Historic Resources Industry Buckland Brick Company

Buckland Brick Co.

portraint of 5 Buckland brickmakers of Brighton, NY

The Bucklands of Brighton
Original illustration by Leo Dodd

Buckland Boys

The sketch at right was meant to illustrate the possibility of one brick company, (Buckland Brick) that may have been operated by members of the Buckland family. Five members of the Buckland family were involved in Brick manufacture. The three brothers Abner, Amos B. and Leonard, (shown in the back row standing), then in later years Orin, son of Abner, and Warren son of Leonard. They would build a brick business to last most of the nineteenth century. Family style business.

The story of the Buckland Brick & Tile Co. is not a clearly documented history story. To tell the story from small segments of recorded history over a nearly hundred year period is like working a large puzzle with many pieces missing, resulting in an unclear picture. The fact is that the Bucklands were leaders in the Brighton community of Brick Manufactures, well respected, and prosperous. The family leader, Abner Buckland Jr., was a hard working, determined but very private person.

Where stories abound about Gideon Cobb and his involvement in the community, little is found of Abner Buckland Jr. to trace his business or personal activities. We find the fact that Abner Jr. did not even join the local Pioneers Club, a much respected organization, wherein Oliver Culver and Gideon Cobb and others shared, retold and explained their pioneer history, to have been an indication of his very, very private nature.

The Buckland family were dealt a harsh blow when, having lost there land in ~1818, they lost their father in 1819. Captain Abner Buckland Sr. moved to Brighton from Phelps where he had a successful farm for fifteen years. He purchased land on Culver Road at the north west corner of the now intersection of East Main Street and Culver Road diagonally across from the present East High School. His family in 1815 consisted of his wife Alice 45, children: Abner Jr. 18, James 15, Amos B. 11, Curtis 11?, Warren 7, Leonard 4 and a daughter, age unknown. Captain Abner must have been successful at farming, for he supported his family in the Town of Phelps for approximately 15 years, before moving to Brighton in 1815.

The loss of the farm may have been due to bad weather or a blight which may have destroyed his crop, leaving him unable to meet the loan on his property, and foreclosure followed. Were the Bucklands brickmakers at that time? We tend to believe not. They had purchased land with sandy soil that rested at the edge of the ancient glacier Lake Iroquois and probably, in 1818, unaware of the clay fields off Monroe Avenue about a mile away. The following will relate the the recorded information concerning the Buckland family & Brighton Brick.

Abner Buckland Jr.

portrait of Abner Buckland

Abner Buckland
Original illustration
by Leo Dodd

Being the oldest son at the time of his fathers death Abner was selected to lead and support his family. The first choice seems to have been acquiring cash and making a down-payment on land in Brighton. He purchased land that was along Winton Road near Westfall Road, somewhat away from the expensive lands along the Erie Canal or near a main highway, but land that was good for farming and also containing an underlay of clay for brickmaking, several miles south of the City of Rochester.

Historical Record: Abner Buckland was a son of Captain Abner Buckland and grandson of David Buckland of early memory. He was born in Burlington Vermont October 19, 1797. When three years old his father removed the family to Phelps, Ontario County, NY, where he purchased a farm of 50 acres, upon which he lived until 1815. In the fall of the same year 1815 he moved to Brighton and bought the farm afterwards owned by Mr. Schank, then a dense forest, cleared one acre, and built a log house. Being unsuccessful in business he was unable to meet his payments and lost all his property.

Hard labor and the privations of a new country brought on a disease soon after, from which he died, leaving his eldest son Abner, then eighteen years old, penniless, to care for his widowed mother, five brothers and a sister. He went to work with uncommon energy and enterprise, and found, after six years of untiring industry, that besides supporting the family, he was in possession of $150 in money. With this, after carefully looking over the country, he purchased fifty acres of wild woodland, located about one and one-half miles from Brighton Village. He immediately erected a log house on the place, and after clearing a small piece, commenced the manufacture of brick, which he carried on extensively, in connection with farming, over thirty years.

