Blue Ridge Pottery
“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”
by Harry L. Rinker
The Carolina Clinchfield and Ohio Railroad established a pottery in Erwin, Tennessee, in 1917. J. E. Owens purchased the pottery in 1920 and changed the name to Southern Potteries.
The company changed hands again within a few years, falling under the ownership of Charles W. Foreman. By 1938 Southern Potteries was producing its famous Blue Ridge dinnerware featuring hand-painted decoration. Lena Watts, an Erwin native, designed many of the patterns. In addition, Blue Ridge made limited production patterns for a number of leading department stores. The company experienced a highly successful period during the 1940s and early 1950s, the Golden Age of Blue Ridge. However, cheap Japanese imports and the increased use of plastic dinnerware in the mid-1950s sapped the company’s market strength. Operations ceased on January 31, 1957.
References: Betty and Bill Newbound, Collector’s Encyclopedia of Blue Ridge Dinnerware (1994), Vol. II (1998), Collector Books; Frances and John Ruffin, Blue Ridge China Today, Schiffer Publishing, 1997.