Rogue Valley residents usually think of Pottsville as coming alive once a year– Father’s Day weekend. That’s still the time and place to join Dad for events sponsored by the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association. Just north of Merlin, this 40-acre bit of history continues to furnish that wholesome family enjoyment. Venders from several states still converge annually to ply their wares, from antiques and vintage gadgets, to modern glitzy trinkets.
Many local residents may not know that Pottsville now opens daily
between 9 a.m. and dusk. Few realize that they can book weddings,
meetings, church groups, school groups, and no-drugs-or-alcohol
celebrations in Pottsville.
When Debbs Potts died a few
years ago, his will set up Pottsville as a non-profit foundation. He
appointed as its three directors, step-daughter Vickie Pruden, plus his
close friends Richard Stricklan and Allan Poole. "We were the ones who
knew Debbs long enough, and well enough to understand his wishes,"
Pruden said. "I once promised Debbs that as long as I’m alive,
Pottsville will continue to be what he’d envisioned. He wanted it to be
a place for meetings, community, education, and social activities."
old, one-room schoolhouse, remains–renovated inside as a chapel.
"Merlin Baptist Church donated pews, Pruden said. "During a wedding
ceremony, it would seat about 40 people."
the barn building comfortably accommodates up to 75. A wedding package
including the use of both buildings costs $150. "Although we have
complete kitchen facilities," she said, "food and catering services are
not included. People would need to make their own arrangements for
The ambiance makes Pottsville a potentially
unique wedding experience. Like a time-warp, it features a decorative
stagecoach, a surrey and team. In other buildings, visitors discover
memorabilia such as antique victrolas, or pedal Singer sewing machines.
Using acrylics on canvas, Pruden’s spouse, Mark M. Jones
painted an exquisite 6′ by 6′ replica of Potts. This adorns a wall
near the entrance of the wedding reception barn.
is welcome. We prefer they phone for an appointment first," Pruden
said. For information about tours or bookings, the number to call is
By F.C. Blake
Of the Independent