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Alain C. Outlaw
The Mount Shepherd Pottery Site, Randolph County, North Carolina

Ceramics in America 2009

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    View of Shepherd Mountain looking northwest from Interstate 64, just west of its intersection with the Uwharie River. The peak is 1,150 feet above sea level. (Photo, Alain C. Outlaw.) 

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Detail of U.S. Geological Survey Quadrangle of Glenola, North Carolina, 1981, showing the topographic setting of the Mount Shepherd pottery site and the network of roads to the north, several likely dating to the colonial period. The site, marked by a black rectangle, measures 200' x 200'; the contour interval is 10'. 

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Drawing showing conjectured structure outlines. (All site drawings by Alain C. Outlaw.) This drawing is an updated version of the one submitted in 1979 with the National Register of Historic Places nomination form.

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Native American pottery sherds, North Carolina piedmont, 500–1000. Low-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center; unless otherwise noted, photos by Gavin Ashworth.) Only seven prehistoric ceramics sherds were found during excavations, indicating that Native Americans did not occupy the site during the Woodland period. 

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Jug fragments, Germany, 1750–1770. Salt-glazed stoneware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) The decorative checkerboard design on this vessel may have been a design source for the fragmentary dish illustrated in fig. 46. 

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Saucer (left) and teabowl (right) fragments, England, post-1770. Creamware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) The presence of this ware type helped to date the site to post-1770.

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    View of the kiln at the Mount Shepherd site prior to excavation. (Photo, Alain C. Outlaw.) This feature was covered by a circular mound of rocks. J. H. Kelly and A. R. Mountford excavated the backfilled trench on the left in 1971.

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Post-excavation view of the kiln. (Photo, Alain C. Outlaw.) A waster pit is visible in the upper left corner of the excavated area.

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Drawing of the floor plan of the Mount Shepherd kiln.

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Sectional drawing of the Mount Shepherd kiln.

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Drawing of a pottery kiln (left) and pipe kiln (right) by Reinhold Rücker Angerstein, probably England, 1753–1755. (R. R. Angerstein’s Illustrated Travel Diary, 1753–1755: Industry in England and Wales from a Swedish Perspective, trans. Torsten Berg and Peter Berg [London: Science Museum, 2001], pp. 204, 311.) According to Angerstein, the pottery kiln was near Prescott, England. The pipe kiln was near Liverpool and had “six little fireplaces.”

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Trivets, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. High-fired clay. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Kiln props and spacers, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. High-fired clay. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Saggers, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. High-fired clay. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Jar fragments from the last firing lie in a brick-lined flue inside the kiln. (Photo, Alain C. Outlaw.) The center of the kiln is at top center.

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Crocks, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. of crock at right 7 1/8". (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Crock rim fragment, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Crocks and chamber pot, recovered at Gottlob Krause’s pottery site, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1789–1802. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    View of the excavated workshop area at the Mount Shepherd site. (Photo, Alain C. Outlaw.)

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Reassembled marlys from five dishes, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Bowl fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Bowl fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Bowl fragment, recovered at Gottfried Aust’s pottery site, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1756–1770. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park; photo, Wesley Stewart.)

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Cream jar rims, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Jar base fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) The illustrated marks are VI, VIII, and X.

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Partially reassembled dish, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Dish rim fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) Salem dishes with similar backs and rims are illustrated in “Eighteenth-Century Earthenware from North Carolina” by Luke Beckerdite and Johanna Brown in this volume.

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Partially reassembled dish, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Dish fragment, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Partially reassembled marly from a dish, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Partially reassembled marlys from two dishes, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) The decoration on the cavetto fragments is closely related to that on sherds recovered at Gottlob Krause’s pottery site in Bethabara (see in this volume Beckerdite and Brown, “Eighteenth-Century Earthenware from North Carolina,” fig. 69).

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Dish fragment, recovered at Lot 49, Salem, North Carolina, 1775–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) This glazed marly fragment shows how Meyer’s scrolling-vine-and-leaf motif would have looked after firing (see fig. 32).

