Open main menu

Whynot is an unincorporated community in Randolph County, North Carolina, United States, and is included in the Piedmont Triad metropolitan region.[2] Whynot is located on NC 705, also known as the "North Carolina Pottery Highway",[3] one mile (1.6 km) southeast of Seagrove and seven miles (11 km) west of Jugtown Pottery, a historic pottery listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4] The North Carolina Pottery Highway contains over 100 potteries and galleries in a 15-square-mile (39 km2) region surrounding Seagrove.[5]

Whynot, North Carolina
Whynot sign
Whynot sign
Whynot, North Carolina is located in North Carolina
Whynot, North Carolina
Location of Whynot in North Carolina
Whynot, North Carolina is located in the United States
Whynot, North Carolina
Whynot, North Carolina (the United States)
Coordinates: 35°31′55.8″N 79°45′14.3″W / 35.532167°N 79.753972°W / 35.532167; -79.753972Coordinates: 35°31′55.8″N 79°45′14.3″W / 35.532167°N 79.753972°W / 35.532167; -79.753972
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
Elevation604 ft (184 m)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Zip code
Area code(s)336
GNIS feature ID1016647[1]



Whynot was first settled in the 18th century by German and English people, along with the nearby communities of Erect, Hemp, Lonely, Steeds, and Sophia.[6] The community was originally spelled with two separate words, "Why Not".[7] The origin of town's name came from residents debating a title for their community. A man finally remarked: "Why not name the town Why Not and let's go home?"[8][9][10]

The Why Not Academy and Business Institute, a combination public and private school, was located in the community from 1893 to 1916.[11][12] Whynot has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.[13][14]

Arts and cultureEdit

Area residents first began making pottery in the 18th century.[15] The area still contains several pottery shops including Dirtworks Pottery, Tom Gray Pottery, Dixieland Pottery, Marsh Pottery, Kovack Pottery, Michele Hastings & Jeff Brown Pottery, and Whynot Pottery.[6][16]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Whynot, North Carolina. Retrieved on 2008-06-18.
  2. ^ Ridpath, John (1897). "The Standard American Encyclopedia of Arts, Sciences, History, Biography, Geography, Statistics, and General Knowledge". Encyclopedia Publishing Company, Harvard University: 3287.
  3. ^ Cissna, Bill (2005-05-15). "Follow 'Pottery Highway' into Carolina haven steeped in clay". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  4. ^ "North Carolina - Moore County". Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  5. ^ "Seagrove, NC- The Little Town That Could". Carolina Arts. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  6. ^ a b Brown, Charlotte (2006). The Remarkable Potters of Seagrove: The Folk Pottery of a Legendary. Sterling Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 1-57990-634-6.
  7. ^ "North Carolina State Archives - Postal History Project". North Carolina Office of Archives and History. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  8. ^ Sharpe, Bill (1954). "A New Geography of North Carolina". Sharpe Publishing Company, University of Michigan: 1036.
  9. ^ Kuralt, Charles (1985). On the road with Charles Kuralt. Putnam. p. 181. ISBN 0-399-13087-X.
  10. ^ Leslie, Bill (2008-02-19). "Wrath of Lizard Lick". WRAL. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  11. ^ "Inventory of the Auman Family Papers, 1795-2004 - Collection Number 4401". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  12. ^ Patterson, Homer (1916). "Patterson's American education". Educational Directories, New York Public Library: 579.
  13. ^ Parker, Quentin (2010). Welcome to Horneytown, North Carolina, Population: 15: An insider's guide to 201 of the world's weirdest and wildest places. Adams Media. pp. xii.
  14. ^ Petras, Kathryn; Petras, Ross (18 December 2007). Unusually Stupid Americans: A Compendium of All-American Stupidity. Random House Publishing Group. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-307-41761-9.
  15. ^ Ruhlman, Michael (1985-12-15). "Shopper's World - Carolina Pottery, Shaped By Tradition". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  16. ^ Lancaster, H Martin (2004-11-04). "Making It New In Community Colleges". North Carolina Community College System. Archived from the original on 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2008-06-18.

Further readingEdit

  • Why Not, North Carolina, by William T. Auman and Minnie S. Stuart, Why Not Memorial Association, 1986.