Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

A Big New Business


Last updated 11/13/2019 at 4:53pm

I have been asked about this story recently. It all started when the idea of Christmas presents for friends came up. In March, 1939 an announcement for a new business was made. This new industry was actually similar to an already flourishing business in nearby Colorado Springs. The Van Briggle pottery had started just before the turn of the century and their work was well in demand by this time. This new company would produce art pottery in Fountain.

Art pottery is the craft of producing pots, bowls and other items that can be used daily or on special occasions, like Christmas. In addition the artist produce tiles and related products used in a variety of artistic building products. Some of the popular tile items were found in kitchens, bathrooms and around fireplaces. His new company planned to produce all of these items, and use clay found all around Fountain.

John Chancellor, who lived a mile south of Fountain on the new Pueblo Road, had started this business. Born and educated in Missouri, the Chancellors were recent arrivals to the community. Mrs. Chancellor's health brought the change in climate. John added the pottery business to a building he purchased when they settled in Fountain. He had worked in a similar business in Missouri. He was soon producing both cast and "fired" pottery items for the numerous tourists who arrived every spring. After the first few months of the first year, the demand for his products required stepping up production. Some of the really popular items were cast animals. There were also dozens of figures and animals made on the potters wheel.

The shop operated year round, but the bulk of the production happened in the early months of the year, up to mid summer. The majority of the sales started in the spring, when tourists arrived, slowing down in late August. Not only were his items sold in Fountain, but it shops all over the region, as far away as Leadville. The prospect of giving pottery at Christmas helped the little shop, but starting in January they worked on next summer's products.

There is much more to the story of Chancellors, and at some point when I have collected more information I will use it here. I thought you might be interested in thinking about Christmas present ideas!


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