Kentucky pottery maker celebrates 200 years in business

BYBEE, Ky. -- You can buy more elegant dishes, more perfectly shaped dishes and certainly more expensive dishes. But only here can you buy stoneware that has been made by the same family in the same log shed and in about the same way since 1809.

Bybee Pottery is the last of perhaps 50 small potteries that sprang up during Kentucky's pioneer days near the rich clay deposits of southern Madison County. Yet, as the Cornelison family celebrates its business's bicentennial, family members fight persistent rumors that it is closing — and they wonder how much longer it can survive.

"All my life, there has been the annual going-out-of-business rumor," said Buzz Cornelison, 60, who with his brother and sister represent the sixth or seventh generation to run the business, depending on who's counting. "All my life, we have laughed about it. But in the last few years it has become more acute."

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