One family’s special history is resurfacing at Goodwill

Local News

“It was a tribute to his grandfather who he loved and admired and respected all the things he did in the Ransburg Pottery Company,” says Zan Ransburg, wife of Dave Ransburg.

When former Peoria mayor, Dave Ransburg, passed away in November 2017, his family wanted to keep his legacy alive. And what better way to do that than through a century-old family tradition.

“It’s a wonderful heritage and it’s just amazing how somebody would come up with this process,” says Zan.

Dave’s grandfather, Harper Ransburg, created the Ransburg Pottery Collection back in 1911.

“I think if they look at when the company started and how the pieces have lasted through the years, the creativity is no stamping, they’re done personally,” says Zan.

Through his pottery, Harper not only invented a new style of painting but was also the first to market houseware items.

Now as hundreds of his items lay in a warehouse, the family decided to let others enjoy his work.

“She had our staff meet her over at a small storage bin,” says Don Johnson, president, and CEO of Goodwill Industries Central Illinois. “And the story she told us about was the Ransburg Pottery and the history was unbelievable.”

The family donated the Ransburg Pottery Collection to Goodwill knowing that was something Dave would’ve wanted.

“This is a tremendous donation,” says Johnson. “It’s special. The number of pieces is special. The uniqueness of the pieces, the painting on those vases; it just makes it very special.”

To look through the Ransburg Pottery Collection, click here.

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