These used brick pavers are the youngest we have at 95 years old. (more pictures)
When you think of classic red bricks, you’re probably thinking of Olean brick pavers. At the turn of the 20th century, Olean was one of the top three cities for brick production in New York State. Now, more than 100 years later, we have carefully recovered these used brick pavers for your next project.
Brothers George W. and Charles E. Foster were responsible for much of the brick production in Olean, which is located less than 50 miles from Jamestown, New York. In the 1890s and early 1900s, the Fosters founded the Olean Pressed Brick Company and Allegany Valley Brick Company, along with other brick-related ventures in New York and Pennsylvania.
These classic red brick pavers hail from the largest city in Cattaraugus County: Olean, New York, where brick-making was one of the “pioneer industries and long an important factor in the city’s economic life,” according to its daily newspaper, the Olean Times Herald.
In the early decades of the 20th century, Olean was home to at least four brick plants, including Allegany Valley Brick and Empire Brick. The longest lasting was Sterling Brick Co., which formed in 1909 when it took over the paving brick plant once operated by the Olean Pressed Brick Co.
Sterling Brick Co. quickly became known for its strong and durable products, made possible because the company owned a “large bank of shale of unusually high quality. This bank was more than 70 feet in height located about a quarter of a mile from the factory from whence it was ground to the finest of flour and formed into bricks.”
At its peak, the plant produced more about 40,000 10-pound blocks a day, or 8 million a year, and shipped throughout New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario. It employed an average of 60 workers per year. But then business took a turn, and the company stopped producing bricks by December 1940 and liquidated its equipment and machinery in September 1941.
Today, however, the proud tradition of Olean bricks survives with our selection of reclaimed street pavers, perfect for your next project. A 1925 photograph, depicting a street paved with Sterling Brick Co. pavers, included a caption that read: “This pavement is as smooth as the day it was laid and not one dollar has ever been spent on it for maintenance.” That’s the quality you can still expect from our historic Olean brick pavers today.