The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

First Pottery

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The first pottery west of the Appalachians, was believed to have started in about 1785 by James Thompson, in Morgantown, WV. The manufacture of pottery in West Virginia developed primarily because pottery was expensive and difficult to transport from the nearest source, in Baltimore, MD. John Scott, Jacob Foulk, Hohn Thompson, and Francis Billingsley were among the first (European) potters.

By the end of the 1700s, pottery manufacturing had become an important industry in Northern West Virginia. Potter's clay of good qualities was available in several counties in that region of the state. Following the end of the Civil War, large banks of superior plastic clay supplied the needs of other potteries, including the Donahue stone pottery, established in 1866 in Parkersburg, WV.