Gilmer Potteries Closing After 57 Years - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

08/05/08 - Gilmer

Gilmer Potteries Closing After 57 Years

For years the town of Gilmer has been well known for two fixtures - their sweet yams and Gilmer Potteries.

Unfortunately, one of those fixtures has come to an end. After 57 years, Gilmer Potteries is closing its doors.

And as KLTV 7's Lakecia Shockley shows you how it's a business the residents will never forget.

For more than half a century, Gilmer Potteries has made artwork auctioned on ebay and bathroom title accessories sold all over the world.

The company was started in 1951 by these three entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, one had the last name of Potter whose fascination was possums.

"Dick Potter was affectionately known as the doctor of possiumology. He was well-known all over the state for adding a little humor."

"We matched the colors for probably 20 U.S. tile manufactures but unfortunately only about 2 of those remain."

Which is just one of many factors why the pottery plant with so much history is closing.

"Having to compete with third world countries, the increasing cost of natural gas...labor cost here much higher than some of our competition overseas so all of those factors came together."

After working at Gilmer Potteries for 31 years, Sandra Cross can't believe the place she made a living is gone.

"You know you think when you go to work for a place that's it's going to be there forever, but you just never know."

"I made a lot of friends and saw a lot of people come and go in 31 years, but it was a great place to work."

Phillip Williams who also owns a local business, William's Furniture, grew up right up the street from the plant.

"For someone whose lived here particularly all his life and was born here like me it's very sad to see another part of old Gilmer go by the boards."

Gilmer Potteries was one of the oldest companies in Gilmer.

Currently, there are no future plans in place for the plant facility.

Lakecia Shockley, reporting. lshockley@kltv.com  

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