The Neptune Project: Background
Geographic Area and History
Sayre and Fisher Brick Company
Brick Making Process
Brick Types
Archaeological Investigations
Legacy in Sayreville
The Historical Significance
List of Figures, Photos, and Maps


In 1889, the Raritan River Railroad (RRR) attempted to build a spur line to the S & F yards through the land of Leonard Furman, a competitor. Mr. Furman refused to let the building proceed, so the company tried clandestinely to build at night. A clash ensued which resulted in the death of a railroad worker, and the owners of the railroad were thrown in jail. This railroad spur was built later from another direction (Musser, 1988: 13). After 1890, the 2.1-mile Sayreville Branch became one of the most active sections of the railroad in the area. Coal and lumber were brought in for brickyard operations, and clay and bricks were transported to markets. In 1912 the Raritan River Railroad constructed a branch line throughout the length of its plant (Karcher, 1953: 13). By 1912 it was not unusual at S & F Company to have 30 carloads (500,000 bricks) transported by rail in a day. S & F had an extensive system of narrow-gauge tracks extending from the clay banks to the yards. The locomotives originally ran on steam but switched to gas after WWII, and eventually, were abandoned. In the early 1940's truck hauling replaced shipping and railway transport of bricks to markets (Sayreville Historical Society, 1976:23; Deibert, 1983: 65). See a Raritan River Railroad photo.

Rail-based steam shovel. (Sayreville Historical Society, 2001.)

Mined clay being transported by railroad. (Sayreville Historical Society, 2001.)

RRRC Sayreville branch circa 1947 (Raritan River Rail Co., 1947 from Deibert, 1983)

Raritan River Railroad

This photo is reproduced with permission from David Hill. It shows Raritan Railroad Engine No. 19 in South Amboy, New Jersey in 1953.