The History
of the Swan River Valley
Manitoba, Canada

Swan Valley Clay Products

Good quality clay was known to be on the Bud Fraser farm SW 10-37-26. Many samples at different times had been sent away but it wasn’t until a board of directors were chosen that it actually became a reality. Members of the board were W.I. Steen - President, Ed Cottingham - Secretary/Treasurer, Mr. Neilsen, Bud Fraser, Don Sinclair and Arvid Brust. Several other people bought shares. A plant was built beside the railway on SE 29-36-27 south of Spruce Products. Edrans plant near Sidney, Manitoba had closed so the board bought the necessary machinery from them.

Bill Kowal was hired as the first operator. To make good bricks a special pressure was needed as well as a very hot fire. The board were of the understanding that natural gas was to come to the valley shortly. Ironic to think that in 1998 we’re still holding meetings for the same purpose!! The bricks made were said to be the best fire bricks made in Manitoba at that time. They were used in the mines at Flin Flon, the pumping stations in Swan River, the Currie Block to name a few. Mr. Brust used them when building an apartment in Dauphin.

Because of the intense heat needed to fire the bricks they had difficulty finding enough of the proper wood to burn.

While burning bricks in November of 1953, the building caught on fire and was destroyed.

The board wrapped up the company and paid back a portion of each dollar per share that people had paid into the business.

Information from Bud Fraser and Jean Peyton.
Submitted by: Amy Shaw

Brian Peyton built this from Swan River Clay Products material.

David Peyton now lives in this house.

Manitoba's Swan River Valley is an area rich in history. This material was a part of the 1998 Pioneer Centennial History Book project. If you would like the history of your area available online, have your historic group contact the Key Rock Group for information on electronic publication.