Historic Commission

Unionville, Pennsylvania - History (continued)


The Odd Fellows’ Hall

An example of the movement for community education, the hall was built in 1849-50 and refurbished by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at some later date. It saw vigorous use as the venue for all sorts of lectures and programs, uplifting and entertaining. Parties and receptions were held here, and East Lynn Grange met here before buying the old Friends Meeting about 1950. In the ground floor were various shops, especially Eastburns’ grocery store in the mid-1900s.

Originally a wide stairway led from ground level up to the big front door. Now the hall serves as a dwelling with a cabinetmaker’s shop on the main floor.

The Unionville Quilt

 

The Unionville Quilt was made in 1982 in conjunction with the Chester County Tricentennial. That winter, a group of neighbors met to brainstorm ideas for making a quilt to raffle at the anticipated community celebration in June. They decided on an album quilt: twenty illustrative squares around a large, central square. To establish unity throughout the design, two artists from the community created the designs of chosen locations and events, the technique for making the squares as appliqué with embroidered embellishment, and all the fabric used came from a common pool of colors and patterns purchased exclusively for the quilt. Some members of the group were experienced seamstresses and others were novices, but everyone became adept. 

Once the individual squares were completed and the top had been sewn together, the group did the quilting. They used a unique oyster shell motif for quilting the sashing because of the abundance of shells still found in the village, historic detritus of several oyster houses that operated in the village long ago.  Originally conceived as a raffle item, as work progressed, it became clear that this was not just a quilt but an aesthetically remarkable object that documented historical aspects of Unionville, and also an amazing record of a creative process in which friends and neighbors had shared. At its completion, all agreed that the quilt should remain in the community. 

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