Stafford’s five historic brick kilns are a distinctive feature beside the Tathra Road at the western end of Kalaru.
The first of these was built in 1939 and they were used for clay brickmaking until 1990. Huge quantities of bricks were manufactured in them (50,000 from each kiln in a single firing – sufficient for the building of two average-size house). These were used in Bega, Tathra and other south coast towns, as well as in buildings and power stations that were constructed by the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Authority. As well as providing employment to its own workforce, considerable ongoing work was provided by Stafford’s Kalaru Brickworks to local trucking companies and wood suppliers.
These brickworks are a significant example of mid-20th century industrialization on the NSW South Coast and are believed to be the last brickworks in the country to fire bricks that were hand-moulded in entirely wood-fuelled kilns.