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EIGHT-POINTED STAR QUILT

Women's Relief Corps, Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Post

Mancelona, Antrim County, Michigan, 1894

On Thursday, May 10, 1894, the Mancelona Herald carried the following news item:
A G.A.R. social was held at the post rooms in this village Saturday evening at which speeches were made and a very pleasant time was had. A patchwork quilt containing the name, company and regiment of each member of post was sold at auction and W.R. Rice being the highest bidder, the same was struck off to him. The quilt netted the society about $15.

J. G. Smith, the great-grandson of W. R. Rice, acquired the quilt from his uncle, William F. Catlin, in about 1952 or 1953 and, intrigued by the names on the quilt, began to research its origins. In addition to the above news article, he also learned that W. R. Rice was born in 1831 in Rochester, New York, served as a member of the Sixth Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War, married Lucy Marsh in 1882, and died in Mancelona in 1902. Smith also observed that the setting blocks carried the names of famous individuals in United States history. The quilt is an important document of Mancelona community and Michigan military history.

The MSU Museum's Great Lakes Quilt Center has evolved from the sustained and significant quilt-related activities and resources at the Michigan State University Museum and the museum's long-standing interest in and commitment to preserving and presenting traditional arts history. See more here: Great Lakes Quilt Center.