Chester Webster - The "Bird and Fish" Potter

4 gallon syrup jug
Chester Webster, 1845

1 quart pitcher
Chester Webster, 1850

   

 

 

Chester Webster and his 2 brothers made pottery for a general store in Cross Creek.

Cross Creek was a trading center on the Cape Fear River near present day Fayetteville.

Chester Webster was known as the "Bird and Fish" potter. If you look closely at his pottery you can see why!

Do you see the number 4 on one of the jugs? Chester put this number on the jug to let the user know how many gallons the jug would hold. This jug would have held up to 4 gallons. Chester was paid according to the gallons of pottery that he made each day.

Sometimes he was paid 4 cents per gallon. On an average day he could make 173 gallons. That’s a lot of pots!

Records from the store account books list that Chester was often paid through a trade-off or barter system. He received flour, corn, and potatoes in return for making pottery.