Pottery was located two miles east of Tesla, midway between Tesla and Carnegie, in Alameda County, California. The Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company built the plant in 1903 for the manufacture of sewer pipe.

This was the result of the burning of the Stockton Art Pottery plant in 1902, once located on Sacramento and Taylor streets in Stockton, which the Carnegie firm owned. The Stockton Art Pottery was and still is famous for its line of fancy vase and pottery known as Rekston ware. At the time the plant burned, it was successfully producing tile and sewer pipe under the name of the Stockton Brick and Pottery Company. The plant was rebuilt at Pottery so that it would be closer to its source of clay at Tesla.

Pottery plant

The Pottery plant consisted of eight beehive kilns ranging from 26 feet to 30 feet in diameter, feeding three tall square stacks. The sewer-pipe presses produced pipes of three sizes. The plant also made figurines, cornice tiles, and porcelains. These products were shipped throughout the state.

The plant employed 45 to 60 workers, under the management of James Hislop. They lived in the Tesla community known as Harrietville. The commute to work was a two mile ride on a flat car pulled by a white horse.

All came to an end when the 1911 flooding of Corral Hollow Creek severely damaged the plant and the railroad line. The Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company ordered the plant closed and the workers were laid off. The Pottery plant was razed in 1917. Over the years, the property was used for ranching. Today, the California State Vehicular Recreation Area owns the property.

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Contact Dan L. Mosier at danmosier@earthlink.net.

Copyright 2003 Dan L. Mosier

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