Duane F. Alwin

Document Type



The Alwine family name had been associated with brickmaking in York and Adams Counties at least since the early 1850s, when Peter Samuel Alwine started his first brickyard on a farm in Paradise Township of York County.1 He learned the trade of brickmaking during his youth and by the age of seventeen had become a skilled artisan. He learned how to make bricks by working in the spring and summer months at a brickmaking operation in Peach Bottom Township, located in the southeastern corner of York County. He did not set up his own brickyard until later, and following his marriage to Catharine Dahlhammer in 1860, he moved his brickmaking facilities to the farm where they settled in Paradise Township, near the Borough of Berwick (now Abbottstown) in Adams County. During that time, Mr. Alwine also engaged for varying periods as a schoolteacher, country merchant, and farmer. Later, he established a brickyard at Spring Grove in York County, and eventually another at Berlin Junction, near New Oxford in Adams County. Over the years, he attained a reputation as a man of considerable learning and sound business judgment.

After his death, in 1895, his sons William and Lewis Alwine continued the business under the name Alwine Brothers Brickyard, and later William’s son Charles Emory Alwine would become president of the firm. Following Charles Alwine’s retirement, and three generations of Alwine leadership, ownership of the company was transferred in 1978 to the Glen-Gery Corporation of Reading. This article chronicles the history of the Alwine Brick Company from its beginnings to its final years, including more than a century at Berlin Junction, Adams County, Pennsylvania. [excerpt]