Historically, April 1 is a day of pranks, fooling people into believing something false in jest, to pause from the seriousness of life and step into the absurd and impossible. Here at Mossy Creek Pottery, April 1 symbolizes the opposite. To us, it represents the reality and manifestations of dreams, the pursuit of purpose, and the staking of the concrete claim of all that Mossy Creek could be and would be. The truth that if you fish with faith and dance with daring courage into the unknown, that it’s all possible.
This is the day, back in 1973, that the original owners and founders of Mossy Creek, Bob and Julia Richardson, gained access to the house and property where Mossy Creek still resides today in a charming and quaint now 100-year-old farmhouse on the edge of Siletz Bay Wildlife Refuge, tucked in right off 101 in Lincoln County, inside a magical forest of western red cedars, hemlocks and alders. They are our pioneers, who planted their hopes and dreams into this fertile soil and toiled these abundant grounds, ushering in a revolving door and sentimental, timeless homestead of a generational artists’ community, several owners who carried the torch, former customers who return to reflect, new ones who are drawn to this alluring portal of pottery and an inspiring creative collective that has now spanned 50 years…to the day.
To help celebrate Mossy Creek’s impressive 50 years of stories, creativity and success, we have been gifted the personal diary of Julia, who sadly just passed last December 2022, from those beginning years of Mossy Creek Pottery from 1973 through 1977. To honor her, Bob and our roots, we have decided to take you on this journey with its current owners, Melanie and Don (whose last name also happens to be Richardson) and our team here at MCP as we travel back in time through her writing and memories (with her permission before she passed) of this hidden, thriving gem on the Oregon Coast. Her first entry is dated today, April 1, 1973, as they arrive on their new property (without even having seen the inside of the house) and embarked on this adventure and dreamed of their “shop to be”. For several years, Julia would call Melanie on April 1 just to say, “Happy Anniversary” and share stories with her. Her diary is also a precious preserve and a delicious slice of Oregon Coast history. Buzz Williams, our neighbor from the beloved Alder House Glass, even makes an appearance from day one.
In addition, we have begun collecting historical information, mementos, photos and personal stories from others to celebrate this year, and we extend an ongoing invitation to anyone who has loved Mossy Creek over the years, artists and customers alike, to share with us your stories and memories, whether in direct messages, comments, photographs and/or posts and stories on social media (make sure to tag us!). We will be posting through social media and this blog. This will be happening all year long as we share our findings, which will include excerpts of Julia’s diary, alongside all the stories that make Mossy Creek Pottery what it is today as it continues to grow upon a half a century of fulfilled dreams and aspirations from one Richardson couple to another.
We thank everyone who has been a part of the rich history of Mossy Creek Pottery these past 50 glorious years!
Written by Kelly Clark for Mossy Creek Pottery