There’s a Big Story behind these little squares…
The exhibit, “Antique Quilts of Bourne,” will be on display from June through September at the Jonathan Bourne Historical Center. The dominant colors in the various fabric pieces are brown and pink, and several patterns typical of the era—dots, paisley, calico and stripes—are featured. The society is currently planning an opening night gala in early June. Though the exhibit is self-guided, knowledgeable volunteers will be available to answer visitors’ questions.
The quilts in the exhibit are older than the building that houses the historical center, which dates to 1897. Also, several of the squares are inked with the date, March 19, 1863. At that time, the country was in turmoil as the North and South battled in the Civil War. Though far from the fighting, Cape Cod was heavily involved in the action, and many local residents fought on behalf of the Union.
In the town of Sandwich—which in 1863, and through the year 1884, included present-day Bourne—approximately 400 men served in the Civil War, with 54 of them losing their lives in the fighting. “All were very young,” Sicchio says. “It must have been very shocking.”
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