Our student, Spencer St. Amant, has been diligently working on cataloging a major collection of refuse from the Brittain Pottery Works, located in Tay Township, Waverley, Ontario. Henry Brittain Sr. purchased a 100 acre farm on lot 76, Concession 2, Tay Township, between 1845 and 1848. He went into pottery production sometime later around 1854, probably to augment his meager farming income. He seems to have produced a range of products such as flower pots, milk pans, wash dishes and cuspidors from 1854 right up to his death in 1869.
His son William Brittain very likely carried out the trade as did his younger brother Henry Jr. on the same site or adjacent sites as they owned parts of lot 76 and 77, Concession 2, Tay Township for many years. In the 1870’s or early 1880’s Henry Jr. gave up pottery making. His son Robert revived this business in Waverley in the 1890’s but appears to have been unsuccessful, or at least marginal. Most clay containers and glass containers were now being mass manufactured and so the only North Simcoe pottery manufacturing operations fell silent by the turn of the 20th century.
Huronia Museum has collections from Henry Brittain Sr’s operation of 1850’s – 1860’s and now a collection of Robert Brittains from circa 1890-98.