Worked at JOVA yard

I am originally from Newburgh, NY and am related to the Jova family. My grandmother's sister was married to Joseph Jova who I assume, was one of the "Jova Boys". The timeline might be right, though Uncle Joe might have been a grandson. He would have been born in the late 1800's.

I worked at the brickyard one summer between high school and college. I was a member of a seven or eight member "gang" who packed brick into the stacks that were strapped and shipped. We worked from 6 AM until 2:30 PM or whenever we packed 100,000 brick for the day. We also received a pay differential if we had to pack hot brick. We wore heavy duty leather mitts. Bathroom breaks were not encouraged. We drank water by a ladle out of a bucket. The jig in which we had to pack a 7-9 brick "line" was moved along every 10-15 seconds. It was great money for an eighteen year old, but very tough work. I drove home every day covered in red dust.

A high school buddy and his wife stayed with us on their travels. He gave me a "Jova" brick that he found since he worked on the construction of the Danskammer power plant. I've been back once or twice, but I could not find anything I recognized.

I enjoyed reading your site.

Jack Hornbeck, Norfolk, VA


  1. Hi Jack,
    Thanks for writing. We love first-hand accounts from people like yourself who actually worked in the brickmaking industry and JOVA was one of the TOP yards. If anybody missed it, here's a link to our ROSETON PAGE which has lots of JOVA info.

  2. I have acquired a clock built with wood from the "Jova mansion" and would like to find relatives of the Jova family who may find this to be a valuable piece of family history. Please email me if you see this, Jack Hornbeck!

  3. I have 2 perfect JJJ bricks that I found in my yard in Wappingers Falls, NY Anyone interested in them?

  4. Hi Jack, My name is Aaron Paige. I am NY state folklorist currently working on a project about the brick making industry in the Hudson Valley, specifically Westchester and Rockland counties. As part of this project, I am collecting oral histories from individuals who either worked in the brick industry themselves, or who had family members who worked in the industry. If you are interested, I'd love to have you be a part of this project. Please let me know if you are interested. You can reach me by email at Thank you kindly!