Whitewater Potteries

These articles cover the history of the four earthenware pottery manufacturers that operated in Whitewater Wisconsin. These articles will open in a new window in your browser. Scroll down to see photos.

Whitewater - Fremont Street Pottery (1846 to 1858)

Whitewater - Cravath Street Pottery (1847 to 1852)

Whitewater - Depot Pottery (1854 to 1882)

Whitewater - Whiton Street Pottery (1859 to 1866)

George Williams - Came with his family  to Whitewater in 1846 from Mt. Morris NY where he operated the Nathan Clark Pottery. He bought into the Fremont Street Pottery. Later his son James ran the Depot Pottery.

Whitewater Pottery Examples

Despite the large size of the potteries, relatively few examples of their ware survived, especially undamaged pieces. Whitewater pottery is extremely porous and brittle so it easily cracks, breaks, chips, and the glaze tends to peel when it gets wet and freezes. This gallery contains photos of some of the pieces that did somehow survive.

Only a couple of surviving pieces have stamps but Whitewater pottery is often identifiable based on the glaze, decoration and light weight. We have attributed some piece to specific potteries based on similarities to sherd recovered from pottery sites, but most cannot yet be identified. Attribution of unstamped earthenware can never be 100% and there are many pieces of earthenware with similarities with Whitewater but uncertain at best. The photos below should help.

 

Sherds from the Fremont Street Pottery site

The photos of the few sherds from this site were found by Kori Oberle many years ago.

 

Sherds from the Depot Pottery site

These fragments were found during sidewalk replacement within the top foot or so of the surface. They are intended to help understand the forms, glazes and decorations used at this site.

 

Sherds from the Whiton Street Pottery site

These fragments were found by a groundhog that happened to dug into the waster dump and other framents scatter on the surface of the site. They are intended to help understand the forms, glazes and decorations used at this particular site.

This document describes the numbered sherds in the first photo below: Milz & Ohnhaus shards

 

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