Many of the finest structures in Rochester were built of brick made under his supervision. In 1830 he built the
brick house which he occupied until his death, May 16, 1865 at the age of sixty-eight years. He married, February 5, 1824, a young lady of Stafford, Genesee county, by whom he had eight children, five sons and three daughters, only two of whom survived him. His wife Fanny, died November 28, 1861, aged about sixty years.

Reference: Book:…History of Monroe County, 1788-1877 by Prof. W. H. McIntosh..page 242

Interpretation of Record: Abner, born in 1797 was 17 years old in arriving in Brighton. Abner was 23 when his father died in 1919 and he assumed leadership of family. (not 18 as stated above) 1919 + years of untiring industry = 1925…when Abner purchased land & started a Brick Business. May 5, 1827 Nathaniel Gorham Est. sold 50 acres to Abner Buckland, Lot #30 (Earliest land record found)

The Buckland Brickyard shown on 1852 Map is on Lot #31? We lack the land records to prove when the Lot 31 Brickyard was established.

All census records of Abner list his occupation as a Farmer. He never listed “Brickmaker” as his main occupation, yet the notice above says.”he manufactured bricks for over thirty years”…but there is no record of his brick business that we could find.

Our guess is that Abner purchased land @ the Twelve Corners and @ the corner of Westfall and Winton Road. He built a log house at the Twelve Corners and a Brickyard at Westfall Road. The Twelve Corners log house was converted to a brick home about 1830. Leonard ( @ age 19 in 1930) may have taken over the operation of the Westfall Brickyard and moved in the Westfall brick home.

Amos B. Buckland: 1882 Remembrance of Amos B. Buckland: Some Early Recollections: An Old Citizen Interviewed:

portrait of Amos Buckland

Amos Buckland
Original illustration
by Leo Dodd

Old Times Brought Vividly to View in Rochester Union Advertiser: June 16, 1882 – “Observing our aged citizen, Amos B. Buckland, gazing thoughtfully at the site of the National Hotel and the ruins of the old Daily Union building, a reporter inquisitively accosted him.” “You seem to be deeply interested in this work of demolition, Mr. Buckland!” “Yes it makes me think of the long ago when I stood here a small boy and saw these lots auctioned off at $60 an acre.”
“Tell me about this Mr. Buckland, and let us have a little of your early history.” “Well said Mr. B.,” “my father was Capt. Abner Buckland, who came from Connecticut to settle in Western New York. I was born in Phelps, Ontario county, in 1804. In 1814 my father moved to Brighton and located on the tract of land which is now known as the Schenck farm and lying within the city limits. He paid $7 an acre for this land, which was little better than a wilderness. Trees had to be cut down to make a roadway for carts, oxen being the only roadsters we had in those days. My father was the seventh family to locate in the town of Brighton… The Village of Rochester had then commenced to settle, there being about two hundred inhabitants in the place. There was no bridge across the Genesee.(see note)”

“Though a boy of but 10 or 11 years, I frequently went down to the Village. In 1815 there stood a little Tavern where the Powers Building now is, built partly of logs and partly of boards. As I was passing by this in the year mentioned I saw a sign “Auction” posted up on the Tavern, and curiosity prompted me to stop and see what was going on. I found that they were selling village lots, – and speaking of the National Hotel and the other buildings before us, partly torn down to give place to more magnificent structures, I saw an acre of ground where these buildings stand sold by auction for $60. It was bid off by a man named Jerry Hoyt, who built a cooper shop there. Another acre where that block (Baker’s) on the other corner stands, was sold at the same price and was bid off by Jacob Howe, father of Jacob Howe Sr., who carried on a bakery there.”

