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Eleven members and one guest met at the home of Caroline Heath for the September 15th Shakespeare Club meeting. The meeting was moved to a later date due to the Chrisman Sesquicentennial Celebration. Caroline Heath and Alice Lientz served as hostesses.
President Nancy Harper welcomed everyone to the meeting and led in the Club Collect. Harper thanked Mrs. Nancy Hodge for taking her place at last month’s meeting. Minutes and treasurer’s reports were both read and approved. In new business, the club received a thank you note from the Wyatt Family.
The Shakespeare Club display at the Chrisman Public Library has been updated. A get well card was passed around for members to sign for fellow member, Paula Bouton, who was unable to attend the meeting.
Plans for the Christmas luncheon was discussed in matters of new business. Front Street Market will cater once again this year and a price will be determined when closer to time. The luncheon will be held at either the home of Nancy Harper, Mary Lou Reader or Paula Bouton.
The roll call for the program was to describe yourself using a weather term. Most members answered sunny, sunny with a little bit of morning fog, blustery, cloudy with a chance of meatballs, windy and sunshine with a side of hurricane.
Caroline Heath had the program for the meeting. Heath presented the group with pottery that she had bought from a small pottery business called, Bybee Pottery.
Bybee Pottery was a pottery company based in Bybee, a community in Madison County, Kentucky. It was founded in 1809 by Webster Cornelison and members of the same Cornelison family continued to make and sell pottery until 2011.
Bybee Pottery sold a wide variety of products and encouraged customers to interact with the artisans and tour the building that had survived six generations and the Civil War
Located in a vernacular structure with the appearance of a barn, Bybee Pottery was considered the oldest pottery operation in the United States west of the Appalachian Mountains. Employees procured the yellow clay from a nearby source close to the banks of the Kentucky River.
The pottery’s earliest years are undocumented; the earliest clear references to the facility are sales records from 1845, but even this date demonstrates that Cornelison is Madison County’s oldest industry. Pottery was first thrown at Cornelison by a local farmer, James Eli Cornelison, who observed that his farm contained substantial amounts of high-quality clay that was ready for industrial purposes without any preparation.
A family cousin, Ron Stambaugh, owned a retail outlet that sold Bybee pottery among other items under the name, A Little Bit of Bybee.
The pottery facility was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 as Cornelison Pottery. The fifth and sixth generations of the Cornelison family in the business continued to operate the pottery on a commercial basis.
In February 2011, Bybee Pottery laid off its eight remaining employees, sold off remaining in-store inventory, and suspended operations. While it was neither producing nor selling products at the time, the owners stated that there was product formed that could be fired. As of 2019 new pieces were still being produced, but at a much smaller rate, and sold out of a new shop in Middletown, Kentucky.
After the program, Heath passed around her items that was bought from Bybee Pottery. Items included plates, saucers and even something called ‘Bybee Birds’. These little birds were made from the excess clay so nothing went to waste.
President Nancy Harper thanked Caroline for the program and announced that the October meeting will be held at the home of Nancy Harper with Trudy Brinkley and Nancy Harper as hostesses. Paula Bouton will have the program.
Members were then called to the dining room where a dessert of mini apple cheesecakes with crumb topping and caramel sauce was waiting for them.