Pottersville workers produced strong, utilitarian stoneware vessels with a unique alkaline glaze that Landrum is thought to have introduced to South Carolina.
Pottersville originated in Edgefield District between 1819 and 1820 around the stoneware factory of Abner Landrum a mile and a half north of the town of Edgefield. Landrum’s was the first significant stoneware factory in Edgefield District. The owner established the community for the factory’s free tradesmen and enslaved workers, but other craftsmen whose trades supported the wares’ manufacture and transportation lived in the village. In 1826 Robert Mills estimated that the village, which he called Landrumsville, had “sixteen or seventeen houses, and as many families.” By 1832 the village may have grown to 150 persons.
Pottersville workers produced strong, utilitarian stoneware vessels with a unique alkaline glaze that Landrum is thought to have introduced to South Carolina. The factory sold the vessels to local plantations, which needed large containers for food and household supplies. The ready market and local clays encouraged the growth of other stoneware factories in Edgefield District. Landrum family members and other investors established pottery factories on Turkey Creek near Pottersville and in the Horse Creek Valley. Perhaps the most recognized craftsman from Pottersville is the slave potter named Dave, whose ceramic work is recognized for its enormous size and strength and for the verses he wrote on the vessels.
In 1828 Landrum sold the factory and his property in the village. Different investors continued operations there, but by the time the local stoneware industry peaked in 1850, Pottersville had declined, and many tradesmen moved on to other factories.
Baldwin, Cinda K. Great and Noble Jar: Traditional Stoneware of South Carolina. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993.
Holcombe, Joe L., and Fred E. Holcombe. “South Carolina Potters and Their Wares: The Landrums of Pottersville.” South Carolina Antiquities 18, nos. 1–2 (1986): 47–62.