Potter Building razed

Workers bring tear down the remaining standing walls of the old Potter Co. building in Wesson on Thursday.

An infamous Wesson landmark has been razed at its location on Highway 51 north, but remains etched in the memories of many long-time Wesson residents and former workers at the plant.  The old Potter Company building, which had been moth-balled since the mid-1990’s, no longer exists, thanks to crews mauling the property with heavy equipment earlier this week.

The Potter Company opened in 1953.  Like many small towns throughout the state, the industry was one of Wesson’s major employers.  The hundreds, if not thousands, of workers employed there over its existence, made electrical components.   Potter played a huge part in Wesson’s successful existence, until the facility closed.

In the 1980’s, the Environmental Protection Agency began investigating the site as possibly being contaminated by chemicals used in cleaning and production.  A years-long inquiry resulted in the area being declared an EPA Superfund cleanup site.  The cleanup included removal of contaminated soil in commercial and residential areas around the Potter property.  The town of Wesson also had to drill two new water wells after a high amount of the chemicals were found in the drinking water.  The lives of many Wesson residents and employees of Potter were affected.

Potter was purchased by Spectrum, Inc. in 1998 for $3 million. Potter manufactured power filter and power distribution products, including electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference power filters, power line filters, facility filters, magnetic resonance interference filters, power distribution products, and power management, conditioning, and surge suppression products. Potter generated about $8 million in annual sales. The addition of Potter provided Spectrum Control, based near Erie, PA, a chance at new markets.

Spectrum Controls of Wesson operates today in a facility just north of the old Potter building on the west side of Hwy. 51.

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