The Roadside Craftsmen had its origins in a business called Bloomfield Art Pottery, located just west of East Bloomfield. It catered to tourists traveling along state Routes 5 and 20.
For nearly 25 years, the operation produced pottery, woodworking and weaving. It was an outlet for metal work made at the Avon Coppersmith, as well as decorative and utilitarian wrought iron objects and wooden wares produced in Hemlock.
The business started in the 1930s during the Depression, operating out of two buildings that still exist. It later moved to a large church building brought from Branchport, which is occupied now by New Hope Fellowship Church. The enterprise closed in 1952.
Many East Bloomfield and Holcomb residents worked there over the years, sometimes seasonally. There were artisans who learned their skills in their native Southern states, who were joined by graduates of Alfred University’s ceramic program.
A slideshow will present a history of Roadside Craftsmen and introduce the individual artisans. There will be an opportunity to see objects in the Historical Society’s collection. Visitors may bring one or two items made at Roadside Craftsmen, although there can be no appraisals.