The beginnings of the Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick Company date to when John Peters constructed a brick yard along the banks of the Ohio River east of Ironton, Ohio on the former Monitor Furnace site. Known as the Petersburg Brick Company, the plant produced various types of brick for use in smokestacks, streets and for local manufacturers.5 It was later sold to the Deegan Brick Company until it was sold to the Forestdale Fire Brick Company.() The company operated for four years before John Peters, Jr. purchased the operations for $4,200 at a sheriff’s sale on July 11, 1895.5
The Petersburg Brick Company had its origins in Portsmouth, Ohio and by 1887, it was manufacturing blast furnace linings, rolling mills, and coke oven brick specialties, and many varieties of fire brick and tile.() In 1923, Mesars, Carlyle, and Labold, who had a large brick plant in Portsmouth, began experimenting with clay in Lawrence County, specifically in Coal Grove, formerly Petersburg, and Sheridan. Shortly thereafter, they purchased the Forestdale Fire Brick Company location.
Carlyle Labold constructed a new building, and on May 5, 1925, the first brick was produced.5 An elevated span from the factory to the mines over Pike Street and the Norfolk & Western Railroad (N&W) was constructed on April 24, 1929.5
The Coal Grove plant manufactured building brick, and differed little in fire brick, which was produced at the nearby Ironton Firebrick Company, as “not as much burning was necessary.”() After the brick was molded into form, they were baked in nine large burning kilns that lined the plant. After baking, they were distributed to thirty-four states, Canada, and Cuba.
The Carlyle Labold Brick Company had become so successful by the fall of 1928, that an up-to-date tile plant approximately 100 feet from the brick plant was constructed. The name of the company was changed to reflect its new products, and became the Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick Company. The raw material used in the company, clay, was gathered in the hills of Coal Grove, not more than 2,000 feet away from the plant. Mules carried the materials from the mines to a conveyor belt, where it was transported to the plant.5
The clay was mixed the same as the brick, but molded a bit differently: the clay was shaped into tile instead of brick. The two plants were entirely separate and the burning process (to harden the clay) was entirely different. After the clay was shaped, it was transported to a 295 (est) feet long kiln, heated by gas, where it would bake for 100 hours.
The annual capacity of the Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick Company was 12 million building bricks and as many tile, and employed over 100.() The factory manufactured over 10 different shapes of faced building brick, and approximately 10 different shapes of tile. The entire plant was electrically operated, except for the coal used in the kilns of the brick division. The factory also included a track spur from the N&W mainline that paralleled the brick factory.
On September 5, 1935, the plant was sold to the Mosaic Tile Company.5
Decline and Closure
The trestle over the roadway and railroad was in operation until 1960, when the Ohio State Highway Department constructed a new US 52 freeway.5
The Mosaic Tile Company went into “Debetor in Possession” in 1973, and operated under the Mosaic Tile and Structural Stoneware name until 1978 when all operations ceased.5
In 2006, McGinnis Incorporated purchased the 30.85-acre property.4 The Coal Grove Village Council requested bids for cleanup on the site in June, the bid going to Disposal Solutions of Middletown, Ohio for $330,000. Soon after, a $280,000 bid for contaminated soil removal was given to Environmental Demolition Incorporated of Covington, Kentucky. Remediation work began in July.4 Petroleum-contaminated soils were removed, along with asbestos tiles and pipes; some metal roofing was removed in preparation for scrapping. Demolition on the structures began in October and was completed by January 2007.
The former Carlyle Labold site was planned to be home to an intermodal rail, barge, and truck-freight center.4 McGinnis Incorporated announced they would spend $162,052 to cleanup the remainder of the property and dredge some of the Ohio River for the fleeting area for barges, and proposed to construct a 52,000 square-foot office building, a parking lot, and a docking area with piers, and employ up to 53. The intermodal center was never completed.
- Name: Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick Company
- Location: Coal Grove, Ohio
- Years of Significance: 1925
- Hall, H. C. “Future of Clay Manufacturers Bright in Lawrence County.” Huntington Advertiser 1 Sept. 1929.
- “Carlyle Tile is Sold to Boston Firm.” (unknown newspaper, publisher)
- “New Tile Department Being Planned at Carlyle Plant.” (unknown newspaper, publisher)
- “2006: A Year Not Soon Forgotten.” Ironton Tribune 30 Dec. 2006. 14 Feb. 2007 Article.
- Markel, Juanita. Our First 100 Years, Shine in ’89. N.p.: n.p., 1989.