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Quilt, several squares, basket design, Buckland, Mass., circa 1860
TitleQuilt, several squares, basket design, Buckland, Mass., circa 1860
Full Size Image
SubjectQuilts; Quilted goods; Coverlets; Buckland (Mass.); Sterling (Mass.); Ashfield (Mass.); Shelburne (Mass.)
DescriptionA number of squares of a circa 1860 quilt which was given to the Buckland Historical Society by the Sterling [Mass.] Historical Society in October 2005. As the quilt originated in Buckland Mass., the Sterling Society generously returned it to its place of origin. This quilt measures approximately 6 feet wide by 7 feet long. It contains 42 basket squares, of which 24 or 26 squares appear to be signed. The pattern of the squares is such that, when laid out on a bed, the handles of the baskets are oriented to the center of the bed, 3 rows each on the left and on the right. There are 7 baskets in each row from head board to foot board, 6 rows in total. The remaining squares that make up the quilt are without color, as is the back of the quilt. The entire piece is hand stitched, and the quilted pattern follows the basket design. The handles of the baskets are appliqued. Each basket square is pieced together with 2 inch squares, 1 inch triangles, and rectangular-shaped pieces of fabric in various colors and patterns. The overall condition of the quilt might be considered as fair, as it has yellowed, has some stains, and some of the fabrics and stitches have deteriorated. The quilt had been gifted to the Sterling Historical Society sometime after their incorporation in 1963 by Mrs. Roy Crosby. The documentation that accompanied the quilt states that Mrs. Crosby was formerly of Piper's Corner in Sterling. Mrs. Crosby included a note that reads, This quilt was given to my parents when Father preached in Buckland - his first appointment in N. E. Conference. This is the year of 1941 - so the quilt must be nearly 90 yrs old. We have since learned that during the 1950's and 1960's, Mrs. Crosby lived with her husband at the corner of what is now Princeton Road and Main Street in Sterling, Mass. We have also learned that her name was Mildred B., but her maiden name, the surname of her father whom she says preached in Buckland, is unknown. Without Mrs. Crosby's maiden name, we have been unable to determine which Buckland preacher this quilt was presented to in 1941. Census and genealogical resources indicate that this quilt may have been signed sometime around 1850 to 1860. Nearly all of the surnames listed can be found among the families who lived in Buckland and the bordering towns of Ashfield and Shelburne, at least during the 1840's to 1880's, and many surnames are recognizable through the 1900's right on up until 2010. For example, Henrietta Hubbard, (born about. 1825 and wife of Joseph), can be found in the U.S. Federal Census records in Buckland from 1850 to 1870. In the 1850 U. S. Federal Census, Augusta Butler was 14 years old and living in Buckland in the same household as Caroline Butler, who was 10 years old. Joab Woodard is listed in Buckland in the 1860 U. S. Federal Census as being 28 years old. The signatures, which appear on the basket squares only, are in black ink. Each signature is in a different penmanship. Many signatures have faded to the point of being impossible to read, and several have disappeared altogether. Using the original documentation from Sterling, along with a recent visual inspection of the quilt, transcription of the signatures is as follows: Augusta Butler, Caroline Butler, Leander Butler*, Sylvia Butler, Sarah Ann Elmer, Esther Gilbert, Almond Howes*, Caroline Howes, James Howes, Lucinda Howes, Sally Howes, Sarah F Howes, Sophia Howes, Sophrenia G Howes, Henrietta Hubbard, Buckland, Olive F Jones, Clarissa Smith, Sarah Stetson, Buckland, Tingah Welles, Ellen Whitney, Elsie Whitney, Angeline Williams, Elbert Wood**, Everett Wood, Joab Woodward, Buckland, and Sarah G Woodward, Buckland. *The names Leander Butler and Almond Howes do not appear on the Sterling document, but inspection of the quilt in November 2009 indicates these names/signatures. **Elbert Wood's signature could not be found upon inspection November 2009.
ContributorsSand, Pamela, Photographer
SourceQuilt, approximately 84 x 72 inches
RelationFrom the collections of the Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland, MA, 01338,
Coverage42.60 N, 72.77 W
Rights2010 Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland MA 01338 email:
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