A Commemorative Quilt

By Zachary Rousseas

This week’s object is a friendship quilt donated by Evelyn DuBois Gueho that was quilted by her great aunt Elvie DuBois in 1861. These types of quilts were an important connection women had with each other. Quilting was an important to building community among women. They were often made to commemorate or celebrate big life events. This particular quilt is considered a friendship quilt. Friendship quilts were typically made of several blocks of the same pattern patched together. This quilt has signatures inscribed with ink on each block. In 1859, Charles and Mary moved from Duboisville, a small town in Redford, Michigan to Utica, Michigan. Most likely, the quilt was made as a farewell remembrance for the family, around 1861. In 1990, Evelyn DuBois Gueho donated the quilt to Historic Huguenot Street.

1990.6248.01 (3)

This friendship quilt is a pieced together cotton album to commemorate certain people, such as her neighbors and friends Betsy Beckworth and Sarah Thompson. Overall, DuBois had 44 names written in ink on her friendship album. Her cotton quilt had a plaid, striped, and checkered pattern throughout and the blocks were pieced together diagonally. This friendship quilt is currently displayed in Deyo Hall for people to enjoy.

Recently, Windham Fabrics developed a collection of fabrics based on twelve of the historic quilts from our Permanent Collection. The particular quilt helped inspire that line. Windham Fabrics describes their designs as “inspired by historic fabrics, but brought up-to-date with contemporary red, gray, black and white colors, this collection pays tribute to the quilters that have come before us and honors where we are going.” Fat quarter bundles of these fabrics (18 designs) are currently available in our Museum Shop at the DuBois Fort.

The names on this quilt include:

Armstrong, Eliza A
Armstrong, Josephian
Beckworth, Betsy
Beckworth, Clarrissa
Beckworth, Martha
Burgess, Amanda
Burgess, Lucy A
DuBois, Debra Ann
Dubois, Derick G
DuBois, Edgar M A
DuBois, Elvie
DuBois, Henry M
Dubois, Stephen P
Ferrington, Rolden B
Gould, Clarrissa Ann
Gould, Joyce
Gould, Helen
Hardenbergh, Catharine
Hardenbergh, Harriet
Hardenbergh, Julia Ann
Hardenbergh, Margret
Hazard, Sarah
Higgens, George Frederick
Hinney, Ann M
Ives, James
Ives, Jane
Ives, Lydia
Ives, Ruth
Joy, Bennett
Joy, Harry
Joy, Lydia
Little, Mary Elizabeth
Myler, Alice
Myler, Ellen
Riddle, Sarah E
Smith, Timothy D
Sprars, William
Stockwell, Lydia
Sutton, Eliza Jane
Sweet, David
Thompson, Sarah
Weigler, Julius
Weigler, Mary Matilda
Wellmarth, Bulah
Wood, Mary Emily


On Display: A Curious Art

A Curious Art: Hair Work in 19th Century America
A selection of hair jewelry from the Historic Huguenot Street Permanent Collection
Exhibition by the Curatorial Department
Curated by Rachel Hudson
October 8 – November 17, 2014

Now on display in the DuBois Fort Visitors Center, A Curious Art: Hair Working in 19th-Century America presents a selection of hair jewelry and hair decorations from the Historic Huguenot Street Permanent Collection. The display brings together brooches, earrings, hairpins, bracelets, and watch fobs, each intricately woven by hand from human hair, representing this popular parlor activity practiced during the 1800s. Several of the jewelry pieces are purported to have been worn by Charlotte Hasbrouck, a Huguenot descendent, around 1850. A hair album by another descendent, Naomi C. Freer, features a collection of braided and woven tresses tied with ribbon. Such albums served as mementos to remember family members both living and dead. The art of hair working at its most elaborate is revealed by a “hair portrait” on view comprising locks of hair twisted, woven, and shaped to create a sculptural representation of a floral bouquet.