As we continue to honor this milestone 50th year for Mossy Creek Pottery, we must celebrate the golden thread of this past half a century that has brought us to our Golden Anniversary. Our customers are our breath of being. There is the timeless spirit, we call the MCP Spirit, that runs through generations, families and individuals who pick up and maintain the mysterious allure of this treasure chest of artifacts, heirlooms, and signature staples for gifts, souvenirs, and collectibles. Our existence is much more than the dirt that transforms by fire into something miraculous and beautiful which is also essential to the spirit of MCP. However, our well-being thrives on our customers, new and returning, who are the wheelhouse that keeps the MCP Spirit alive and well.
Traveling back in time to September 16th, 1973, founding MCP owner Julia Richardson wrote in her diary, “Who knows who’ll come through the door!” MCP had only been open months and already Julia was realizing what a special place had been created here on the Oregon Coast where immediately Governors in their fancy cars, Senators with their families, international travelers, domestic adventurers, and curious locals found their way to the creaking porch steps of MCP. At that time no advertising was in place yet, only word of mouth, and Julia welcomed them to this farmhouse with open arms. On November 7, 1976, she wrote “We often wonder how and why people whom we never met seem to know about us are at home in our shop. Guess this is how it happens!” after customers from Illinois told her they had been sending people here for years.
It is difficult to capture what the Spirit of MCP is, but it is evident that this enticing phenomenon resides in the many stories that customers share about their experiences here and why they return year after year to us. It is also seen in the eyes of those as they begin their adventure with us when they first see this refreshing preserve of the Coast and the pottery.
There are the customers who made MCP a part of their honeymoon because the bride’s parents did the same decades ago. Now, they return yearly to vacation and celebrate their anniversary with a nostalgic dive.
There are the customers, the sisters, who had MCP be a part of their grieving as they traveled across states with their mother’s remains, taking her one last time to all her favorite places with MCP being one of the precious stops. The urn, filled to the brim with her life stories and bright essence, was captured in tearful photographs we took of them on the front porch, surrounded by the empty vessels of pottery being sold that await someone to see their purpose and take them home.
There is the man who returned on a sentimental sojourn, having visited MCP as a kid with his parents who now only live in his memories. His eyes lit up when he remembered learning from us for the first time about pottery, which has now become a life-long passion, when he was given a private tour of the studio here as a little boy that made him feel like a King.
There are the customers who return to buy their kids the whistles sold here for over 40 years until a few years ago that their parents once bought them. They now find new traditional pieces to buy as keepsakes.
There are the customers who return with humorous stories like the infamous one with the customer whose young daughter was "the one" who accidentally got into the mulled wine decades ago that was at the front desk to celebrate the upcoming holidays.
There are the customers who return to excitedly tell us about their favorite pieces of pottery they bought here during the early days that remain as a remnant of eras past. One customer said they still had an MCP plant pot from the 1970s that they had bought from the side of HWY 101 that was directing people here.
Julia wrote about a memorable experience in her diary with a customer on September 1, 1974, who, when leaving, accidentally drove into the back of the studio here and collapsed both sides in. She wrote, “The car’s trunk was sprung, knocked off the mirror, and crunched the door and rear fender besides deeply scratching the paint—due to the nails in the siding. After all that, he said, ‘Well, I hope this doesn’t mean you’ll take us off your mailing list!’”
Whether its family reunions who make a stop at MCP for fun to each buy their own souvenir pendants or the wandering adventurers desiring to travel through the canopy of old growth trees off the beaten path to check off visiting a hidden-gem landmark for the first time, the spectrum of our patrons of pottery is vastly humbling and inspiring. Each person who walks into this charming century-old farmhouse is of great value to us. Our customers connect timelines and lives, sending a ripple effect of inspiration, sentimentality and celebration that add to the essence Mossy Creek Pottery. Customers become family to us and are a huge reason we are still alive and well today.
Julia kept tallies in her diary (pictured below) in the early days of MCP of customers and where they were from and wrote often in her diary about these transients, travelers and prodigals who found a warm welcome here, leaving with treasures to take with them until their next visit. As Julia and her husband Bob were closing their season here in 1976, she wrote on November 29th, “What a lot of terrific people we have for customers!” We salute you in the afterlife Julia and you, Bob Richardson. We assure you that the same sentiment still rings true after 50 beautiful years. What began as a dream of two settlers now has become a paradise of pottery, a destination for many pilgrimages, pursuits of passion and quests for unique presents in a collective of customers who weave a magnetism and magic that make Mossy Creek what it is and has been for these last 50 years.
We honor and deeply appreciate our customers over the last half a century. With gratitude, we await your returns and thank you for making Mossy Creek a part of your lives. You are truly why we shine and breath on.
Here are some of our recent patrons and friends. If you have any photos of your visits here to MCP and personal stories over the last 50 years that you would like to share with us as we celebrate this year, please email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM us on our social media sites. We would greatly appreciate your much needed contributions!
Until next time... we look forward to welcoming each of you home at Mossy Creek Pottery.
Written by Kelly Clark for Mossy Creek Pottery