CAVENDISH-On April 22, the Cavendish Historical Society received an e-mail about quilt squares made in Cavendish during the Civil War era from Teresa Campbell of Lancaster, Calif.
"Several years ago, I received a gift of old hand pieced quilt squares from a friend of my husband," according to the society'sMargo Caulfield. "She later stated that her mother was friends with a descendent of one of the blockmakers, but is not interested in these blocks. Being a quilter, this was an extraordinary gift and being a genealogist, it was a puzzle to be solved. Each block has a name pined or sewn to it, but one also had the name of a hometown, Cavendish. So I did a family search for each of the names and found that each lady who made a block lived in Cavendish, Vermont during the Civil War era."
Campbell suggested how she thinks the quilt came to be in her possession-one of the blocks did not have a name on it, so I believe that was made by the owner of the blocks.
"Here's what I think happened," said Caulfied. "Marcia Ann Heald, paternal grandmother of Marsha Parker, or Mary Jane Dunsmore, mother of Marsha Parker, one of these ladies made this unsigned block. The blocks, never sewn together, were given to Marsha Parker Amsden, born in 1874. Then it was given to her daughter, Grace Amsden Parmanter of Vermont; which in turn was then given to Grace's friend, Frances Willis Turner of Florida. Given to Frances's daughter, she gave it to Ellen Turner of Connecticut, who passed it on to her friend Teresa Campbell, California. On May 9, the eight quilt squares came home to Cavendish."
This year, in addition to being the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, is the 250th anniversary of Cavendish's creation.
In keeping with the 250th Anniversary, a group of local women and men have been working on a quilt.
When Campbell supplied the names of the quilters, which include Evey Kendall, Leizzie Kendall, Maria Spaulding, Julia A. Davis, Mary Hemminway, Celia A. Davis, and Ella A. Spaulding, it was noted that one of the quilters for Cavendish's anniversary quilt, Pang Ting, now lives in the house where the Kendall sisters once resided.
The quilt squares, along with the genealogy of the quilters, is now on display at the Cavendish Historical Society Museum. The Museum is located on Main Street in Cavendish. As part of Cavendish's Old Home Day, Saturday, July 2, the squares can be viewed along with the correspondence that led to their return.