Bookmark and Share

Quilts, cameras, and more at the museum this summer
Friday, November 12, 2010

We are having an informative display of quilts at the San Juan Historical Society Museum this summer. Thirty-five antiques from the collection of nationally-recognized quilter Cindy Vermillion Hamilton make up this exhibit.

You certainly don’t want to miss this exceptional opportunity to view these quilts along with Hamilton’s first-place winner from this year’s American Quilter Society show in Paducah, Ky. — “To England and Back.”

Hexagon Mosaic

A very recognizable quilt pattern to most is the Grandmother’s Flower Garden. In this special exhibit the example of this pattern is called Hexagon Mosaic. According to Hamilton, “Since the Depression era, quilters have named this pattern ‘Grandmother’s Flower Garden.’ But at the time this quilt was stitched, it would have been known simply as’‘Hexagon Mosaic’ or ‘Honeycomb.’ This is the first known printed pattern to appear in Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine in America in 1835. It was one of the most popular designs piece din the United Kingdom during the 19th century and in America, it is one of the best known patterns pieced during the 1930s.

“The turn-of-the-century fabrics in this quilt are bright and new looking and the quilt has probably never been washed. We don’t see many quilts in this pattern made about 1900, when it would have been considered to be very old-fashioned.”

You are encouraged to take advantage of this fabulous display, which included historical information about each quilt in the exhibit, provided by quilt historian Cindy Vermillion Hamilton.

Empire State Camera

But, is there anything else to see besides quilts?

You bet.

A fabulous artifact on display is our Empire State Camera. It is just one of several (non-digital) cameras in the museum’s collection.

The Empire State Camera is a front focusing camera produced from 1894 to 1914 by the Rochester Optical Company. The Sears-Roebuck catalog from 1897 tells us that it has “all the adjustments necessary for general work, and while sold at a moderate price it fully meets the requirements of the professional as well as the amateur, and is constantly gaining favor. This camera is constructed with an idea of satisfying all the movements necessary in a camera for both indoor and outdoor photography rather than beauty and fine finish. It is, however, made form selected mahogany, well finished with trimmings of polished brass. It has a front rack and pinion movement for focusing, which is held firmly after being set, by turning a milled head placed inside of the one used for focusing.”

You are encouraged to stop in and see the treasures, which are housed in our museum.

Gift shop

After you’ve perused the vast collection at the museum, you can shop for items unique to Pagosa Springs in our gift shop.

Available is our special souvenir deck of playing cards featuring 55 photos of Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area. Please note less than 140 decks of the original order remain. The cards sell for $10, plus tax.

For those who are taking in the quilting exhibit, we have copies of Hamilton’s book along with some quilting patterns produced by local quilting company Edelweiss Needlework Chalet.

A local artist has generously created scenic fabric postcards for us to sell. These are beautiful and would make a great souvenir or gift.

Also featured are history books by local authors and other books of regional historical interest. A new order of regional history books just arrived this week.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. You should plan to arrive by 3 p.m. to be sure to have plenty of time to view all of the wonderful exhibits. We are located at 96 Pagosa St. on the east end of downtown.

There is no admission fee to see the museum this season. We do gladly accept donations to defray operating expenses such as utilities and insurance.

We look forwarding to seeing you there.