Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wellsville Eagles Help Save Memorial Pottery Kiln

The Wellsville Eagles Aerie 772 have long been known for their community involvement willing to help where they can. Back in the days of the Great Depression they sponsored free medical clinics for families that couldn't afford to pay for doctor visits. Over the years that neighbor helping neighbor spirit hasn't diminished.

The bottle kiln located at 3rd & Lisbon Streets has been exposed to all kinds of weather conditions since the late 1960s when the State tore down the building it was in as part of the relocation and widening of Route 7. It was originally inside the old Acme Craft Pottery that was at that location. If it wasn't for some preservationist going to bat with State officials to save that kiln as a memorial to the area's pottery industry, it too would have been demolished. Today it is one of only three of its kind remaining in the area. The other two are located in East Liverpool – one along 2nd Street and one inside Hall China.

The kiln in Wellsville is maintained by our Historical Society. Over 40 years of being exposed to all kinds of extreme weather is beginning to take its toll. The cost of the needed repairs and work to prevent further damage is going to be a goodly amount. It is a bit more than what the Historical Society can afford. With that in mind Historical Society President Robert “Brassy” Beresford initiated a campaign to raise funds to help defray the costs of repairs. Letters explaining the situation were sent to all Wellsville clubs asking if they could possibly assist financially.

In the last month the Wellsville Eagles stepped up to the plate one more time with a very generous donation of $2,000 in response to that letter. Eagles President Ron White told us they like to help the village where they can. Pictured above at a check presentation last week are, from the left, Historical Society VP Bonny Beresford, Brassy, Historical Society Treasurer Pat Lawrence, Eagles President Ron White and Eagles Trustee Robert Marcin. To date Eagles Aerie 772 are the only ones to respond. Picture of the kiln courtesy of J. Haugh.

Brassy and other members of the Historical Society are continuing their efforts to raise funds and find help to do the needed work. Donations can be sent to the Wellsville Historical Society, P.O. Box 13, Wellsville, OH 43968. For more information contact Brassy at 330-532-1018 or 330-532-3941. Any amount would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to the Eagles for their civic minded assistance. You're part of what makes Wellsville special.

ole nib


Anonymous said...

I wonder where the historical
society came up with such a great
idea. I bet it fell out of the sky right into their laps.

************* said...

Do we detect some sour grapes?


Anonymous said...

You probably do. No one, even
the historical society is above
stealing other peoples ideas for

Candy WRC said...


Why not put my response. What is the cost of the needed repairs. did Brasssy really come up with this idea, or did he do it because he was contacted by the WRC on their idea to do it. I think that is it in a nutshell. Has an engineer assessed the kiln? I offered to have that done and had someone to do it free of charge for the HS. What suddenly lit a fire under Mr. Beresford to do something with the kiln? You state in your piece it has been many years that they have been responsible for its upkeep. Look at it. Yes, there are sour grapes.
Why could Brassy not work with our
committee to bring about the Pottery Workers Memorial that we suggested? We had an actual plan, a way to make it happen, and some money to get started. Things would
happen in the Village if people worked together instead of worrying
about someone else getting credit. And we did not want to take over the kiln, or own it, or anything of the sort. We simply wanted to do a project that honored our heritage and enhanced the kiln in conjuction with the Historical Society. I can see why they turned it down, it is really short changing them. So, that is great, the Eagles is a great organization, and they did a great thing. But what did they do it for. What is the plan, cost and scope of this project. I would love some answeres. I don't expect to get any, but good luck to all.

************* said...

Both of your responses are on here now. Just saw them today. Must have missed the deadline yesterday. ;-)

We can't speak for the Historical Society or Mr. Beresford. Nor do we know all the specifics of the agreement made with the State years ago. Our only knowledge could be classified as hearsay which does not qualify us to pass judgement whether yay nor nay.

Off the top of our head we would guess there is some basic work that needs to be done first before dressing it up as a memorial. Taking care of any hillside water run off comes first to mind, so the base doesn't deterioate. Also some brick work probably needs to be done such as repointing and sealing. That kiln went from basically being under roof to being put outside in all kinds of weather. Repointing, or replacing the cement between the brick, is labor intensive and has always been expensive to have done. We're not saying for sure this has to be done. We're just guessing but if we are guessing correctly then it is a bit premature to plan to do anything else beyond what we just mentioned.


dreamer said...

As a concerned citizen of Wellsville I agree with Candy. It seems that the WRC is "starting the fire" in many people these days. Correct me if I am wrong but according to what I have read and heard:
1) The Chamber of Commerce tried to wisk off a check to Heritage Ohio to gain membership after the WRC researched it and brought it the public's attention. The $1000.00 membership fee (earned through fund raisers)was set to be mailed. The Chamber quickly wrote a check (monies taken from business membership dues). However Heritage Ohio returned the Chamber's check and decided to work with the WRC (the organization that originally was working with them).
2) Liberty Theater Rennovation. Potter Players have had the theater since 2002 but once the WRC offered to renovate it they began another attempt to restore it.
3) WRC offers the Historical Society help with restoring the kiln so a Pottery Workers Monument can be placed beside it. Their help is turned down and the HS mails letters out to the organizations in town seeking donations.
And so the saga continues.....
As for me I don't care how it gets done as long as it gets done. It's okay to keep lighting fires. Although it would be nice to see all the various groups work together....I'm sure the WRC will keep on "Rollin on the River." Dreaming up improvements to the ville and seeing their dreams come true.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think that the WRC approach to various groups has to be a turn-off. Their attitude is no one can do a project without our help. PLEASE ! First the Chamber,then the Liberty, now the Historical Society. Do you see a pattern ? Granted, the floodwall is wonderful but the WRC just does not get the message that other groups donot want or need their help. By the way, how many WRC members belong to the Historical Society. I bet none.

Anonymous said...

The comment today in the Morning Journal by the leader of the WRC about Brassy was very unprofessional and uncalled for. Shame on her !