Brick Farm and Barn
The Brickyard Barn is located on Cedar Road in Eliot, Maine; now the property of Larry and Carole Shirk, formerly the site of the Joseph Morin Brickyard Farm. This barn housed the work horses and livestock that helped feed the Joseph Morin family who owned and operated the Brickyard Farm from 1930 to 1965.
Mr. Morin produced from 600,000 to one million bricks during each operation of brickmaking here.
About seventeen brickyards existed here in Eliot from the beginning of the brickmaking time until Mr. Morin shutdown his brickyard at Cedar Road in 1965. These brickyards were all located near or on the Sturgeon Creek at the Piscataqua River. The shores here provided the ample clay and sand needed for the brickmaking process.
Brickmaking was an art. The supervisor of the brickyard or the owner was responsible for the proper baking time and temperatures to produce the bricks properly.
Power required to mix the large tubs of clay and sand mixture was accomplished by attaching a bar to a horse, having the horse walk in a circle, which in turn had a wooden arm unit in the clay mixture revolving around, mixing it well.
Many cords of hardwood were required to fuel the ovens needed for this operation. The trees were cut in the fall and winter and allowed to season so as to be dry wood at the time it was required for the ovens. Today, the farmhouse and barn are the only structures on the premises that are left from the brickmaking days. The farmhouse has been renovated, but the outside remains the same.
Many old photographs and the story of brickmaking can be found in the book entitled, “Brickyards in Eliot” by Edward H Vetter, copyright 1995, Eliot, Maine.