Visit Seagrove, the handmade pottery capital of the U.S., located just 15 minutes south of Asheboro and approximately 40 miles northwest of Pinehurst, North Carolina.
The ceramic history of the area began with the abundant and diverse natural clay deposits found in the area. Native Americans were first to discover this resource and used it for both functional and ceremonial objects.
The first immigrant potters, mostly English and German, arrived in the late 18th century from Pennsylvania and Virginia. They probably settled first in the areas closest to the Great Wagon Road, which ran from Pennsylvania to Georgia, later migrating to Seagrove.
The building of the old Plank Road, and later the emerging railroad system, gave potters access to even wider markets and helped to establish Seagrove's reputation as a pottery town. In the early 20th century by Raleigh couple Jacques and Juliana Busbee, who appreciated the local craftsmanship and used their marketing skills to promote Seagrove to an even wider market and collectors began to embrace the craft. By the late 1920s, Seagrove pottery was well-known from the galleries of New York to the garden shops of Florida.
Throughout the 1950s, potters worked together to promote the area. The 1960s and 70s were characterized by social changes across America with the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration bringing a renewed interest in handcrafts. The development of ceramic arts programs by nearby community colleges led to the training of many area residents and Seagrove potters continued to train their children or other interested apprentices. Studio artists began to settle in the area bringing visible changes throughout the remainder of the 20th century.
In 1982, local potters and citizens, recognizing the strength of continuing to preserve the history and heritage of their craft, began organizing the Seagrove Pottery Festival to be held annually the weekend before Thanksgiving. This festival weekend has now grown to include both the Seagrove Pottery Festival and the Celebration of Seagrove Potters.
Today, Seagrove is home to nearly 100 shops and galleries scattered throughout the area where visitors will find everything from traditional tableware to folk and collectible art pieces and historical reproductions.
The North Carolina Pottery Center, located just off Seagrove’s main street, showcases permanent and rotating exhibits including more than 800 pieces of pottery, artifacts, and photographs tracing North Carolina’s pottery history from Native Americans to the present with displays interpreting the impact of social, technological, and economic changes to one of the state’s most unique cultural resources.
Tour Seagrove Orchids, located seven miles from Downtown Seagrove to see a working orchid nursery cultivating and offering nearly 220 different flowering species.
The Historic Pisgah Covered Bridge, one of North Carolina's two remaining covered bridges, is located just eight miles from Downtown Seagrove and is a lovely spot for photography, picnics, and nature walks.
Town of Seagrove | 122 E Main St - Seagrove | 336-873-7307 | Roy L. Edmonds, Mayor