Nelson’s oldest and most productive brickyard. Started by Abiel Smith in about 1777, though bricks from chimneys in earlier Nelson structures suggest a brick source earlier, It was worked by him until acquired by Ebenezer Tolman in 1789. Tolman was a housewright by trade but soon operated a sawmill and this brickyard. Tolman operated it until 1827 when it passed to his son, Cyrus. Samuel Woods took it over in 1835. He and his son, Isiah, ran it until it was acquired by Joseph Felt JR. It was operated by Leander Felt probably until about the Civil War
The brickyard was one of three in Nelson, but, by far the largest. It is situated on a natural clay deposit by Burns Brook (also Brickyard Brook). Today one can see the pit where the clay was dug and several large piles of broken brick. In the beginning it was largely used for chimneys in the early homes. The early schoolhouses were rebuilt in brick in the early 19th century, but the big boost to the yards were the building of the woolen mill buildings in Harrisville. It is said that most of the brick for those has made at this brickyard.
The yard probably ceased production owing to lower demand with the shrinking population after the Civil War and an exhaustion of the wood supply for firing the kilns.