Saturday, May 16, 2009

Donaghho's Origins

Does anyone know what the origin of the Donaghho name is? It obviously sounds and, especially LOOKS, Italian to me. Searches in Italian databases of similar names have not turned up anything useful.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Potter of Parkersburg...

Alexander Polk Donaghho

His stoneware was sometimes simple... and sometimes incredibly unique. But one thing's for sure: There's nothing like the thrill of coming across an A.P. Donaghho piece of stoneware at an auction, flea market or yard sale.

The "Donaghho bug" bit me soon after I moved to Parkersburg, West Virginia, where A.P., his son Walter and a number of other talented potters created and sold thousands of pieces of stoneware of every shape and size.

A.P. died in 1899 at the age of 70, and was buried in Parkersburg Memorial Gardens, formerly called the Odd Fellows Cemetery, not far from where his pottery was located. Walter continued the business. Rapidly evolving methods of creating stoneware more quickly and more cheaply eventually forced Walter to close down the family business less than ten years later.

Before moving his family and his business to Parkersburg, which just ten years earlier had been part of Virginia, Mr. Donaghho practiced his trade for a number of years in the small community of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania. Like his wares in Parkersburg, his Fredericktown product often was simple, but occasionally unique.

Before his move to West Virginia in 1870, the Donaghho pottery was one of a number of stoneware manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, not a whole lot is known about A.P. Donaghho. My seven years of collecting and researching A.P. Donaghho has, in many respects, produced even more questions than answers. And since I live in Parkersburg, that's especially frustrating!

My hope is that fellow Donaghho fans can help piece together a better picture of this man. I look forward to your posts and your input!