The next Itawamba Historical Society program meeting will be held Tuesday evening May 20 at the George Poteet History Center in Mantachie. The program will be Pottery: An Itawamba County Blessing, presented by Dr. Terry Thornton.
Itawamba County was once the center for numerous pottery operations both large and small. From the clays of the region were made items necessary for pioneer life. Jugs, churns, pots, crocks, and even grave markers were fashioned from the local clays and fired into stoneware. For years, the southeastern portion of the county was known as the “Jug Shop District” because of the numerous pottery operations. At one time there were more than a dozen such operations in the area from the 1800’s well into the Twentieth Century.
The multi-media program presented by Thornton will take a brief look at some of the county potters, their techniques and their finished wares.
Dr. Thornton is a graduate of Hatley High School in Monroe County and attended Itawamba Junior College and is a graduate of the University of Mississippi. His teaching experience ranges from high school and middle school science and administrative work to college and university teaching. Some may remember Dr. Thornton from his days of teaching elementary school science on Channel 9 from Tupelo in the early 1960s. He spent the bulk of his teaching career with Troy State University in Alabama where his experience ranged from biology teaching on the Troy campus to Director of the Fort Rucker Campus and Vice President for Student Affairs at the Dothan Campus.
Dr. Thornton and his wife live in Fulton. He is a columnist for the Monroe County Journal and he publishes four internet sites: Hill Country of Monroe County; Lann Cemetery Blog; New Hope Cemetery; and Inside the Magnolia Curtain. Currently Thornton is transcribing all of the names from the grave markers in one of Monroe County's oldest and largest burial grounds, New Hope Cemetery, a project he hopes to complete this summer.
The program meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Gordon McFerrin Assembly Hall of the George Poteet History Center – headquarters of the society located at the corner of Church Street and Museum Drive in Mantachie. The evening will begin with a reception and refreshments following by the multi-media program. As always, the public is invited to attend this special program meeting.