Michigan Quilt Project
Michigan Quilt Project

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The African American Collection

Old Settlers' Reunion
Deonna Todd Green and Ione Todd
Remus, Mecosta County, Michigan
Cotton/polyester with polyester filling
77” x 76”
MSUM 7101.1
Photo by Mark Eifert, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Perhaps the most ambitious project to document community history was undertaken by Deonna Green and her mother, Ione Todd, of Remus, Michigan. Entitled the Old Settlers' Quilt, the embroidered pictures and words pay tribute to the black families who homesteaded in Mecosta, Montcalm, and Isabella counties in the 1860s and 1870s. The historical marker celebrating the early settlement of the community by blacks, the local baseball team, the community church and school house, and typical occupations of th early pioneer families are captured on the quilt in thread, paint and cloth. One block also depicts the annual "Old Settlers' Picnic" in Mecosta to which all of the descendants of the original pioneering families are invited.

By Marsha MacDowell

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