The Washington Township Historical Society is now displaying antique, local quilts and coverlets at its museum at 6 Fairview Avenue, Long Valley, NJ. The display will run through the end of April.
Betsy Guzenski of the Washington Township Historical Society explains, “Among the quilts and coverlets on display are two signature quilts which have recently been donated to or acquisitioned by the museum and are now treasured items in our ever growing collection.
The Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church donated a quilt that is believed to have been made by a women’s group from the Stephensburg area and was made c. 1900. It is a Dresden Plate design and has 490 signatures of such prominent family names as Fritts, Beaty, Hann, and Zellers.
Linda Carico from North Dakota purchased an unfinished quilt top and recently contacted the museum when she saw “Schooley’s Mountain” on several of the squares. There are several dates on the quilt dating it to c. 1849. One prominent name on the quilt is “Stephens” and it would appear to have been a quilt made for a special family occasion such as an anniversary since the signatures were from towns in this area as well as Geneva, Illinois.
Millicent Palmer, a society member, has loaned us several quilts from her personal collection including a Split Nine Patch design quilt that was documented as part of the 1988 New Jersey Heritage Quilt Project and is written up in NJ Quilts 1777 to 1950 – Contributions to an American Heritage. Other quilts and coverlets are on loan from members Sam and Laurie Akin, Eileen Stokes and Betsy Guzenski.
Also on display is the Delp Quilt, another local signature quilt made for the Reverend William Delp upon his leaving his position as pastor of the Zion Lutheran Church in Long Valley, as well as a Freedom Quilt made by a Girl Scout troop from Denison, Iowa in remembrance of 9.11 which was presented to the family of Karl Trumball Smith who was lost that day and had married into a local family, and one of the Society’s crown jewels, a Jacquard woven coverlet made for Luisa Neighbor dated March 1844.
On Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 4PM Nancy Geiger will speak at the museum about quilts and their history. She has lived in Knowlton Twp. for 26 years and is the President of the Evening Star Quilter’s Guild in Belvidere, NJ. Nancy has been sewing since the age of 10, mostly making her own clothing up until the 80’s when she started designing and sewing home decor. Three years ago, she joined the guild and started making quilts. She has a strong interest in vintage quilts and likes to discover the history behind them. She also paints, draws and has dabbled in art quilts as well.
Please register for the quilt program by calling the museum and leaving a message – 908.876.9696.
The mission of the Washington Township Historical Society is “To bring together people interested in the history of Washington Township, Morris County, New Jersey, and promote a better appreciation of our American heritage.” We are always looking for new members who would like to help us continue our mission.”
The WTHS Museum is opened every Sunday except holidays from 2-4PM and by appointment. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908-876-9696 to set up an appointment or for more information.