History of Oakfield Brickyards April 21

After the discovery of an abundance of natural clay on William Beebe’s Oakfield farm in 1854 and plenty of limestone available from the Ledge, the operation that became the Oakfield Brickyards and Lime Kilns, in its heyday, churned out about 4 million bricks a year. Retired teacher Al Messner will tell the story of the Oakfield Brickyards for the Fond du Lac Public Library’s History at Home program twice on Thursday, April 21: at 2 p.m. and repeated at 6 p.m. The programs are free; no registration required.

Messner’s program will include photos of the brickyards from the 1960s; the final brick was made in February 1983.

Messner, from Oak Center, taught science and math at Oakfield High School for 35 years. He serves on the Oakfield Town Board and is a member of the Oakfield Lions Club and Fond du Lac Area Retired Educators’ Association.

The library’s monthly History at Home series focuses on stories of local and state history on the third Thursday of the month. To ease congestion and overcrowding, History at Home programs are offered twice, at 2 p.m. and at 6 p.m. Upcoming programs include:

  • May 19: Lakeside Park Through Langdon's Eyes
  • June 16: Bootlegging and Moonshining in the Holyland
  • July 21: Prelude to War
  • August 18: Murder and Mayhem in 1800s Fond du Lac County
  • September 15: The Boys of Company E

In the photo: Smoke billowing from the Oakfield Brickyards signals that production is underway.


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