Findings on the "Blue Willow" dish pattern



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The Blue Willow
Dish Calamity


By Karen Platt

The mystery of the Blue Willow dishes has been solved. I had gathered up some dish shards a year ago, before the fence was put around the Fort and set aside all I had picked up in a sack. I was getting ready to turn the items over to the archeologists, so went through everything I had and couldn't believe it. I had a blue shard china about the size of a dollar. I cleaned it off and put it against my brand new Blue Willow dishes and the shard design fit exactly! So we know what Betsy Davies Williams Blue Willow dishes looked like, the traditional Blue Willow pattern! And another strange happening, Lyman found a marble on the southeast corner of the Fort washed out in the fields! This is most likely the marble that Betsy's son was playing with! So we have Betsy's dish shard, 157 years old from England, across the water, across the plains, across Utah to Fort Harmony and one of the marbles that led to the dishes being broken! What a story!

Also, at Cove Fort days, I took the shards up there and had an expert look at what I have. He thought we had some dish shards from Nauvoo potters and also some jugs or urns from that period. I am going to take the shards to Salt Lake to the Church Office and have an expert there look at what we have and see what he says.

And, Rochelle's daughter found a pipe stem remnant. It looks like a bottle top but isn't. It was used inside a pipe.

We did find some other dish shards that have been dated from 1917 to 1924 from Homer Laughlin dishes, Genoesee. These came after the Fort collapsed so what is the story of these dishes? Some one has camped at the site, or has dumped garbage there or broken a plate and left it there.

I haven't found out about the material yet. Mike Anderson at Cove Fort is going to check it out for me and get back to me. He knows 1850 fabric and styles.