The Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick Company, located in Petersburg (Coal Grove), Ohio, was a tile and brick manufacturer. After nearly 30 years of abandonment, it was razed in 2007.
The beginnings of the Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick Company began in the late 1800’s when John Peters constructed the Petersburg Brick Company along the banks of the Ohio River east of Ironton, Ohio on the site of the former Monitor Furnace. The company produced various types of brick for use in smokestacks, streets and for local manufacturers.5 It was later sold to the Deegan Brick Company and then the Forestdale Fire Brick Company. The company operated under Forestdale 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 nearby Portsmouth and by 1887, it was manufacturing blast furnace linings, rolling mills and coke oven brick specialties, among numerous varieties of fire brick and tile. In 1923, Mesars, Carlyle, and Labold, who had a large brick plant in Portsmouth, began experimenting with clay from Lawrence County, specifically in Petersburg and Sheridan. Finding the clay to be of good quality, the partners purchased Forestdale’s Petersburg plant.
The Petersburg facility specialized in building brick, which did not require “as much burning.” 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 34 states, Canada, and Cuba. Fire brick was produced at the nearby Ironton Firebrick Company.
Carlyle Labold constructed a new, modern factory which produced its first brick on May 5, 1925.5 An elevated span from the factory to the clay mines over Pike Street and the Norfolk & Western Railroad (N&W) was opened on April 24, 1929.5
By the fall of 1928, the Carlyle Labold Brick Company had become so successful that a modern tile plant adjoining the brick plant was constructed. The name of the company was changed to Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick to reflect its new product line.
The clay for the tiles was mixed the same as the brick but molded differently. The clay was simply shaped into tile instead of brick. The brick and tile plants were separate and the burning process to harden the clay was different. After the clay was shaped for the tiles, it was transported to a 295-foot long kiln, heated by gas, where it would bake for 100 hours.
The annual capacity of the plant was 12 million building bricks and as many tiles. The factory manufactured over 10 different shapes of faced building brick and around 10 different shapes of tile. The entire plant was electrically operated, except for the coal used in the kilns of the brick division and the gas kilns in the tile division.
On September 5, 1935, the plant was sold to the Mosaic Tile Company.5
The trestle over Pike Street and the N&W railroad was in operation until 1960, when the Ohio State Highway Department constructed a new US 52 freeway that necessitated its removal.5 In the early 1970’s, Mosaic Tile encountered financial trouble and in 1973, it operated under “debetor in possession.” It continued to operate 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, with the bid awarded to Disposal Solutions of Middletown for $330,000. Shortly 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 brick and tile plant was planned to be home to an intermodal rail, barge, and truck freight center.4 McGinnis 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. It would employ up to 53.
The intermodal center was never completed.
- 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.