Last year, a local family donated a 1930s quilt to Bates Fork Baptist Church in Sycamore. The quilt, hand embroidered with names of church members at that time, carries as much history as it does mystery. The church has been displaying the quilt for the past three months and church members said they hope the public can help fill in the blanks about its past.
“I would hope people see the names (on the quilt) and inquire about it,” said Charlotte Connors, a church member. “(The quilt) shows some of the history of our church.”
Alice Boyles of Waynesburg, whose family donated the quilt, said she found it while cleaning out her grandparents’ home in Sycamore. She doesn’t know who gifted it to the family, why her family was chosen or who made it.
“I was just a kid when it was given to (us),” Boyles said. “It had been in the family all of these years, just bounced around the houses.”
Boyles was born in 1933 and said she was less than 10 years old when she recalls her maternal aunts and uncle, Mary, Nora and Austin Johnson, respectively, obtaining the quilt. Their three names appear on the quilt, along with nine other Johnson siblings.
“Some of the families on the quilt are buried in the cemetery right outside,” Connors said.
The quilt has 12 squares and each square has 26 names stitched in a red flower-like pattern. The 60 by 60 inch quilt appears to have been made by one person.
“It’s amazing that many people lived around here at that time,” Boyles said. “A lot of the houses that were here are gone now.”
Two of the names, William Reese and W.H. Rose appear multiple times: Reese, 7 times and Rose, 12.
“(They) must’ve been important,” Connors said with a laugh.
Connors said anyone is welcome to visit the church and look at the quilt, which is framed behind Plexiglas.
“When someone sees this story, maybe they’ll have some info and can pass it on,” said Alice’s daughter Sonja Boyles.
According to church records the Bates Fork Baptist Church in Sycamore was established in 1842. It is located at 768 Browns Creek Rd, Sycamore, PA 15364. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. each week and church service is at 11 a.m. on Sundays.
If interested in viewing the quilt outside of service hours, call Charlotte Connors at 724-627- 9320 to schedule an appointment.
The family names on the quilt are as follows:
Adams, Adamson, Allison, Amos, Anderson, Babington, Baily, Bass, Bennett, Berry, Bishop, Blair, Bonham, Boyd, Broden, Brown, Brownlee, Bryan, Buchannan, Burns, Burnson, Carrol, Carroll, Carter, Church, Clemens, Closser, Cochran, Cohen, Corklin, Cooper, Combs, Cox, Daily, Dale, Day, Dentger, Dille, Downey, Dunn, Durbin, Ealy, Edgar, Elliot, Everly, Finch, Fletcher, Fonner, Frye, Fulton, Funk, Gabb, Galloway, Garlow, Garner, Garrison, Goldberg, Gordon, Graham, Grossman, Hanna, Harrison, Hawkins, Headley, Hennes, Hickman, Hoge, Hook, Holder, Hopkins, Hoskinson, Hostetler, Howard, Huffman, Hull, Iams, Inghram, Jewell, Johnson, Johnston, Johns, Jordan, Keener, Keigley, Kelley, Kennedy, Kent, King, Knox, Lemley, Long, Longhman, Malon, Marriner, Martin, Mason, May, Meighn, Milliken, Mitchell, Murdock, Nevergold, Norris, Omber, Orndoff, Parkinson, Patterson, Penn, Pettit, Phillips, Pollock, Pounds, Reese, Renner, Richardson, Rinehart, Rose, Rote, Ross, Roupe, Ruck, Scott, Seibert, Shirley, Shoup, Silver, Smith, Sonhen, Spragg, Sprowls, Stewart, Stockdale, Strosnider, Summergill, Swisher, Taylor, Tennant, Tharp, Thomas, Throckmorton, Tissue, Tustin, Waight, Ward, Waychoff, Weaver, William, Williams, Willison, Wolf, Wright, Zollars