Iron may have run 6 feet deep in hilltop beds in Vinton County, but the clay found closer to the surface also played a huge part in the building of the region.

In the mid-1800’s, Vinton County had a great reputation for its hand-turned pottery, mostly in the form of crock pots and jars. More than a dozen pottery shops were located in and near both Potters Ridge and Pumpkin Ridge. In fact, local potters were in high enough demand for buyers to travel from many parts of southern Ohio to purchase their wares.

When firing in the homemade kilns, the pot jars were set on top of each other and separated with chunks of hand-formed clay. These pieces of yesterday along with broken shards of pottery can still be found near the old pottery shops and along the nearby creeks with the fingerprints of the maker still visible in the chunks of clay.

This same clay was responsible for making the Southeastern Ohio region a leading producer of bricks. Vinton County opened the McArthur Brick Company in 1905 and the Puritan Brick Plant in 1909. The latter was said to be the largest in this part of the state. The McArthur Brick Company eventually acquired the Puritan Brick Plant property, before ceasing operation in the 1960s.

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