Rushton Pottery Sites

Joey Brackner with the State Folk Art Department and I (Gary Price) were looking for Folk Pottery Sites in the time frame of December of 2007, with the most focus on hoping to find where the Great Potter John Lehman worked, Joey showed me where the McPherson site was located and Mr. Adams who owned the property at this site told us how to get close to the former Community of Cedric where the Rushton’s Family Cemetery is located and possibly where there Pottery Shop was located.

Joey and I went to this location which the way the Crow Flies is about two Miles from the McPherson site, one mile from the Mapp Site and perhaps a Half Mile from the Ussery site and the Cicero D. Hudson site so they are all located close together and all located around Gus Creek and so we went to this location which dead ends at the Rail Road Crossing we thought that the Rushton’s site was going East down the Railroad but we did not pursue it further that day it was getting late, a few days later Martha my Wife and I went back to the Railroad looking around and as we were driving out we saw a man in his front yard and we stopped to ask him if he knew where the Cemetery was located and he said that he did and he told us that it was on the South side of the Railroad and at the most a half a mile in a easterly direction down the tracks and that you could see the Cemetery from the tracks so a couple of days later we went back and went in a easterly down the tracks and did not see the Cemetery we got off the tracks and went into the wood looking and still did not find it we were there for around 3 hours looking so we gave up and left that day.

Later that week I went back by myself and went further down the track and looked more into the woods and still did not see the cemetery so I went back to my truck and left for the day that night I called the man that had gave us the directions and in talking with him he asked his son if his directions were correct and his son told him that the cemetery was own the north side not the South side of the Tracks and that it was about a half mile down the tracks and maybe a Quarter mile back in the woods you could not see it from the tracks so I went back the next day and looked on the north side of the tracks and after about three hours of looking I finally found the old road bed and followed the road bed for about a quarter of mile north into the woods and found the Rushton’s Cemetery it still had the Original Metal Fence around it maybe 20Ft by 20Ft in size, there was only one grave marked and it was Martha J. Rushton 1821-1891, but we believe that Joseph Rushton is buried here in and unmarked grave.

Later after Deer season went out my Brother who lives in Goose Creek S.C. was visiting with us so he went with Martha and I to the Cemetery and followed the Road on past the Cemetery for a couple hundred feet and along the way we started seeing Brick that looked as if it was out of a Kiln and saw some broken sherds and walked past and old well that was partially covered we had some tools to rake the leaves and to look for sherds and so after a lot of looking we found at the Base of a very old cedar tree a lot of Broken Sherds and Brick from a Kiln and as we begin to look more at this spot we were quite sure that this was where they had worked we found lots of Beautiful glazed sherds and Martha found one that had the initials on it which were J.R. (Joseph Rushton) 1810-1868 and this sherd had a Serrated outline around the J.R. which is very unusual we had water and food with us so we stayed most of the day digging in this small area but we only had the plastic bag that we had brought our food in to put the sherds we found in as we got ready to leave for the day so we were very tired and had to walk the quarter mile back to the Railroad Track and then walk 15 minutes back west on the tracks to our truck but we felt great about our find that day my Brother told us that we should get us a couple of Back Packs to bring our sherds out with as we would be going back several more times over the coming months.

Martha and I went as often as we could and found several more sherds with Beautiful stamped Initials on them such as a sherd with B.J.R stamped on it and by looking at Joey Brackner’s Alabama Folk Pottery Book this tells us that this would have been Bennett Jackson Rushton which would have been Joseph Rushton’s Brother, information tells us that Bennett left Cedric in 1852 with his other Brother going to Texas where he stayed a short time and then came back to Laurel, Mississippi and he used Hickory Wood Ashes in his Glaze which would produce the Darker/Brownish Glaze and also we found a Beautiful sherd with a Decorative stamp on it and the Initials on the Sherd were SR which again we think that this may have been another Brother of Joseph Rushton but there is no information on this Brother, some information tells us that in 1852 he left with his Brother Bennett J Rushton to go to Texas but he seems to disappear at this point it would be great to know more, also we found a Sherd Stamped J S which again referring to Joey Brackner’s Alabama Folk Pottery Book this J S would probably be James Pinckney Shepherd we also found a Sherd Stamped J. C. with the Serrated work around the initials and again looking at Joey Brackner’s Alabama Folk Pottery Book we would think that this would have been Jackson Cogburn we also found an unglazed sherd with what looks to be M J U and it is stamped down on the lower side of the Jar or Jug just like the M J U Jar that has been pictured in other exhibit’s which this would have been Milton J. Ussery again in reference to Joey Brackner’s Alabama Folk Pottery also we found a Handle with the Initials R. S. which this would have probably have been John Robert Shepherd which could have worked here at an early age again referring to Joey Brackner’s Alabama Folk Pottery Book, we also found a Sherd with two sets of Initials on it the initials are H. C. and J.S. , at this time we don’t know who H. C. would be but the J. S. would probably have been William Shepherd, we also found two very nice Sherds where Joseph Rushton spelled his name out as J. Rushton the sherds are broke but these are great Illustrations showing the type of work that Joseph Rushton did in this time period.

We are updating some information that applies to the sherd stamped J. C. for Jackson Cogburn as we are now in the year 2012 Five Years after our research work at the Cedric Community and the Joseph Rushton Shop Site and in the Wintertime of 2011 and 2012 we found another Shop about a mile North of Cedric Community on an old Road Bed called Settlement Road and we have worked there for Five Months or over 50 Trips to Dig this Shop and we have found Jackson Cogburn’s Father Cyrus Cogburn worked at this Shop in the time period of the late 1830’s so this would tell us more as to why Jackson Cogburn was working at the Joseph Rushton Shop and it tells us more about the time period of when the Rushton’s were at the Cedric Community, we will update this information as we learn more.

We have been Collecting Pottery from Randolph/Chambers County, Alabama for over 20 Years and have been doing serious Research for around 10 Years, The Pottery was made in the Time Frame of 1830's-1940's as Utiliterian Pots and some Decorative Type Pieces, We are illutrating some of this work and research on this site, We have Broke the Information Down by Community and under each Community we have some of the Major Potters that worked there are owned the Shop

We are always Interested in adding to our Collection of Alkaline Glazed pieces from Randolph/Chambers County, Alabama so Contact us if you have something you would be interested in Selling

Gary & Martha Price
10840 Cragford Road
Cragford, Al. 36255

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