McCully’s Bank Street Pottery


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In operation



earthenware; redware


“In 1799 he [Joseph McCully] built the pottery, which stood for so many years in Bank street, and has recently been sold to the Catholic church” (Trenton State Gazette, April 14, 1870).

Detailed reminiscences of John S. McCully concerning early Trenton potteries (Trenton Evening Times, Sunday, May 8, 1887).

Obituary for McCully who died December 14, 1889, aged 91 (Trenton Evening Times, Sunday, December 15, 1889).

“The old McCully Pottery, near the Battle Monument, is being torn down” (State Gazette, June 27, 1893).

The McCully pottery moved to this site in 1816 from an earlier site “at the head of Warren Street in the rear of the Lamb Tavern,” just south of the Battle Monument. This later site was sold in 1868 (Harney 1929).

Podmore (1948:328) shows a sketch of the layout of the McCully Bank Street Pottery “from recollection of an old-time potter in 1927.” Podmore also references advertisements relating to the pottery: The Federalist, June 16, 1801; New Jersey Gazette, June 16, 1801; The Federalist, November 19, 1807); Trenton Federalist, April 24, 1809; Trenton Federalist, November 18, 1816.

“A pioneer potter in Trenton was John S. McCully, who in 1779 began to make pie plates and flower pots of red clay.” Until 1852 J.S. McCully had no competitors (Van Hoesen 1973).

The McCully family operated potteries at several different locations in the heart of Trenton from the early 1780s onwards, the final facility being the one on Bank Street (Branin 1988:60-64).

“The late John S. McCully, one of Trenton’s oldest potters, informed Mr. McCormick that the first pottery in that city was erected in 1783, on a part of the Cowell [sic] estate, near where Petty’s Run is crossed by Pennington Avenue, but this was soon abandoned. In the following year, Joseph McCully, an uncle of John, erected a second pottery at the head of Warren Street, back of the old Lamb Tavern, which he continued to operate for several yearsÉ In 1799 a pottery was built by the father of John S. McCully on the site of Bishop O’Farrell’s residence, on Warren Street, having formed a partnership with Thomas Wimer. In 1815 the opening of Bank Street necessitated the removal of the pottery to the lot on which the parochial school now stands” (Barber n.d.:5).

Selected References

Boyd, William H. 1857. “The Trenton City Directory: Containing the Names of the Citizens, a Business Directory, State and City Record, and an Appendix of Much Useful Information: Also an Historical Sketch of the City of Trenton from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time.” C. Scott & Co., Trenton, New Jersey.

Boyd, William H. 1859. “Trenton City Directory: Containing the Names of the Citizens, a Business Directory of Mercer and Burlington Counties, and an Appendix Containing Much Useful Information.” William H. Boyd Directory Publishing, New York, New York.

Federal Census of New Jersey. 1860. Population Schedules. On file, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

J.H. Lant & Co. 1868-1869. “The Trenton City Directory, for 1868-1869, Containing the Names of the Inhabitants, Together with a Business and Street Directory of the City, Business Directory of Mercer Co., and an Appendix of Valuable Information.” pp. 187-188. Vannote & Yard, Trenton, New Jersey.

Trenton State Gazette, Thursday, April 14, 1870.

Woodward, E. M. and John F. Hageman. 1883. “History of Burlington and Mercer Counties.” Everts and Peck, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Relics of the Past.” Trenton Evening Times, Thursday, August 26, 1886.

“The Pottery Art. The Rhythmic Wheel of Prehistoric Times. Report of An Interview With Trenton’s Oldest Practical Potter — Interesting Reminiscences Which Will be New to Most of Our Readers.” Trenton Evening Times, Sunday, May 8, 1887.

“Lying at the Point of Death. John McCully, Trenton’s Oldest Native Citizen, Dying of Old Age.” Trenton Evening Times, Thursday, December 12, 1889.

“Death of John S. McCully.” Trenton Evening Times, Sunday, December 15, 1889.

Harney, W.J. 1929. “Trenton’s First Potteries.” Sunday Times Advertiser, July 7, 14, 21, 28, 1929.

Podmore, Harry J. 1948. “Trenton: Its Place in the History of the Pottery Industry in the United States. I – Early Background.” Ceramic Age, April, 1948, pp. 213-214.

Podmore, Harry J. 1948. “Trenton: Its Place in the History of the Pottery Industry in the United States. IV – Lamb Tavern Pottery.” Ceramic Age, May, 1948, pp. 246-247.

Podmore, Harry J. 1948. “Trenton: Its Place in the History of the Pottery Industry in the United States. V – Wimer-McCully Pottery.” Ceramic Age, June, 1948, p. 332.

Van Hoesen, Walter Hamilton. 1973. “Crafts and Craftsmen of New Jersey.” Associated University Presses, Inc., Cranbury, New Jersey.

Quigley, Mary Alice and David E. Collier. 1984. “A Capital Place: The Story of Trenton.” Historical Society and Windsor Publications, Inc., Woodland Hills, California.

Branin, M. Lelyn. 1988. “The Early Makers of Handcrafted Earthenware and Stoneware in Central and Southern New Jersey.” Associated University Presses, Inc., Cranbury, New Jersey.

Denker, Ellen Paul. 1989. “Lenox China: Celebrating a Century of Quality 1889-1989.” Lenox, Inc., Trenton, New Jersey.

Hunter Research, Inc. 1996. “A Historical Survey of the Trenton Battle Monument Park Area, Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey. Report on file, New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (NJDEP), Trenton, New Jersey.

Barber, Edwin Atlee. N.d. “History of the Pottery Industry in New Jersey.” Manuscript on file, Rutgers University Library, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Wall, John P. N.d. “History of the Potteries of Trenton, New Jersey.” Manuscript on file, Trenton Public Library, Trenton, New Jersey.

Other Names

J.S. McCully; McCully Pottery

Block and Lot:

Historic Street Address:
Bank Street and Barnes Street; Union Street near Willow Street

City of Trenton

1860 Census

Name in censusJ. S & H. McCully
Capital Invested2700
Raw materials 1Clay
Quantity materials 118 tons
Value materials 120
Raw materials 2Red lead
Quantity materials 2800 lbs
Value materials 258
Raw materials 3Wood
Quantity materials 321 cords
Value materials 3100
Raw materials 4Coal
Quantity materials 44 tons
Value materials 416
Power type 11 Kiln
Power type 2Frame (structure)
Male hands employed2
Male wages54
Kind of productAssorted red ware
Value of product900