Spring House ThistleBlock Number: 13
By Nora Worthen
The "Spring House Thistle" block is located in the Montford Cove community at Spring House Farm. The farm encompasses 92 acres nestled in a secluded wooded area off the main road. Now a Bed & Breakfast, the farm house built by Albertus Ledbetter in 1826 and remodeled with a new addition in 1836, was rescued by Arthur and Zee Anne Campbell from being destroyed. The Ledbetter House was carefully restored by the Campbells which is now included on the national Register of Historic Places. The property is know as Spring House Farm, an eco-retreat with six distinctive cottages.
Traveling up an extended driveway off the main road through a beautiful sylvan area, you will find "Spring House Thistle” quilt block hanging on the southwest-facing end of the almost 200-year-old springhouse. There are outbuildings around the home which one would expect to find on a working farm in the nineteenth century, including the still-working springhouse that serves as a cooler for the Campbells.
As they continued to restore the farm and search for salvage materials to reclaim for the construction of five of the six cabins, Arthur Campbell made an exciting discovery. One of the smaller structures on the property contained two antique blanket chests and a steel drum stuffed with various quilts, 38 in all. After consulting a textile curator at The Biltmore Estate, their dating process determined the quilts were created between the early to mid-19th century. The one-of-a-kind thistle design was used on one of the quilts.
In the parlor of the new addition to the house is a tole painting of a thistle, the flower of Scotland. Since the thistle is the signature of the house and farm, Arthur and Zee Anne chose to replicate a quilt block from the thistle-patterned quilt.