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Quilt, single square signed by Joab Woodward, Buckland, Mass., circa 1860
TitleQuilt, single square signed by Joab Woodward, Buckland, Mass., circa 1860
Full Size Image
SubjectWoodward, Joab, 1830-1903; Quilts; Quilted goods; Coverlets; Buckland (Mass.); Sterling (Mass.)
DescriptionOne square of a quilt which was given to the Buckland Historical Society by the Sterling [Mass.] Historical Society in October 2005. The signature on this piece is Joab Woodward, Buckland Mass. Census and genealogical resources indicate that this quilt may have been signed sometime around 1850 to 1860. The piece is hand stitched, and the quilted pattern follows the basket design. The handle of the basket is appliqued. The square is pieced together with 2 inch squares, 1 inch triangles, and rectangular-shaped pieces of fabric. The overall condition of this square might be considered as fair, as it has yellowed and has some stains. The photo shows deterioration of some of the fabrics and stitches. The entire quilt contains 42 basket squares of which 24 or 26 squares appear to be signed. 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, but this piece with Joab Woodward's signature and Buckland Mass. is quite clear. One cannot help but ask the question, Did Joab actually sew this square or did he simply sign his signature to it? (Wasn't sewing and quilting during this time period considered women's work?). Joab Woodard is listed without a date of birth in Lucy Cutler Kellogg's Buckland genealogies, in The History of Buckland 1779-1935, as the son of Zophar Woodward and Amanda Ware. Zophar Woodard's father, Spencer Woodward of Taunton, came to Buckland soon after 1790. This Woodward family and their descendants remained in Buckland for many decades. According to the 1860 U. S. Federal Census, Joab was living in Buckland. He was stated to be 28 years old, which would make his birth year about 1831 or 1832. There is a death record dated 8 March 1903 in the town of Sutton, Mass. for a Joab T. Woodward, age 72 years-10 months-19 days. This would make Joab's birth about April 1830 or 1831. The death record states he was born in Buckland Mass., the son of Zophar and Amanda (Ware) Woodward. 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.
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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