I’ve been driving past Mark of the Potter in Clarksville, Georgia for years now, but it wasn’t until recently that my family and I decided to check out this quiet, beautiful gem tucked away along Scenic Highway 197, and I’m so glad we did.
It was a few weeks ago as Alex and I were driving the boys to a birthday party that we passed Mark of the Potter, an old grain mill which was turned into a pottery shop by local retirees in 1969. I began to tell the kids about the old mill and its place on the banks of the Soque River when my son, Austin, a briny fisherman at heart, immediately perked up. He wanted to know what kind of fish were in the river. When I told him about the so-called “trophy” trout that populate the Soque by the thousands, his eyes lit up. Alex and I decided to stop by Mark of the Potter on the way back from the birthday party so that Austin could see the fish for himself.
When we got there, I browsed the pottery for sale inside the shop while the boys went out back to feed and marvel at the long, fat rainbow trout. The pottery in the shop is a beautiful assortment with lots of different colors, shapes and sizes, ideal for anyone looking to expand their own collection, and I couldn’t help but do some marveling of my own at how unique so many of the pieces were. I confess, I was a bit surprised by the amount of inventory and featured artists. The store had everything from napkin rings and butter dishes, to large vases and urns, and everything in between. I selected a small dish to add to my coffee table in our family room as a reminder of our day trip.
Once I was done in the shop, I went out back with the boys. Like the majority of property along the river, Mark of the Potter is privately owned and fishing is not allowed. They want their section of the river to be a serene one for both humans and wildlife, allowing the trout to grow and spawn, restocking the river for everyone to enjoy. Austin and Dalton went wild as what seemed like hundreds of fish came to eat the food they threw out, and when they’d finished we walked underneath the mill, where visitors can see the water running and read about the building’s history. Austin spotted salamanders and frogs under the mill. The kids loved the adventure.
As we drove away on the winding, scenic road back to the lake house, I felt happy we’d finally made the time to explore Mark of the Potter. Daily life can get so busy that I often forget the power of small adventures like these for my children. Fortunately, the light in Austin’s eyes as he watched the fish swim to the surface of the river reminded me how important it is to break away from routine every once in a while, and try something new. Even a brief detour can make a big difference.
Overall, I’d say Mark of the Potter is the perfect fun, FREE place to go if you’re looking for a Sunday outing with family or friends. Make a day of it and get lost in the breathtaking beauty of North Georgia. I promise, you won’t regret it.