NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Ever wonder if that old stoneware jug that's been in your family for generations might actually be worth keeping? This weekend, the Stone Fort Museum will be the place to find out.
Pottery Roadshow 2008, sponsored by the newly organized Friends of the Stone Fort Museum, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at the museum on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.
Area enthusiasts will have their collections on display, and they, along with experts from the university, will be available to help date and identify pieces. Information on the care and repair of pottery will be offered by The Renewal Factory, and demonstrations of wheel-thrown pottery will be provided by the SFA School of Art.
"This is a great opportunity for people who have old pottery at home - maybe a stoneware crock that's been in their family for a long time - to bring it to the museum and have it identified, " said Dr. William Godwin, president of the Friends group. "Hopefully, the owner of the piece would learn something about its history, where it was made, and what it was used for."
The Pottery Roadshow is the first of what the newly formed Friends of the Stone Fort Museum group hopes will be many special events designed to connect the East Texas community to the museum, according to Chay Runnels, vice president of the Friends group.
"The Stone Fort Museum is a wonderful repository of Texas history - truly a hidden treasure in the middle of the SFA campus," Runnels said. "We encourage the public to learn more about the museum and everything it offers, and joining the Friends group is a great way to do that."
The Friends group is dedicated to promoting the museum as an educational and cultural center and serving as a liaison between the museum and the community. Student memberships are available for as little as $5. Full, voting memberships start at $35.
"This group will be looking for innovative ways to connect with local students and families, not only to educate them about local history but also to learn from community members how the museum can best serve their needs," museum director Carolyn Spears said. "The Pottery Roadshow will be a great opportunity to do both."
Kid-friendly "haunted storybook" tours of the Stone Fort will be offered Friday, Oct. 31, during the museum's annual Halloween event, History Was Never Scarier. Carnival games and other family activities also will be offered from 6 to 10 p.m. There is no admission charge.
For more information about the Halloween event and the Pottery Roadshow, or to find out more about the Friends of the Stone Fort Museum, call (936) 468-2408 or visit www.sfasu.edu/stonefort.