NAME: Jugtown
COUNTY: Grundy
CLIMATE: Cool Winter, Hot Summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: anytime though spring can be quite muddy
COMMENTS: The site is part of Goose Lake Praire State Park. From I-55 take exit 240, Lorenzo Road, drive west about 5 miles (Lorenzo becomes Pine Bluff Road) to Jugtown Road turn north 1 mile to park entrance.
REMAINS: Pottery remains at park visitor center and clay pits
The orginal Goose Lake (which was drained in the 1800's) and the surrounding area was rich in clay. Starting as early as the 1820s, the sticky clay was extensively dug by settlers. Some of them were trained potters; they fired the clay in kilns to create pieces of earthenware for frontier farm and household needs. The potters' settlement was called Jugtown, and the road to the park's visitor center is called Jugtown Road to this day. The settlement itself has long since been abandoned. A few pieces of Jugtown earthenware have been saved by collectors (some of which can be seen in the park visitor center), and some of the larger claypits can be seen along marked park trails. Frontiersmen also dug ditches through the clay to partly drain the wet prairie for pastureland since the soil was too wet for crops. Submitted by: Brian Tjernlund