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Hilton Homeplace event to include Lincolnton potter

Staff Writer

A family whose tradition spans six generations — dating back to the early 1800s — who helped shake things up in the Catawba Valley pottery scene, will be coming together for their ninth Hilton Homeplace pottery sale this weekend.
The sale will feature various regional potters who are connected to the Hiltons, including direct descendants of John Wesley Hilton who began the family’s pottery legacy post-Civil War. John Hilton, a grandson of John Wesley Hilton who lives in Lincolnton and only started making pottery about 10 years ago, will have pieces for sale at the event.
His family’s history and the need for something to do after he retired, sparked his interest in the jugs, vases and other crafts he makes today.
The tradition started with Robert Hilton, who was born in Lincoln County in 1819 and worked at a cotton mill in the area — an art medium the group has been crafting for more than 150 years.
The family is known for making functional, usable pieces, which today’s generation of potters in their family try to maintain. The Hiltons also were the first in the area to have females involved in decorative lines, such as blue edge, Catawba Indian and raised dogwood, Executive Director Lincoln County Historical Association Jason Harpe told the Times-News on Monday.
Harpe wrote about the family in his “Valley Ablaze” book, which is set to be released this fall and focuses on the Catawba Valley pottery tradition.
Brother-sister team — Bob Hilton and Linda Long — are the fourth generation to own the farm where the sale will take place on Saturday. Hilton lives and creates pottery on the Catawba County property.
The pottery sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the C.R. Hilton Homeplace, 4026 Old State Road in Newton.
Harpe recommends getting their early for hand-made cups filled with cider for the first group of patrons.
For more information, call (704) 462-1304, or visit www.hiltonhomeplace.com.

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