Arrowhead Concrete Works was started in 1937 by Carl Martin Carlson and his sons Hjalmar Carl (Jolly) and Carl Bertil (Bert). The business consisted of manufacturing concrete block by hand and then delivering them to local masonry contractors. Several years thereafter, they were joined by their brother Carl Anders (Andy) who assisted in organizing the accounting and office management of the business.
The original site of Arrowhead Concrete was in a gravel pit near the intersection of US Highway 2 and the Hermantown Road. In the 1940's, the business was moved to it's current site near the intersection of Highway 53 (Miller Trunk Highway) and Highway 194 near Duluth, Minnesota.
The Swedish immigrants worked hard building their business. Work was interrupted for World War II. Jolly and Andy served in the armed forces and Bert, deferred for medical reasons, worked in the shipyards. The War ended and the brothers returned home to continue their business and enjoy the prosperity following World War II.
In 1958 Martin Carlson retired and the three brothers added ready-mix concrete to complement what they already offered the construction industry. Over the years automation and computerization increased the capacity and efficiency to produce quality concrete products.
In the 1960's, a 3rd generation started working in the block plant. Jolly's sons, Jim and Jerry and Andy's son Doug started their careers in the concrete products business. In 1971, Mary Carlson, Jolly's daughter, began working in the office and continues to do so today. With more involved in the family business, expansion was realized.
In 1975 Jim, Jerry and Doug incorporated Lakehead Concrete Works in Superior, Wisconsin. The following year, the Brenny-Dahl Block Company of Cloquet, Minnesota was acquired from Mr. Ted Brenny and Mr. Art Dahl. Territory served now included northeastern Minnesota to the Canadian border, west to Grand Rapids, south to Pine City and northwestern Wisconsin from Superior to Ashland. Types of jobs expanded from residential foundations to commercial, industrial and governmental projects.
In the 1990's, a fourth generation was employed in the business. Doug's son Jason and Jerry's sons Jeremy, Ben and Jon worked in various capacities. In 2007, a mixer mounted 53' Theam Conveyor and in 2013 a 105' telescopic Telebelt conveyor were added to the fleet to provide a concrete placing service for the customer base.
Today a wide array of concrete masonry units to include standard, lightweight, rockface and colored block are manufactured by our concrete block production plant. Ready mix concrete is computer batched and delivered by a fleet of both conventional and front discharge concrete mixers. Dump trucks are used to deliver sand and gravel and concrete block trucks to distribute masonry products.