Around the turn of the last century, Enrico Pola arrived in Connecticut from Italy. Enrico started working in some of the brickyards that dotted the shores of the Connecticut River that took advantage of the rich clay deposits there. In the early 1900s, he was a manager of a brick company in Berlin. Then around 1920, Enrico moved to South Windsor and took over the Pleasant Valley Brick Company.
Enrico’s move to South Windsor, to take advantage of the natural clay was second nature. Brickyards had been operating in the area since the Colonial times and the Connecticut River Valley clay made outstanding bricks. His business grew and thrived, becoming one of the largest brick operations in the area. Enrico’s sons took over the business and renamed it Pola Brick after the family’s last name.
Pola brick was a family operation and the whole family worked there. When young Merwin Pola (named after two brick companies) was ten years old, he helped his father, Lewis, sort bricks in their brickyard. With three generations in the family’s brick business, Merwin grew to know and understand all types of brick. Today, if you bring him a brick from anywhere, he can probably tell you who made it, what kind it is and whether or not it is still sold. If it is not sold, he knows who makes the same type of brick.
In 1950, the company expanded into the retail business and sold the brickyard to Kelsey-Ferguson, the only brick manufacturer currently operating in the area. Lewis and his brothers went into the mason supply business and called their company Pola Building Supply.
From Pola Building Supply, young Merwin started his own business, Merwin Mason Supply, starting out in a small tobacco barn with one truck.
The company moved to the current South Windsor location on Chapel Road, opened a show room and purchased a number of trucks for delivery to job sites, selling to both contractors and homeowners. Merwin Mason Supply has relationships with brick manufacturers as far away as Georgia and Colorado. Much of their business comes to them by word-of-mouth, as both contractors and do-it-yourselfers know the company for the quality of service and extensive knowledge of what will work.
They call Merwin a brickologist. With his extensive knowledge of all types of brick, he can match your current installation with a product that will blend perfectly with what is already there. He can also recommend new, high-tech products that will help you get the specific look you want as well as give you the performance you need for special applications.
Categories: Manufacturing & Supply