Pottery on display at the festival
[Jada Respress | WOUB]

The history of pottery is celebrated at the Crooksville-Roseville Pottery Festival

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Every third week of July, residents of Crooksville and Roseville gather to celebrate pottery and its rich history in their towns.

The festival has been running for over 50 years, back when the pottery factory scene was popular in Crooksville and Roseville. One of the major factories at the time was McCoy Pottery, whose pieces were featured at this past weekend’s festival.

Longtime worker Kathy Edgell reminisced on her time with McCoy Pottery, which operated where Burley Clay Pottery is located today.

“Oh I love it. I’ve been into pottery almost 50 years. I started here – it was the McCoy Pottery in 1972. So I’ve been here a long time,” Edgell said.

At one point there were seven pottery factories between Crooksville and Roseville. Pottery was so central to their identities that Crooksville was known as Clay City and Roseville as Pottery Land.

Over time the factories closed down or relocated to other parts of the United States. The only one remaining is Burley Clay Pottery, run by Rick Emmert.

Burley Clay donated pottery to the festival to sell and offered tours of the factory led by Emmert.

“It’s fun to see people’s reaction to how things are done, and a lot of people are McCoy collectors, they like to see the equipment that McCoy’s used and we still use,” they said.
“It’s kind of funny to watch them get excited over equipment that we walk by everyday.”

Jonathan Reynolds, a volunteer at the festival and a pottery collector, expressed the need to keep pottery alive within the community.

“A couple of years ago we decided that we needed to be set up displaying pottery at the pottery festival,” Reynolds said. “It’s really important for us to instill that sense of pride that has been lost in the community since the potteries closed.” 

Pottery is making a comeback, making it a hot commodity not just in Crooksville and Roseville but nationwide. 

The festival featured the buying and selling of pottery, helicopter rides, inflatables, fair food, a beauty pageant, a parade, factory tours and more. 

Booths set up at the Pottery Festival
[Jada Respress | WOUB]
Local businesses, pageant participants and law enforcement drove through Roseville on their respective floats for the parade. The route ended at Roseville Village Park, where the festival was located this year. 

This year’s pottery festival would not be what it was without the direction of Lori Hammer, president of the festival committee.

“I wanted to expand on some of the things that we had going on, bring more pottery vendors in,” Hammer said.

Her plans with the festival are to grow attendance and expand on the number of partnerships the festival has, showing more about the history of pottery in Crooksville and Roseville.