“You are pretty intimately connected with the early newspaper business of Rochester were you not, Mr. Buckland.” “I should say so. While I was a clerk in the first store on the East Side of the river, kept by a man named Joseph Lambert, in 1823 or 24, Mr Everard Peck came from Connecticut with a little printing machine. He proposed to get up a quarter sheet.(*Note #1) newspaper, and engaged me to work up sufficient circulation on the East Side to warrent the undertaking while he worked up the West Side. He inked the roller and I turned the crank to strike off the first sheet. We then sat down to read the proof and had a hearty laugh over it. This was in 1825. The paper was issued at two shillings a quarter, for the first six months. It was named the Monroe Republican, and continued to bear that name until the kidnapping of Morgan, when it became an anti-Masonic Sheet. Subsequently the old name was reconsidered and the paper passed from time to time, as you know, into the hands of such men as Dawson, Tucker, Strong, Porter and others.”

Note #1hellip; Everard Peck, Village Trustee 1817, Established Roch. Telegraph, Book seller / 1827 City Directory

“I also helped build the first bridge across the river and drew the first brick across it with cattle and cart from the brick yard at Clover Street. I drew 16,000 for a man named Jackson who put up the small building which still stands
at the corner of Ford Street and Buffalo as it then was called.”

Note #2:…Bridge over Genesee River built in 1812, /p66, Vol. I , 1922 Rochester Historical Society ?

Amos must have meant another Bridge for he was not in the City in 1812.

Note #3: Joseph Jackson, a Mason @ Buffalo St. (West of the Canal) / 1827 & 1834 City Directory & 1830 US Census.

“What was your experience with the first steamboats and railroads, Mr. Buckland ?” “Well I left here for New York City in 1828, and went down river from Albany in the Steamboat “Fulton” , the first steamboat made by Fulton which was propelled by a single beam. We left Albany at 5 PM and steamed all that night and the next day arriving at New York at 11 PM the next night. Fulton was acting as Captain in command of the boat… Since then I have traveled the same waters in seven hours. I have had the pleasure of riding with the old Commodore Vanderbilt when he was Captain of a river boat. Speaking of railroads, when I was to New York in 1829 or 1831 I saw advertised in a paper a model of a railroad which was on exhibition at the American Institute, and I went to see it. It was built around the half of the Institute – a building some two or three hundred feet long, the wooden rails being aligned to the floor.

The car was an open box on four wheels fifteen inches in diameter. The wheels were made of wood with a flange cut on to keep them on track. We got on and propelled the contraption by pushing it along with a cane. In 1830 the Legislature authorized the construction of a road from Albany to Saratoga, a distance of sixteen miles, if the right away could be procured from the farmers free. This was secured and a wooden track was laid. It was completed in the spring of 1831 and the Legislature being about to adjourn it was arranged to have an official excursion over the road. A large delegation of state officials and legislators made up the party and by invitation I happened to be with them. The cars were simple stage coaches on wheels, drawn by horse, with a relay at halfway point. Subsequently the Albany-Schenectady
road was built and run at first by horse power.”

Turning around toward the Court House Mr. Buckland remarked, “This is a building I helped build. When the subject was first broached two plans were drawn – one providing for a brick structure and one for stone. Neither of them was adopted. The Common Council concluded to take the brick plan and the job was let to Baker and Cobb, who got some materials and commenced work. Stillwell was Mayor at the time and I talked with him about the matter. He was of the same opinion as myself that it would be too small a building. Plans were then laid to break up the project. A public meeting on the subject was held back of the Arcade. Then the Supervisors were called together and they decided to join with the city, and build an imposing structure. The city to pay $30,000 and the county the balance which made the cities share almost one third and the county’s two thirds. The city was to have preemption right to use one half of the building until the county wanted it for purposes of its own, which the county was to pay back the $30,000 with out interest. Twenty years after the county called for the building and had through some chicanery, of which it is not necessary to speak, to pay not only the $30,000 but $25,000 additional. I could tell you a long story about this transaction, and other old time reminisces if you had the time to listen…But enough for the present. Hope we should meet again soon, Good-bye”

