Revolution were mined and made locally. The tradesmen or artisans who cut and baked them from native clays and rocks were a numerous and vital part of the early Albany production economy.

This page begins to offer information on the production of bricks and stones and on the brickbakers, stonecutters, and masons of early Albany.

Walls, bridges, and cobblestones and wells.

The first Pieter Quackenbush owned a brickyard as early as 1668. A branch of the Vandenbergh family owned a brickyard over at least three generations.

In June 1736, a brick making operation along Foxes Creek of Wynant Vandenbergh was referenced in the city records.

In 1756, five individuals were identified as either brick layers or masons on a census of householders taken by the British army.

Please be patient when following this link to more information about bricks on this website.



Sources: Links to websites about early American brickmakers: foundation eh! (clay & mud); local interest (always worthwhile); AOA (different but of value);

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opened: 4/1/08; last updated 11/25/12