MR. EDITOR: - I have for some years past been a close observer of the facilities of the western part of our Island, for manufacturing brick and pottery, in their various branches. I am fully satisfied that the manufacture of clays, in various ways, can be carried on in that place, at a far greater profit, than else­where. The truth is, that in this section of our island, are found nearly all the varieties of the clays, and are of as good a quality, most of it, much superior to any that can be found within the limits of our state. Such are the natural facilities of the place, that it can be manufactured, to say the least, as cheap, nay, I am fully confident very considerably cheaper, than elsewhere.
The beds of clay are inexhaustible. Exca­vations in different places have been made to the depth of 30 or 40 feet, and appearances in­dicate that it could still be found, at an indefi­nite depth. There are also, streams of water descending from the high lands of the island, into the Sea, and into the Vineyard Sound, affording an ample and unfailing water power for manufacturing purposes. Our local situa­tion is central for a market in any of the great cities. I am confident that the various branch­es of brick-making, can be carried on here at a great profit, — at a profit of 25 or 30 per cent, if properly managed.
I learn that some of the Boston capitalists are waking up to the clay and brick business in our county. The two or three thousand tons of clay and sand shipped from our island last year to Boston and to Salem, exclusive of that shipped to New Bedford, Taunton and Provi­dence, has attracted attention. One Boston merchant has already made a handsome invest­ment in the town of Chilmark, for the purpose of carrying on the clay and brick business; and the reason of this is obvious: he can make doubtless a much greater profit in this than in any other business.
The reason why our people have not before this engaged in this business, is that they have not probably been aware of the extraordinary natural facilities which exist in this part of our island for carrying on this business; moreover, we and our fathers have many years back been occupied with the whaling business, which has been the chief source of our prosperity. Our attention has not been turned in this direction; and we have accordingly had no adequate and correct knowledge of these facilities, or of the profits to be derived from investments in this branch.
The above mentioned business has decided advantages over other pursuits which strongly recommend it to our consideration. No tariff can affect it. It is a profitable business — will become more so hereafter, as the price of bricks is on the rise. It has a great advantage in that the capital stock being, a portion of it at least, already invested in the clay-bank or pit, only requiring machinery, and fuel, and work­men, to turn it into cash. It can be carried on with a less investment of capital, and with a more immediate return of profit, than almost any other business. It is also a reliable busi­ness, being very uniform in its profits. It is not so with many other kinds of business. Whaling, for instance, is getting to be attended with many uncertainties, and on the whole is not a sure business; we see some of our best men leaving it, and investing capital in rail­roads and manufacturing establishments off the Island, greatly to the disadvantage of themselves and to the Island.
Having for some years been a close observer of the extraordinary facilities, of this part of the island, the natural creation there seeming to be waiting with its inexhaustible resources thus to be availed of and used, I could not withhold this notice from your Columns.