HISTORY OF BEAVERTOWN BLOCK CO., INC.
Beavertown Block Co., Inc. was founded in Beaver Springs, PA in 1922 by Kimber Sidney ("K.S.") Kline, Sr. In that first year the infant company produced 4,158 concrete blocks by hand, using forms. Many of the first blocks were used to build Kline Motors in Beaver Springs, Pennsylvania. Within a few years, the company moved to Stahl's Quarry in Middleburg, close to a source of by-product used in the production of the block. This mutually beneficial relationship helped Beavertown Block Co., Inc. to enjoy moderate growth during the Depression. By 1934 the company had grown to four employees and produced 82,300 blocks annually. In 1938 the company produced its one-millionth block.
The war years of the early 1940s saw a sharp increase in demand for concrete blocks. In 1947 K.S. built a new plant approximately one mile east of Stahl's Quarry, where the corporate/sales offices and Middleburg production facility still stand. In 1956, after 34 years in business, K.S. sold the company to his son, Paul. That year, for the first time ever, more than one million blocks were produced in a year and the company grew to 15 employees. A Besser V3R Vibrapac block machine was purchased in 1961 and total production was 1,875,930 units for the year. The company grew rapidly and by 1966 annual production had increased to 3,169,362 units and distribution included all of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York. In 1967 Beavertown Block Co., Inc. merged with Markle Concrete Products Company in Pleasant Gap. Combined with a new automated mixing system, this merger enabled the company to provide better service and products. By 1969 production exceeded 4.3 million units.
The 70s saw continued growth for the company. In 1971 a new corporate office building was completed in Middleburg, with 75% of the materials used in the construction designed and manufactured by Beavertown Block Co., Inc. and Beavertown Cast Stone, Inc. (a separate business founded by Paul Kline in 1966 specializing in the manufacture of custom precast concrete structural and architectural panels). The Middleburg plant became completely automated in 1972 with the installation of a BECO ABC block-handling system and a PACO automatic block cuber. Having grown to 63 employees, the company continued to expand with the purchase of the Delvan Block Company, a competitor located in South Williamsport.
Anticipating a growing trend among architects who had discovered the aesthetic, timesaving, and structural values of split architectural concrete masonry, Beavertown Block Co., Inc. geared the Middleburg plant to manufacture block in various shapes and colors. With the addition of new equipment, the company was able to meet the demand for block and reached a milestone by producing its one-hundred-millionth block by the end of 1979.In 1981 Beavertown Block Co., Inc. built a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at the Pleasant Gap location. A V312F Vibrapac Besser block machine was added to the existing BECO ABC system in Middleburg in 1986, along with a new mixer and computerized batching systems to increase production capabilities. This improved system boosted production to 7,567,181 units by 1987. David L. Kline grandson of K.S. Kline and son of Paul Kline assumed the company presidency in 1988, having managed the company for the previous seven years. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the company has continued to update machinery and increased productivity, passing the two-hundred-millionth block milestone in 1995.
In August of 1996 Beavertown Block Co., Inc. purchased the assets of E. DeVecchis and Sons, Inc., a long-time rival block company located in McKee, PA, outside Altoona. The acquisition gave the company a third production plant and expanded the distribution capabilities.
In October of 1999 Beavertown Block Co., Inc. started construction of a 9,185 sq. ft. polishing and shot blasting facility. This state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind in the United States, far surpassing anything being used to this point in time.
Today the company operates its own fleet of 39 trucks and delivers products throughout central Pennsylvania, southern New York, and as far away as Ohio, West Virginia, Niagra Falls, and New Jersey.
During its 79-year history, Beavertown Block Co., Inc. has grown from one man hand producing block to 92 employees, many of whom are third- and even fourth-generation employees, using state-of-the-art equipment to produce a myriad of block products in a rainbow of colors. To date, the company has produced more than 241,000,000 blocks, enough to circle the earth more than twice. At the threshold of a new century, the owners and employees of Beavertown Block Co., Inc. hope to continue to keep pace with the growing demands of the times and remain the kind of company "where customers send their friends."
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