Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Bunker Hill Brick Plant

From the Bunker Hill Gazette, November 30, 1898:

The Bunker Hill Brick Plant stood on the south side of Alton Street adjoining Meehan's Plaza and possibly some ground on the north side.

When Charlotte and Art Thyer bought the property in 1987, there was still part of the old kiln in the basement of the house.  There is a brick basement wall with the date May 26, 1899 and the name John Herbst scratched into it.

A brick in the old carriage house is marked, built in 1910.  The patio is made out of six inch square bricks, one having the date of August 19, 1899.  There are several bricks with the Star of David imprinted on them.  One brick in the sidewalk has the initials J. H..  The carriage house had room for the buggy on one side and on the other side was a place for the horse.  There is a display of bricks from the old Herbst Brick Factory at the museum, donated by Charlotte Thyer.

From the Bunker Hill / Woodburn History Book, March 6, 1889:
Another brick maker in Bunker Hill was Frank Lancaster.  Mr. Lancaster came to this country from England in 1841.  He was the pioneer brick maker in this place, if not in the county.  The first year he was here, he made the bricks for the old Congregational Church.  he then made 50,000 bricks for a massive chimney for the "Old Red Mill".  He also made the bricks for the Bunker Hill Military Academy, and bricks for the stores in the business area.

NOTE: Read more info about Francis Lancaster at

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, August 13, 2015, March 12, 2015.

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