#PrideOfPlaceOn2 | Whynot – A Randolph County Community

WHYNOT, N.C. – Rumor has it if you try to balance a North Carolina map on your finger or a sharp object, the center of it would be Whynot.

Whynot is an unincorporated community in southern Randolph County with origins in the 1850s with the completion of the Fayetteville-Western Plank Road, and officially with the establishment of its post office, according to Randolph County Historian Mac Whatley.

“The Plank Road was built in 1851 and ‘52 and it was the longest wooden road in the road,” Whatley said in an interview. “Whynot was the center.”

Whatley says the name the community came about when the families established there, historically potters, met because they couldn’t decide what to name their post office since the names of their churches and landmarks were already taken in other places in NC.

“They were all saying ‘Well, if we can’t name it that, why don’t we name it this?’ And, ‘Why not that? Why not the other thing?’ And finally, Noah Richardson, it said, said ‘Well, why don’t we name it Whynot and just go on?’ And that’s what they did,” the historian shared in an interview.

Today, Whynot extends from the end of Seagrove on “Pottery Highway,” Highway 705 into Fork Creek Mill Road, where you’ll find a number of Whynot potters and the historic Fairgrove Methodist Church.

PHOTOS: Whynot, NC: A Unique Name, A Unique Place

“Whynot is like the center of the pottery community,” Whatley said.

Among them, Whynot Pottery, owned and run by Mark and Meredith Heywood.

The pottery opened in 1982 as a family business and picked up steam by the mid-80s.

But when the Heywoods first opened their shop, there were only two other open shops at the time.

“Then the number jumped from 9 to 12, and now, I think, no one really knows for sure how many shops there are at any given time,” Heywood said in an interview.

Their shop’s namesake is the name of the community in which it all began.

“We thought of a lot of other names we could use for a pottery shop,” Heywood said. “It just made sense, you know, ‘why not?’

“I wish I had a nickel for every time somebody came in and said ‘Well, why not?”

Heywood shares that each pottery shop has its unique style and skill and that throughout the years, the nature of the business has definitely changed.

Others pottery shops in the community include Dover Pottery, Eck McCanless Pottery, Dirtworks Pottery, Tom Gray Pottery, Dixieland Pottery, Marsh, Pottery, Kovack Pottery and Michele Hastings & Jeff Brown Pottery.

So, next time you find yourself on ‘Pottery Highway,’

‘Whynot’ check out what this part of the craft lovers’ community has to offer?

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