QUITE A LANDMARK: (That you’ve probably never heard of)

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July 14, 2017 - 12:00 AM

The people and stories of Pot’s Corner

In 1976, the Register published a three-paragraph squib about “pot corner”:
“Nobody knows for sure how it was started, but a country road intersection east of Moran has been known for years as ‘pot corner.’ … The landmark gets its name from four chamber pots, one sitting on a post at each of the four corners of the intersection. The pots have been there for as many years as anyone can remember, and whatever significance they once had is lost. Still, when a pot is stolen or broken, as it sometimes is, a new one takes its place, put there by an unknown resident.”
Then, in 2003, a reference to “Pot’s Corner” made its way into the official minutes of the Allen County Commission when “a citizen reported a hole in a culvert by Pot’s Corner.”
Between these two mentions little else has been written about Pot’s Corner, an otherwise anonymous, dust-blown crossroads on the margins of the Osage Valley — and probably no one cares one way or another. But then again I’ve met two or three who care very much about the biography of this nowhere place and the history of its people.

ON A LATE Wednesday morning last week, I called local developer and longtime Moran resident, Bill McAdam. “If anybody would know, McAdam would,” a coworker had told me that morning. And so I asked him what he knew about the origins of Pot’s Corner. “Me, I’m not old enough to know that,” said McAdam. “I’m only 86.”
Still, McAdam stretched his memory toward the project: “I think you have to go back right through the Depression, sometime around ’34 or ’36. That’s when the county had crews working during the WPA days. … I’m from a time when people would have a pot, and you’d have to go dump it out the next morning. Bad weather, you didn’t go outside — you used a pot. Anyway, somebody came up with the idea to start putting them up and made it Pot’s Corner. I don’t know why. But I think Roy Marple was a county road boss in those days, and I think I heard that from him. But don’t say that for sure, because I’m not damned sure about it. There isn’t anybody left to ask. I mean, I’m about the oldest one around who would know anything about it. Hold on — there’s a lady here that has something on it. Her name is Patricia Ensminger. Here you go.”

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