International Brick Collectors Association Holds Summer Swap and Convention in Grand Marais

People collect all kinds of things. Some collect baseball cards. Others collect stamps, coins, or antique cars. Some even collect old bricks. Especially those that are branded with company names and logos or the significant building they were once a part of.

The International Brick Collectors Association (IBCA) is holding its summer swap event, titled “The Great Northern Get Together,” at the Grand Marais Recreation Park and Campground June 9 and 10. 

The event, hosted by Colvill residents Jeff and Dana Bartheld, is open to the public.

According to Jeff they are expecting 60-70 people to attend from around the country. “We already have responses from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Virginia,” he said. “Lots of these folks have never been this far north.”

According to a brick collecting website, “Collecting old, branded brick is a
growing hobby. Some call it a crazy hobby, but to find, touch, and own a piece of history can be very rewarding…and fun.”  

The IBCA claims almost 700 members in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and France. Members collect bricks for rarity and beauty and for the stories that come with each one. Members are people from all walks of life. One longtime member, Clem Rinkmeyer, is said to have 17,000 bricks in his collection.

IBCA holds “brick swaps” three times each year in different parts of the country. At these events, bricks are traded (swapped) and not sold. Only members of IBCA may participate in the swap and no bricks are sold. 

There is an “Early Arrival” social event planned for Friday afternoon, June 9 at the Bartheld residence at 3911 East Highway 61 from 2 to 5:30 pm. The public is welcome to bring any bricks they may have that they would like information about or to sell. 

There will be a club banquet at the Cook County Community Center, a members only event, at 6 pm. Membership costs $20 per year and interested people can join at .

The swap area will be set up in a roped off area at the Rec Park on Saturday morning starting at 7 am. At 9 am the swap horn sounds and the swapping begins. Nonmembers will need to be outside the roped off area by 8:45 a.m. 

At 11 am there is a Club Benefit Auction for members.

For further information contact the Barthelds at 763-333-5144.