East Liverpool History
The beautiful Ohio Valley is the setting for the City of East Liverpool. Located on the Ohio River in Columbiana County (named in honor of Christopher Columbus and Queen Anna), it lies at the point where the states of Ohio, Pennslyvania, and West Virgina meet. Eastern Indian tribes, including several Iroquois groups, occupied the land before it was purchased by Isaac Craig under the terms of the Land Act of 1796. On July 1, 1800, Thomas Fawcett purchased approximately 1100 acres from Mr. Craig. Fawcett, his wife and eight children settled in an area with few residents that could have been classified as a frontier. Although Fawcett named the town St. Clair, in honor of Authur St. Clair, Govenor of the Northwest Territory at the time, it was christened Fawcettstown by its residents and other local people. The town was named Liverpool by a nostalgic English potters who migrated here and in 1834 incorporated as East Liverpool because of a town in Medina County, Ohio already named Liverpool.
In 1839-1840, James Bennett, a trained English potter, fathered the chief industry of East Liverpool as we know it - Pottery. Although other individuals had used the natural clay resources to produce pottery, Bennett was the first to successfully manufacture and market this product. Potting in those days was a rugged operation; all work was done by hand and "throwing" on a potters wheel was the only method of forming the ware. The "boss" would then market it in wagons around the countryside or on trading boats down the Ohio River. He would trade his wares for anything he felt that he could dispose of back home in East Liverpool. Upon returning from a successful trip the "help" would be paid with these bartered goods and work would begin on another kiln (pronounced kill) of ware. Other potteries sprang up with rapidity and our city became known as "Crockery City" and was the only community in the United States wholly devoted to the manufacture of pottery.
Today, East Liverpool and the surrounding area which includes the communities of East Liverpool, Calcutta and Wellsville Ohio, and Chester and Newell West Virginia, still rely on the pottery industry but the monopoly no longer exists. New enterprises have added a diversity of products.