Bremen Iron & Metal Co. was founded in 1943 in Bremen by the Ochstein brothers–Charles, Isaac, Sam, & Abe–after buying the Bremen Junk & Wrecking Yard from Claude Mitchel in 1942. They moved from Maple & Whitlock (now a residential neighborhood) to US6 West where the NAPA Autoparts is now (1005 W Plymouth St), with the junk yard behind it on the north side. In 1952, their office and warehouse burned down, and they did business out of a scrapped school bus for a time.

Gertrude St location in South Bend

The business moved from Bremen to South Bend (2214 W Dunham St) in 1957 and expanded (to 3113 S Gertrude St) in 1959. The moves seem to have been related to problems with licensing, as a group of citizens wanted to close the business. In 1960, Charles’ son Larry started Larry’s Gas for Less in the building on Plymouth St but soon sold it to Art Muncy, and it became Art’s Gas for Less (altho the junk yard remained into the early 1980s).

When Charles died in 1966 at 55, Larry took over the company. They handled scrap metal and, in a Winamac plant, manufactured large scrap and refuse containers and spun off that division as Bremen Equipment Corp. in 1968. In 1969, Bremen Iron & Metal’s trash division merged with Superior Sanitation Service under that name, but the scrap metal business remained under its own name.

In 1980, they tried to expand again to a location off Ireland Rd (now Fisher Refrigeration at 59865 Market St). When that was rejected, they tried again with a location at 1120 W Sample St/1147 Prairie Ave. (it spans the large area)–now OmniSource recycling. During this time, the firm changed its name to Metal Resources Corp. and moved its front office to Fort Wayne.

By 1987, it was headed by former vice-president Daniel Rifkin when it was acquired by Sturgis Iron & Metal, Inc. By 1993, Larry Ochstein was living in West Palm Beach, Florida, when his mother, Ida [Bosell] Wolfson passed away.

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1960 - Ochstein orderd to remove bldg photo - South Bend Tribune - 4 Feb 1960