Beach Finds at Stedman’s Landing

Stedman's Landing

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View of Mobile Bay

Beach Finds: pottery shards, glass and a bone

Beach Finds: pottery shards, glass and a bone

Check out the design on this piece of pottery, or china.

Check out the design on this piece of pottery, or china.

Beach combing in Montrose, AL, I wasn’t expecting to find much except for a glass piece or two.  I was more interested in what Stedman’s Landing looked like.  I got the glass (brown and green) but was surprised at finding pottery.  Investigating afterward I found a friend with a couple of shoe boxes filled with pottery shards from the beaches of Mobile Bay.  I also read a brief article of some archeology students hunting pottery shards along the Bay. 

These pieces were buried among some rocks on the shoreline.  The clay I found was two colors: one is a light color with the painted finish, the other is a dark brown coated in the painted finish.  The painted finishes looked the same.  The clay was thick.

But I found more than just brown. I really love the one painted in a green design.  I have found broken shards of china on the beach before (obvious to me that it was once lost in a hurricane).  This one is painted on both sides.  I’d love to find out what it was and who belonged to it. 

I will definitely be hunting for more pottery.

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV), But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.


Update January 1, 2013: I did some further research on pottery in the Daphne, Montrose, Fairhope AL area since writing the above article.  Turns out the pottery can be from one of a few sources.

First, the area before the Civil War was home to dozens of pottery companies or potters.  They used the Bay to ship some of their products. 

Second, Hernando DeSoto found Native Americans inhabiting the area.  I’ve read that there are still pottery samples and shards from that time period being found along the Mobile Bay and in local designated park areas.

Third, the Eastern Shore of the Mobile Bay is lined with piers sticking out like teeth on a comb from privately held land.  Seems almost everyone has a pier and at the end of most is a covered gazebo.  These can be simple, just a seating area under a roof with a ladder to the water.  They can also be highly elaborate with built-in gas grills, refrigerators, sinks, cabinets, tables and seating.  Some have covered boat storage.  I was told that pre-Katrina, a lot of these dining rooms were built.  Storm activity hit a low period and people along the Bay must have felt secure about building an outdoor kitchen.  These kitchens included storage for plates, bowls, serving items.  Hurricane Katrina ruined all of the fun and what was built came down.  Perhaps some of what we are finding is from those pier dining rooms. 


4 thoughts on “Beach Finds at Stedman’s Landing

  1. Patty Mc

    I have been to Steadman’s many times and have my own collection of Pottery finds. I thought it was so interesting learning about the landing, the wharf, the means to which they got the products to and from the ships, and how the boxes would dump the pottery. And so many years later for us to find.

    1. Eileen Saunders Post author

      Hi Patty, yes that whole area has interesting history. Lots to find along the shore.

  2. Magdie

    Hi there. I was at stedmans the other day and notice the big rock with the spiral Petroglyph, does anyone have a back story for this beautiful rock

    1. Eileen Saunders Post author

      Hi, I have no idea but will ask a friend who lives nearby there. Interesting. Maybe another reader will know, too.

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