Friday, November 14, 2008

Homer Laughlin House

Blogroll Me!
Here is The Homer Laughlin House in East Liverpool Ohio prior to its demise. This historic building has been leveled for a parking lot.

As you might expect this house was spectacular and had unbelievable woodwork and chandeliers that were sold prior to the appointment with the wrecking ball.

The Homer Laughlin China Company is now located in Newell West Virginia and is the home of Fiestaware the most popular dinner ware ever sold in America. It is sad that a historic landmark was allowed to deteriorate to the point that a parking lot would replace it. It is much like Detroit in that respect. There is not much left in East Liverpool that would indicate that Homer and Shakespeare Laughlin made their start on the Ohio side of the river. If we lived in a different world, this house would be a landmark and a tourist stop on the way to The Ceramic Museum. But we live in an age where towns and zoning laws are centered around the automobile. Parking becomes more important than archetecture. If our auto industry fails or downsizes, perhaps then we will redesign our towns and keep historic buildings rather than lose them to unimaginative parking lots.


p.a.turner said...

Oh man, that just makes me sick.
And for a stupid parking lot of all things.
Good grief.

Kay Hansen ( Idaho) said...

I bought my first piece of laughlin china at a second hand store in Aston Idaho...A little hole in the road surrounded by fields of grain.
With the Teton Mountains in the for-ground. A picture that lingers on ones mind for a long time.. With old farm-steads that have come and gone ..And have a story of there own.. much familiar to today's depression.families came and gone crossing over the yellowstone pass for a better way of life. I'm sure this fun find came from one of those old homes.. Now weathered, and empty...But with the same craftmanship that Homer Laughlin dreamed every home should have . A piece of his fine china at a fair price,But fit for a King's table... Neither I or my friend knew what we had.. It was the cracked crazed look on this beautiful light green platter (Shamrock) that I felt deserved to out live me, as it had out lived its owner. I researched at first to find it's owners. Then I researched Homer Laughlin's history..I wasn't a collector...But I started collecting anything and everything 1875-1930 mostly 1890's
I considered myself a saver of fine china.. To protect a part of our encase and protect in glass.. to leave for the next woman or man.. And my goal was to save it from distruction.. As I see this man so full of History.. Who also fought in the civil war.. Helped promote the growth of California.. and has givin so much to the history of this nation...My wonderment is why wasn't it "Registered under Historical Places"? and saved by the father's of Newell VA. It is a sad time for your city's living history.. with this man who cared for his workers and community...

skymetalsmith said...

Kay, I hope you are a member of HLCCA the Homer Laughlin China Collectors Association.
Please send me a picture of your platter. I would love to blog it! Also those folks on Collectible Medium Green would love your story of collecting. The HLCCA will be meeting next year in Nashville. Maybe we will see you there.

Ira Mency said...

I am so glad you mentioned this on your blog, do you know that wikipedia only has a parking lot showing? Un-freaking-believable even if you consider the fact that Fiesta was just about THE most popular selling dinnerware made in America and is still in business made in America. This really makes me sick. I wrote a Squidoo article on Fiesta I am going to put links to this post and credit you for house pictures I hope people stop by your blog.

skymetalsmith said...

Thank you Ira, No, I did not know that Wikipedia only shows a parking lot...there is so much more! Fiesta Fiestaware and Homer Laughlin is a symbol of what has made America great. Fiesta deserves a frontseat rather than a back seat in our history. Chalk it up to revisionism. Please write back and give me your link so I can do this subject justice. I don't know how you found this post, but I consider it profound. I have not been to Newell for awhile, but I know Homer is still alive and kicking...hopefully kicking an inferior product in the teeth. This dinnerware was produced as a direct response to the great depression. This is something we can keep as a response to depression, oppression, regression etc. It is a hidden clue to what is now broken in America...what can be revitalized. Please write back with your links. I will gladly publish your links on my blog as I truly believe that Homer Laughlin and Fiesta represent all that is good.....and remains good,...and is still very much alive in America!