Trunk O’ Quilts

Written by Theresa Rose on August 29, 2017

Place September 10, 2017 at 1:30 on your calendar. The Dover Museum September program will host Jo Crabb and her Trunk Showing of Quilts. She will feature her “Hobo Quilt”. This quilt was recently displayed at a juried show in Kansas City, MO. Jo is a long time quilter and is now a Mt. Pleasant resident. She uses unusual fabrics as well as traditional patterns in her creations. She has taught quilting classes in the Kansas City area.

New London has a long interesting history with respect to hobos. The placement of the section house near the depot contributed to this traffic. Madelyn Eckey Schmaker included reference to hobos from her childhood days. Her memories of the railroad are posted in the depot for all to read and enjoy. Milton and Ivy McDonald, David Ekstrand’s grandparents had a house near the railroad tracks. Ivy’s cooking and huge garden were a draw to all the hungry men. David remembers Milton going up and down the tracks erasing the directions to their house. One year he became so frustrated he painted his house a different color. Doris, David’s sister, remembers that it worked for about 2 weeks.

Tales of an American Hobo by Charles Elmer Fox is available as a pdf file and available on the Internet. The origin of the word hobo like so many American concepts is unknown. About the only known is that the word appeared after the Civil War. Most of us associate the term with the Depression. There are distinct differences between hoboes, tramps and bums. In “Reefer Charlie’s” own words – “Hoboes will work, tramps won’t, and bums can’t.  Milton did tell that many of his “visitors” would offer to weed the garden, paint or repair in return for the generous tasty meal they were provided.

What is most interesting that this tradition would result in another creative beautiful addition to quilting and its interpretation of history.

Time for questions and discussion will be available. Refreshments will be served. Admittance to the program is free but donations are always appreciated.