Monday, October 19, 2015

Antique Handmade Quilts on Display at Vann House Historic Site

For the next month the Vann House Historic Site in Spring Place, near Chatsworth, Georgia, will display its collection of quilts from the 1800 and early 1900’s.  Also on exhibit are other quilts crafted by members of the “Vann House Quilters”, a special group of ladies who have demonstrated their craft to thousands of visitors since 1978.

Over the years the Chief Vann House has gathered an amazing array of historic handmade quilts, some with truly amazing stories, and some which can only be displayed on special occasions due to their conditions.

Most historic is a quilt designed and made by a slave on the Carters Quarter/Rock Spring plantation in southeast Murray County nearly 200 years ago.  Documented in the Georgia Quilt Project of the 1980’s and 90’s, this quilt has also received the attention of historians and craftspeople across the country, including the Smithsonian.  It has been featured in several publications and websites and has recently received special conservation treatment through the generosity of the Georgia Council on Indian Affairs.  This quilt and a “Laurel Leaf” quilt donated by McClain T. Robertson have been part of the Vann House collection since the restoration in the 1950’s.

Another amazing quilt was made by a member of the Vann Family in Floyd County in the 1840’s.  Mrs. Glenda Willis of Atlanta, a member of the Friends of the Vann House, has carefully preserved the quilt and made it possible for it to be displayed at the Vann House. It is red and gold and looks like it could have made just to fit in the master bedroom!

Among the other colorful, varied quilts on display is a “Presidential Wreath” quilt designed to commemorate President James Monroe’s visit to the Vann House in 1819. Others include Ruth Young’s “Churn Dasher” and “8-pointed Star” quilts, a “Double-Wedding Ring” and a “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” made by the late Cora Lee Robison, a bright baby quilt crafted by Peggy Davis, one pieced by the late Myra Robinson, and a “Dutch-Doll” quilt completed by the Vann House Quilters about three decades ago.

The Vann House is located at the intersection of GA Highways 225 and 52A.  It is open 9-5 Thursday-Sunday. Admission is charged with special discounts for children, seniors, military personnel, and groups.  For more information call the site at 706-695-2598.

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