Around 1885, Russian immigrant Joseph Ryttenberg (1820-1896) and his sons, Marcus G. Ryttenberg (1846-1906), Harry Ryttenberg (1843-1901), and Abe Ryttenberg (1861-1927), became owners of the Sumter Brick Yard. In operation until 1941, Sumter Brick Yard was the largest producer of brick in Sumter County, producing 200,000 bricks per week by 1890. According to Sumter newspaper The Watchman and Southron, “the mammoth brick factory of J. Ryttenberg & Sons” was located about a mile west of the former Sumter County Courthouse (built in 1821, demolished in 1905) and was connected to local railroad tracks. Per The Watchman and Southron, “These yards have furnished nearly all the brick needed in Sumter and her tributary towns, and large quantities are shipped to other cities and towns of this State and North Carolina. Wilmington (North Carolina) is a heavy customer of the firm.”1 Following Harry Ryttenberg’s death in 1901, his son, Irving Abraham Ryttenberg (1873-1945), managed the brickworks for J. Ryttenberg & Sons until Marcus’s death in 1906. At that point, Irving purchased the brickworks, which he managed with his son, Harry Joseph Ryttenberg (1904-1986), and William L. Hirshberg (1899-1981) until 1941.
1 “The Sumter Brick Yard.” The Watchman and Southron, April 16, 1890.