Tennessee Brick Maker General Shale Buys Watsontown Brick, Expanding Into Northeast, Canada

Tennessee-based General Shale said it has reached an agreement to buy Watsontown Brick Co. and will expand into the Northeastern United States and Canada.

General Shale made the announcement in a press release Thursday. The deal will close at the end of the year.

The deal adds a unique, high-quality brick line to Johnson City-based General Shale’s masonry list of products, the company said.

Watsontown Brick Co., 110 years old, is located in Watsontown, Pennsylvania. The brick company is a third-generation firm that produces a variety of bricks, along with high-quality pavers, General Shale said.

Founded in 1908 to produce street pavers, Watsontown Brick Co. grew its line to include residential, commercial and architectural products, the company’s website said. The company is now made up of three dedicated plants which produce 95 million bricks a year. Two operations produce extruded red shale and buff brick, while the third and newest plant built in 2008, manufactures molded brick.

Watsontown produces some of the “most traditionally crafted brick products in the U.S.,” General Shale’s press release said.

Charles Smith, president and CEO of General Shale, said, “We are excited to bring this outstanding company into the General Shale group as this acquisition will only strengthen our position as a leader in the U.S. brick industry. Watsontown Brick will expand General Shale’s presence throughout the Northeast and fortify our strong commercial and architectural platform.”

Watsontown Brick will retain its name as a subsidiary of General Shale. Mike Fisher, former owner of Watsontown Brick, will serve in an advisory capacity.

General Shale said it marked its 90th anniversary in 2018 and is one of North America’s largest brick, stone and concrete block manufacturers. General Shale operates 37 sales and manufacturing facilities. The company in 1999 joined Wienerberger AG of Vienna, Austria, which it called the world’s largest brick manufacturer.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “General Shale” by General Shale. 

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