A whole slew of Native American culture – such as pottery shards; coral arrowheads; blue clay and more – has been discovered recently in various parts of Florida. First discoveries were made close to Wares Creek and Ellenton. Riverbanks were scoured by someone looking for clay to make special creations that later became extremely hot items throughout the state of Florida.
A small broken piece of soapstone deposit was found at the Ware’s Creek swimming hole that thereafter was used to get the filth of dirty boys, to save them having to take a bath. A clay deposit was found which was used to make marbles but then some girls thought it would be better put to use to build pots and pans. But this turned out not to be such a smart idea as it crumbled because it was so dry. Still, later on in history, a bunch of women grouped together who made a living out of a somewhat more improved sample.
In 1914 Mary Ward made the clay famous though. When she first came to the state, she was told there was no way she would be able to find good quality clay to use in her pottery business. But, the single mom was desperate to feed her family so she looked and looked and looked and then finally found a substantial clay deposit that had been there all the time at the Riverview Boulevard.
The rest, as they say, is history and these days a collection of Ward’s work can be found at the Manatee Village Historical Park. In addition, her works are still highly sought after at antique shoes where collectors pay up to $800 for a well-preserved piece.