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Detail of the marly of a fragmentary plate, recovered at Lot 49, Salem, North Carolina, 1790–1810. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Dish fragment, recovered at Gottlob Krause’s pottery site, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1789–1802. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) The leaves are strikingly similar to those on fragments recovered at Salem and on several of the intact examples of Wachovia slipware illustrated in this volume in Beckerdite and Brown, “Eighteenth-Century Earthenware from North Carolina,” figs. 32, 35.

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Dish, Salem, North Carolina, 1780–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 11 5/8". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) Marks left by the decorator’s trailer are visible on the broad leaf on the triangular sherd in the center. 

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Detail of a dish probably made during Rudolph Christ’s tenure as master of the pottery at Salem, North Carolina, 1790–1810. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, The Barnes Foundation.) Marks left by the tip of the decorator’s trailer are visible on the tulip-shaped flower.

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 44
    Figure 44

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 45
    Figure 45

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware and lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 46
    Figure 46

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 47
    Figure 47

    Porringer fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure  48
    Figure 48

    Porringer fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 49
    Figure 49

    Porringer fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 50
    Figure 50

    Interior view of the porringer illustrated in fig. 49.

  • Figure 51
    Figure 51

    Porringer, probably Salem, North Carolina, 1780–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Private collection.) 

  • Figure 52
    Figure 52

    Porringer, probably Salem, North Carolina, 1780–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Private collection.) 

  • Figure 53
    Figure 53

    Porringer fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 54
    Figure 54

    Porringer, recovered at Gottfried Aust’s pottery site, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1756–1771. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.)

  • Figure 55
    Figure 55

    Jug or bottle mouths, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 56
    Figure 56

    Jug, probably Salem, North Carolina, 1780–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Private collection.)

  • Figure 57
    Figure 57

    Jug, probably Salem, North Carolina, 1780–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Private collection.)

  • Figure 58
    Figure 58

    Jug fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 59
    Figure 59

    Base fragments from mugs, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 60
    Figure 60

    Base fragments from mugs, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 61
    Figure 61

    Mug rim fragment, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 62
    Figure 62

    Mug, probably Salem, North Carolina, 1780–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 63
    Figure 63

    Fragmentary teabowl, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center; photo, John Bivins.) The current location of this fragment is not known.

  • Figure 64
    Figure 64

    Teabowl fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) These sherds and those illustrated in fig. 63 could be from the same teabowl.

  • Figure 65
    Figure 65

    Teabowls, recovered at Gottlob Krause’s pottery site, Bethabara, North Carolina, 1789–1802. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Historic Bethabara Park.) The white-slip coatings of these bowls suggest that they were intended to have green or tortoiseshell glazes.

  • Figure 66
    Figure 66

    Milk pan fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 67
    Figure 67

    Handle fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 68
    Figure 68

    Lid fragment and rim fragment, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 69
    Figure 69

    Jar fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 70
    Figure 70

    Tile stove, Salem, North Carolina, 1775–1830. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens; photo, Wesley Stewart.)

  • Figure 71
    Figure 71

    Photograph of a pottery workroom, Salem, North Carolina, 1905. (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.) The stove was used at the Schaffner-Krause pottery in Salem.

  • Figure 72
    Figure 72

    Stove tile, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 73
    Figure 73

    Stove tile, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 74
    Figure 74

    View of the back of the stove tile illustrated in fig. 72. 

  • Figure 75
    Figure 75

    Detail of the back of the stove tile illustrated in fig. 72.

  • Figure 76
    Figure 76

    Fragmentary stove tile, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 77
    Figure 77

    Pipe bowl, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 78
    Figure 78

    Pipe bowl (front view), Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 79
    Figure 79

    Side view of the pipe bowl illustrated in fig. 78.

  • Figure 80
    Figure 80

    Bottom view of the pipe bowl illustrated in figs. 78 and 79, showing the tripartite motif.

  • Figure 81
    Figure 81

    Sagger fragment with pins and pipes, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.) 

  • Figure 82
    Figure 82

    Dish fragments, Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Courtesy, Mount Shepherd Collection, Mount Shepherd Retreat Center.)

  • Figure 83
    Figure 83

    Sugar bowl, possibly Mount Shepherd pottery, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1793–1800. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Private collection.)