Note 4: Amos died two years after the above interview:

The above article states: “I drew the first brick…from the brick yard at Clover Street. I drew 16,000 brick…” What year did this take place? Who was Amos working for? Where was this Brickyard located? Clover Street? Did his brother Abner have a Brickyard on Clover Street? We have never found a Clover St. map location for a Brickyard. Isaac Moore lived on Clover St. but he did not come to Brighton ’till the year 1824. Isaac Moore was a Brickmaker but probably not until 1829 when he purchased 71 acres, on Clover Street, from Oliver Culver.

Amos B. Buckland Summary:

  • Amos B. Buckland, born 1804…was 15 when his father died in 1819.
  • Buckland, Amos B. Clerk Clerk, Boards Plerson Rochester/ 1827 City Directory
  • Amos B. was a Rochester City Merchant (Dry-Goods) and most often referred to himself as a Merchant
  • His store was located @ 53 Main Street & faced North Saint Paul Street also.
  • Amos B. Buckland appointed Inspector of Common Schools, in Rochester’s 5th Ward 1834
  • Amos B. Buckland, Dry Goods Store / Rochester City Directory 1835
  • Amos B. purchased lots in Brighton, 1835: 52 acres /Lot # 31, 1839: 112 acres / lot # 39<
  • Amos B. owned and sold farm property in several sections of Brighton but also maintained a city residence.
  • Amos B. was married in 1841 …moved to Brighton 1845?
  • Amos B. Buckland was elected Inspector of Elections in the Fifth Ward of Rochester 1842
  • Amos Buckland of Brighton was impaneled on the US District Court as a Grand Juror…May 20 1846
  • Amos B. Buckland shot while hunting in Henrietta, September 1, 1846
  • Amos B. Buckland seriously wounded when shot as gun discharges August 28, 1848
  • Amos B. occupation: Brickmaker, prop value $15,000, 1850 US Census, Town of Brighton
  • Twelve (12) Irish laborers were living @ same address.
  • 1850 was the one & only listing of Amos B, as a Brickmaker.
  • The loss of his wife Sarah in 1858, leaving him with five young children to raise, may have changed his way of life. Children ages 1858: Mary Ann 15, Elizabeth 12, Julia 9, Alma 6 & Amos B. Jr. 3, a similar situation as Jonathan Town…but Amos was surrounded by Buckland’s in the area to help out, Jonathan was not.
  • Cattle stolen from A. B. Buckland, of Brighton, March 18, 1859
  • His residence in the City of Rochester, 48 Pearl Street in 1860 and he also maintained a Brighton farm residence or property.
  • Buckland, Amos B. home 48 Pearl Street 1863/1864 Rochester Directory
  • Buckland, Amos B. …48 Pearl Street… 1870 Rochester Directory
  • Buckland, Amos/ age 65 / occupation: farmer, 1870 US Census. Monroe Co., Town of Brighton:
  • Amos B. Buckland home Brighton., Occupation: Farmer… 1880 US Census
  • Amos B. Buckland home @ Pinnacle Ave. near Field St., occupation: Farmer 1880-1881
  • Amos B. Buckland died @ the residence of his son-in-law, 68 South Goodman St. June 24, 1884

Amos B. Buckland Summary: We have found only two references to connect Amos to the Buckland Brick Business. The first was his remembrance of transporting brick in the 1820’s and the second was the 1850 US Census listing him as a Brickmaker and having 12 laborers. He, Amos, was listed as a Farmer or Merchant in most listings of the directory…the title “Brickmaker” only appeared once. Amos lived on Westfall road only a short distance from the 1852 map identified location of the Buckland Brickyard on Winton Road. But Leonard was living in the house next to the Brickyard on Winton Road. …We always thought he was in charge of that yard. So we have some unresolved questions and an unclear history. Amos seems to have maintained his City connections more than Abner. We know that Amos was involved in the business but not to what extent.

