A historical quilt that has made its rounds throughout Wyandot County and beyond now has a permanent home in the Wyandot County Courthouse.
The quilt was designed by Upper Sandusky resident Rosie Jordan and made by the Wyandot Piecemakers quilt club. Dave Smith, a brother of club member Rosa Thiel and husband of club member Pat Smith, donated his time to create a large display case in which to house the quilt.
“I’m glad it’s up,” Jordan said, adding the club decided to make the quilt to teach Wyandot County schoolchildren and adults about the history of the county.
Each symbol on the quilt depicts an important part of the lives of Wyandotte Indians, a group that last lived in the Upper Sandusky area before relocating to Oklahoma. The tribe still sends its youth from Oklahoma to Wyandot County every two years to learn about their storied past.
Thiel said each symbol was important to at least one of the 12 clans within the tribe, including what the Wyandotte Indians called the “three sisters” — corn, squash and beans, three staple foods for the Native Americans.
She said a willow leaf was included on the quilt after the symbol was found on an Old Mission Cemetery tombstone. Much of the information surrounding the symbols was shared by Evelyn Long, who wrote the long-standing “Grandma Tell Me” column for The Daily Chief-Union on Wyandot County history, Thiel said.
Other symbols on the quilt include crossbows, arrows, canoes, fire and a “W,” which the Wyandotte Indians used to brand their livestock. Significant colors of red and black also were used.
Dave Smith is in the process of creating a smaller display case to house a key that explains each symbol on the quilt.
Jordan said she is a “fast worker” and estimated the Piecemakers created the quilt in about a year. Dave Smith spent between 12 and 14 hours total making the quilt’s display case, as he chipped away at the project one or two hours at a time when he was free.
The quilt was done before 1995, Thiel said. For years, Piecemakers club members have been passing the quilt among themselves, taking it out for special shows and attempting to keep it protected from the elements.
It has been sitting at the courthouse for approximately two years, Piecemakers member and Wyandot County Clerk of Courts Ann Dunbar said. Dunbar acted as a liaison between the club and the Wyandot County Commissioners, who had to approve a motion to let the quilt hang in the courthouse.
By ALISSA PAOLELLA