Marshall, Texas is Home to the Largest Manufacturer of Red Clay Pots In the United States
MARSHALL- Marshall Pottery, the hand-made pottery they are known for, and the local potters who create these highly sought after pots, have been center stage in Marshall for 119 years.
The largest manufacturer of red clay pots in the United States, Marshall Pottery operates a 100,000 square foot retail store adjacent to its headquarters in Marshall, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year, and provides local patrons with an ideal place to find extraordinary creations.
The history of Marshall Pottery continues to draw both tourists and locals alike. Founded by W. F. Rocker in 1895, Marshall was chosen as the business location because of its abundant water and white clay deposits. After a series of ownerships, Marshall Pottery was acquired by Sam Ellis in 1905. A fire in 1912 proved a small setback for the venture, however it continued to thrive until the 1920’s, and the invention of the glass canning jar and the metal syrup bucket. Both of these competitors were a heavy blow to Marshall Pottery, and the business almost folded. Marshall Pottery’s unlikely savior was Prohibition, and its unintended consequence, a thriving moonshine industry. Marshall Pottery quickly realized moonshiners need for inexpensive jugs to store the liquor, and, had it not been for the sale of jugs during Prohibition, Marshall Pottery would likely have gone bankrupt. The company persevered, and in the 1940’s began producing flower pots, made possible by the discovery of clay that required a lower firing temperature.
For decades potters were the primary means of manufacturing the clay pots from Marshall Pottery. Perhaps the most famous of these potters was Pete Payne, a master potter who displayed his technique at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. In 1998, Marshall Pottery constructed a new facility and most of the pottery’s production was automated. The stoneware production remains much the same as it has been manufactured in the past with the exception of electricity turning the potter’s wheels instead of the potter’s kick. Even though much of the production is now automated, handmade pottery can still be purchased, and tourists can still watch still potters create. The ability to see potters create these hand-crafted works has long been a highlight for tourists visiting Marshall Pottery. The potters do not work every day, so visitors are encouraged to call for their schedule.
Locals also make Marshall Pottery a regular shopping spot, with a wide variety of home and garden decor, and one of the largest selections of seasonal offerings. Marshall Pottery is attractive to those looking for quality merchandise at excellent prices.
“It’s one of my go-to places to walk around and see what I find, they especially have great selection of great kitchenware and dishes,” said Marshall resident Kimberly Miller.
Marshall Pottery is now owned by The Deroma Group, the most important industrial group in the world’s plant and decorative pot sector. Under their direction, Marshall Pottery continues the traditions of manufacturing “Made in the USA” stoneware, as a strong force in the overall business plan.
To find out more about Marshall Pottery, including hours of operations, directions, and the potter’s schedules, call their retail store business line at (903)-927-5400. Lodging reservations and information about Marshall can be found by visitingwww.VisitMarshallTexas.org or by calling the Marshall Convention and Visitors Bureau at 903-702-7777.