It may come as a surprise to some that the term “Hoopie” is a derogatory one thought to be an insult worse than "hillbilly" given to residents of West Virginia.
According to history, East Liverpool OH, across the river from WV, began as an important maker of pottery, so much so that it was often referred to as “Potters' Field”.
West Virginia residents looking for work in the area were thought to be only skilled enough to bang together the metal strips that would make the hoops needed for barrel construction.
One legend claims that when Hoopies first saw the HLC on the large smokestack of Homer Laughlin China in Newell, WV, they were scared, thinking it stood for “Hoopies Last Chance.”
But, a news story found in Youngstown’s Sunday Vindicator tells us that Ohio had a fair share of Hoopies residing within its own borders. And one wonders, if West Virginia was so bad, why did they praise their neighbor state and plan a relief outing to Rock Springs Park in 1902.
The Sunday Vindicator - Youngstown, Ohio - May 4, 1902
EXCURSION TO BE RUN BY RELIEF ASSOCIATIONS CONNECTED WITH YOUNGSTOWN WORKS
Steel Hoop People Go to Rock Springs
The Relief Association of the American Steel Hoop company decided last evening to hold its annual outing at Rock Springs Park, at Chester, W. Va., across the Ohio River from East Liverpool, on June 28. The fare for the round trip will be $1. Rock Springs Park is one of the most attractive and delightful resorts in the country, and affords every pleasure for the excursionist. The large pavilion is on high ground and overlooks the Ohio River, and the view is one of beauty. The woodland and hills about the park and the coaster and other attractions make it an ideal place to spend a day.
The pottery industry at East Liverpool will be a treat to the ironworkers.