Historic Belton Train Depot site of new Upstate Heritage Quilt

Thanks to the skill of upstate quilters, volunteers, and a local manufacturing company, a painted copy of a century-plus-old heirloom quilt now graces the side of the historic Belton Train Depot.

The quilt block was erected in May by employees of Darby Metalworks, Inc., of Anderson and Belton Area Museum Association board member Walter Smith. The “Carolina Lily” quilt joins 113 other examples located in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties as part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The blocks can usually be found on historic buildings, fusing an interest in quilts with heritage tourism.

“The board of the Belton Area Museum Association chose the ‘Carolina Lily’ quilt because it is among the oldest in the local area and is owned by board member LuAnne Childress Foster,” said BAMA President Tim Drake. The pattern, which has numerous pseudonyms, dates back to the 19th century.

“It took almost a year to complete the work on the block because it is such an intricate pattern,” said Foster, who coordinated the quilt block project.

Historic Belton Train Depot

Left to right: Shirah Smith, Tim Drake, LuAnne Foster, Shirley Smith (descendant of quilt maker Elizabeth Worsham) and her husband, Mike Smith.

Members of the Prickly Fingers Quilters Guild of Anderson again transformed their skills as quilters into one-dimensional artwork, having produced several blocks for display since their first effort in 2011. Quilters who completed this block include Diane Schonauer, Stamie Cline, Marcia Whaley, Debby Stone, Joan Korth, Lou Russell, Robin Kaja, Wendy Wolff and Teri Walker.

The original quilt was started in 1851 and finished in 1854. It was made by Elizabeth B. Worsham to prove her worthiness to become the second wife of John H. Worsham of Jackson County, Georgia. His children’s initials and hand prints are located in each corner and throughout the squares on the quilt. The quilt was passed down from mother to daughter for three generations until it was sold at auction.

“The quilt block can be viewed at any time since it is located on the outside of the building,” said BAMA Executive Director Shirah Smith. “We’re so pleased to preserve this important art form for the public to see.”

The painted quilt block is on display at the North entrance (Breazeale Street) of the historic Belton Train Depot, located at 100 N. Main Street in Belton, S.C.  The quilt block is sponsored by the Belton Area Museum Association.

(Related: Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Celebrates 100th Quilt – Nov. 2012)

About the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail
The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT) was begun in 2009 when Oconee County became the first to embrace the quilt trail concept. Since then, Oconee has been joined by Pickens and Anderson counties along with four other quilt trails in South Carolina: York County Quilt Trail, Foothills Quilt Trail-Landrum, McCormick County Quilt Trail and Ridge Heritage Quilt Trail. Information and interactive maps of all the S.C. trails can be found at www.uhqt.org.

About the Belton Area Museum Association
The Belton Area Museum Association oversees the Ruth Drake Museum, the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, the Center Section, the North End Gallery, and Whistle Stop Gifts, all located in the historic Belton Train Depot. For more information, call (864) 338-7400, or visit www.beltonsc.com or Facebook.

Via: Belton Area Museum Association