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Pagosa Springs Quilting Heritage at the San Juan Historical Society Museum

Pagosa Springs Quilting Heritage is this summer’s special exhibit at the San Juan Historical Society Museum.

This summer’s quilt display is particularly exciting as the majority of the quilts on display are in the permanent collection of the Society.

These quilts date from 1840 to 1960. They are reminiscent of the quilts that would have been brought to Pagosa Springs with the first settlers and those that would have been, and were, made as our community settled and grew. We have some from the Macht, Webb and Adams families who were very early settlers to this area. We also have several friendship quilts and some wonderful crazy quilts that date from 1890 to 1900. There are a very nice variety of quilts from everyday quilts to fancy.

One of the quilts on display is pieced in a variation of a traditional Log Cabin pattern. It is made of Delaine fabrics, which are a cotton and wool blend, and are dated circa 1860. The blue in the quilt is a “Prussian” blue. It and Madder prints were common of that era. These fabrics are in good condition. Metal salts were used in fabric after this era, thus many of them did not survive as well as the ones in this quilt.

On the center block is the name Jennie R. King. We have been unable to determine who this person is, or where and when she lived.

Ron and Windsor Chacey donated this quilt to the museum.

Conservation efforts in 2011 included sewing the quilt to a muslin backing and basting it along the rows to the back to help relieve the pressure on the fibers in the fabrics.

We are please to have this historic quilt as a part of our permanent collection.

Skills game

A lighthouse dollhouse was donated to the museum last season for use in a fund-raiser. The Society will be selling guesses to two questions regarding the construction of the lighthouse during this season. The lighthouse may be seen at the museum and guesses purchased there. A winner will be chosen at random from the correct guesses. Guesses will be sold for $1 each, or five for $5.

Gift shop

The museum gift shop offers a nice selection of quilting and regional history books, tote bags and purses, historic playing cards and old photographs from this area.

Admission to the museum is free. Expenses for operation of the museum are covered through donations and gift shop sales.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 96 Pagosa St., the corner of U.S. 160 and First Street in downtown Pagosa Springs.

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