Road Trip-Fiesta Ware, Oh My!

Newell, West Virginia
Newell, West Virginia

I love to bargain shop! Regular shopping? Not so much. But when we moved to the rural countryside in Ohio, I missed shopping!

Both of my daughters collect Fiesta Ware dishes. Don’t ask me what colors-I can never remember. But last summer we made our first trip to the Homer Laughlin Co.-maker of Fiesta Ware dinnerware. We had picked up some dear friends from the Northwest in Pittsburgh, and decided to make a stop at Fiesta as a tourist stop. After all,it’s  the only thing besides rolling hills and Amish buggies that we had to offer as entertainment. We had a great time and I knew Caryn (my daughter) would love to see this place.

The Showroom
The Showroom

Caryn wanted to make a road trip in her new Jeep Renegade, and Homer Laughlin is only 48 minutes away-just over the line into beautiful West Virginia, so we went down this past Saturday. The sun was shining and it was quite brisk. It was amazing to see how much further into spring they were than the Out To Pasture acres.

The Homer Laughlin Company started producing Fiesta Ware in 1936. It was all the rage for years. Most housewives had at least a few pieces in their kitchen cupboards. Like all things, their popularity waned and the line fell out of production by 1973. The line was reignited in 1986 and has enjoyed a successful come back. They produce many other items including restaurant dishes. But we were there to see the Fiesta Ware.

The Mighty Ohio River
The Mighty Ohio River

You can’t ignore the river-that is one BIG river-the Ohio River. it runs just past the parking spaces at the outlet. If I remember my Ohio history correctly, this area had all the raw materials needed to produce pottery ware-clay- lots and lots of clay in many colors, silica-for glazes and production, and the river-to provide shipping. These natural assets also contributed to the brick-making industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. This beautiful area has fallen on hard times, there is not as much demand for American made products any more.

I will share some of what we were after in my next post. Here’s a hint:

                                   It has to do with Poppy, Tangerine, Sunflower and Lemongrass-for the Motor Home Make Over!

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