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River Hopping 2017:
and Wellsville


Above, the Google map with added arrow that points to the wrong location for the Sterling factory; it might have been a sales office.

Below, the current Google satellite map that is obviously outdated because it shows the plant in operation.

More photos to follow, but above is Google's streetview of Sterling.
The video is missing, but here's a link to a 2011 story at WellsvilleDaily.com with a photo of the Sterling plant as it was in 2004, shown above with a pile of greenware china in front of the silos. The story also tells in somewhat mystifying detail of plans by an outside company to jumpstart production at the plant. That seems to have been a failure.
Shards were hard to find in the big field with the clay silos, but across the street, in another field, the ground was littered with them. Identifiable patterns, below, included Boss Hotel and Bickford's.
Above, known shards from the B&O's Centenary pattern and the Greenbrier Hotel. Below, L├╝chow's Restaurant.
Below, a bowl with the same pattern as some of the shards, above.

The site is bounded by 11th, 12th, Commerce and White streets in Wellsville. Latitude and longitude: 40.603018, -80.653427.

Above, the Sterling plant as it was demolished. Below, Sterling while it was in business. Note the silos behind the office in the foreground. Photos courtesy of Pamela Smith on behalf of the Wellsville Historical Society.
Below, another photo of the land that is now Sterling. Photo courtesy of Pamela Smith on behalf of the Wellsville Historical Society.

We stumbled onto this Bottle Kiln, above, now a Wellsville landmark, standing by itself at the corner of 3rd and Lisbon streets in Wellsville. We found it is 41.5 feet high and maintained by the Wellsville Historical Society. Then we knew where the image came from for Sterling's 1999 Christmas plate, below, already in our collection.

Here's a story about the kiln, indicating that it was once part of Acme Craft Pottery. When the building was torn down in the Sixties to make way for the widening of Route 7 (running behind the kiln), preservationists stepped in to save it.

Above, Wellsville China as it was. Photo courtesy of Pamela Smith on behalf of the Wellsville Historical Society. Below, Google's satellite view of the now vacant Wellsville China lot. Latitude and longitude: 40.605107, -80.649266.
Above, Google map of the Wellsville China lot, marked with an arrow. Below, Google's streetview of the Wellsville China lot.
Below, one example of Wellsvilles China, its Moderne pattern, from our collection.

Most Sterling China is backstamped with East Liverpool, Ohio, as its location. We were glad to find before the trip that it was in Wellsville and thought we had a good fix on its location, thanks to the Google map at right. Truly, we hate to whine, but we had no clue that the map we'd been relying on was wrong.

If you take a look at it, you'll see the actual location of the plant bounded by 11th and 12th streets on the left (marked with a red balloon with a dot in it). At the right, though, is a small circle with Sterling China clearly marked, next to the Ohio River and adjacent to what is now the Wellsville Historical Society.

Unfortunately, the Society was closed the day we were there or they could have steered us over a few blocks. But no. We spent quality time walking along the railroad track and river but didn't find a single shard.

We did find someone working in her garden who pointed us in the right direction, and finally found a postal carrier who informed us in no uncertain terms that there was no longer anythingto see at Sterling, but he did put us on the right block.

We walked around for a while and did find shards but not exactly the mother lode one might expect. So we drove to the edge of town to get lunch and lucked onto the Bottle Kiln (photo toward bottom of page) and immediately remembered its image from Sterling's 1999 Christmas plate.

After lunch we tried again, and this time found a field full of shards along White Street. An also out-of-date Google satellite map shows this area clearly. The Wellsville chief of police Ed Wilson, who busted us stopped to talk with us, told us that where we were was once the employee parking lot, and in this map you can see all the cars there.

More important, Chief Wilson also told us what that huge remaining structure is: silos for storing clay!

We had hoped to find the site of Wellsville China, in business from 1902 to 1969, but we ran out of time and resources. Maybe next time.


Since coming home we had the pleasure of speaking with Pamela Smith with the Wellsville Historical Society. She gave us a little more info, photos, and the location of Wellsville China, at 9th and Commerce streets in Wellsville, just a few blocks over from Sterling.

She said her mother worked at both plants at one time or another, and when she grew up she didn't know them by their real names, but instead always heard them referred to as either the 12th Street pottery or the 9th Street pottery.

Next, on to Hall and Homer Laughlin in East Liverpool and Newell.






















































































































































































































































































Digging in West Virginia, Pennsylvania & Ohio

The Carr China site
Page 1: The grounds
Page 2: The shards
Page 3: After the first cleanup in 2009
Page 4: The final cleanup


Page 5: Mountain Hopping 2016
             Carr (again)          
Page 6: River Hopping 2017
             McNicol (again)
             Hall/Homer Laughlin
             Bedford China/                   






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