Look Back: Potteries fire up Sand Plains

Historical newspaper excerpts from the Wood County Historical Society

Photo provided by the Oil and Gas Museum The undated photo above shows Walter Donaghho in the front, sitting on one of their wares. The horse was used to grind the clay. A portion of a dome of one of the kilns can be seen at the rear of the building.

Sand Plains news

Mr. Dan Mercer, the new potter, is spending the holidays at his home in Green County, Penn., and will remain a few days. The boys are all anxious for him to return.

Messrs. Henry Behen and Frank Higginbotham, of Porterfield, Ohio pottery, made a flying visit to their old friend, Capt. Layman, at the Excelsior Pottery, on Saturday night. Mr. Behen reports that they are preparing to erect extensive tile and flower pot works in connection with their pottery. William Taylor is meeting with great success as setter and burner at the Excelsior Pottery.

Walter Donaggho is taking a much needed rest. John Donaggho, who has been attending Marietta College, is spending a few days at his home on the Plains. J.D. Bartlett is still grinding clay at the pottery and he continues to grow in favor with the turners of his kind and accompanying disposition.

Robert Lotterberry is still one of Messrs. Donaggho & Son’s most trusted employees.

It is understood that a dance will be given at the residence of J.J. Bartlett next Thursday night, the proceeds to be used in building a boardwalk from the pottery to Spring Dale. The dance should be well patronized as a boardwalk is badly needed.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Jan. 2, 1889


The big fifty gallon stone jug, the largest ever seen here, which has been used as an ornamental and appropriate sign in front of John Busch’s saloon for several years, was broken to flinders Saturday night by some unknown parties.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

Feb. 1, 1892


A successful enterprise

Donaghho’s pottery, out the sand road is being fitted up with steam machinery. The demand for the wares manufactured there has become so great that it was found necessary to put in new machinery that will facilitate things wonderfully and the output of manufactured goods will be much larger than heretofore. This is one of the thriving industries of this section.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

Feb. 12, 1892


Pottery was purchased

Ex-Senator J.N. Camden has purchased the Donaggho Pottery from the owner, Walter Donaggho, the consideration being $40,000. The property consists of about three and a quarter acres of land, with all necessary buildings and fixtures for the manufacture of various grades of pottery. For the present, at least, the business will be carried on in the same way that it has been in the past.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Dec. 8, 1905


Offer for the pottery plant

Walter Donaghho, who has been operating the pottery at Pottery Junction for a number of years, having sold this and the adjacent property some months ago to Senator Camden, is seeking a new location.

Mr. Donaghho has been operating the property since the sale, but has received notice the Senator Camden wishes to improve the property and the old pottery and its various buildings will be removed.

As a consequence Mr. Donaghho is seeking other quarters and is now negotiating for the purchase of the property of the South Side Pottery Co., on East Street.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

April 25, 1906


Bob Enoch is the president of the Wood County Historical Society. The group meets at 7p.m. on the last Monday of each month in the Summers Auditorium at the Wood County Public Library on Emerson Avenue. They do not meet in December. For more information, contact P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102