Death of A. B. Buckland – “Yesterday afternoon occurred the death of another of the pioneer settlers of Monroe County in the decease of A. B. Buckland at the advanced age of 80 years. Mr. Buckland came to Rochester a mere boy, in 1814, when nearly all the territory east of the river was covered with primeval forest. He assisted in clearing away the timber and helped construct the corduroy road along what is now Main Street. When a young man he went into business as a merchant and opened a store on the present site of Burke, FitzSimons, Hone & Co. and continued in business there until 1845. At that time he purchased a farm in Brighton and soon afterwards moved out there, which was his home until the last few years, when he took up residence with his son-in-law, Albert Ades, 68 South Goodman street, where he died.

Of the five brothers of the deceased, all of whom lived to an advanced age, only one, Leonard Buckland of Brighton survives. The deceased also leaves one son, A. B. Buckland Jr., of this city, his wife having died a number of years ago. Mr. Buckland had lived to see a city spring from a wilderness and was one of the vice presidents at the semi-centennial celebration of the existence as a city. During his long residence in Monroe County the deceased had built up a most enviable reputation for integrity and probity of character which surrounded him with a large circle of admiring friends during his entire life.”

“Some Early Recollections: An Old Citizen Interviewed – Old Times Brought Vividly to View” – Story in Rochester Union Advertiser: June 16, 1882

Leonard Buckland:

portrait of Leonard Buckland

Leonard Buckland
Original illustration
by Leo Dodd

Article in Rochester Daily Democrat at Thursday, September 22, 1853:

“Mr. Leonard Buckland, of Brighton, has erected a noble, substantial brick block on the east side of South Saint Paul Street, between the blocks owned by Mrs. West and Mr. McMinimy. It has a front of 50 feet, runs back 80 feet, and rises four stories. This makes a complete pile of brick stores from Main to Ely Street and closes a gap which has long remained open.” Note: Leonard was 42 years old in 1853…and evidently very rich!!

1855 NYS Industrial Statistics:

Leonard Buckland, Brick Manufacture, Real Estate Value $4,000, Tools & Machinery Value $2,000

From 1895 Book:… Buckland, Leonard, than whom no man living in the Town of Brighton can claim a longer residence, was born at Phelps, NY in 1811, his parents removing to Brighton three years later. His father was Abner Buckland from Hebron, Conn. who settled at Phelps in 1804. Of six sons and one daughter, Leonard is the sole survivor. For forty years he was a brick manufacturer, besides having large farming interests and being a contracting builder in Rochester. Always a Republican, his life was too busy for political affairs. Mr. Buckland was first married in 1834, and his three daughters, Almira, Edna and Harriet, are married and residents of Brighton. He has also one son, Warren C. He has lived for sixty years on the same farm, and his personal reminiscences are naturally interesting. He distinctly recollects Sam Patch’s acrobatic feats of 1825.”

Ref. Book: _Landmarks of Monroe County NY by Peck, William Farley, 1895, p.184

  • Buckland, John, age 35 male, occupation: Farmer, prop value $10,000…1850 US Census, Town of Brighton
  • 1863/1864 Rochester Directory @ Rochester Public Library: Buckland, Leonard, Brickmaker: home 26 Marshall
  • Data from Brighton Business Directory, Monroe County 1869-1870: Buckland, Leonard (Rochester P.O. ) (Buckland & Son)
    • Data from Brighton Business Directory, Monroe County 1869-1870: Buckland, Leonard (Rochester P.O. ) (Buckland & Son)
    • Buckland & Son (Rochester P.O.) Leonard & Warren L. Lot 31
    • Props of Brick & Tile Yard & Farmers 128 Acres
  • Data from 1875 NYS Census, Monroe County, Town of Brighton:
    • Leonard Buckland, age 63, born in Ontario, County NYS, occupation: Farmer Lavinia Buckland, age 45, Wife

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