To Every Thing There Is a Season

Block Number: H 6

by Ginger Todd


Block #6 in the McDowell Rural Heritage Quilt Trail adopts its name from Ecclesiastes 3:1 of the King James Version of the Bible. The 8’ X 8’ block was installed September 22, 2012 (the first day of Fall) on an old barn located in the Glenwood community on the left side of Highway 221 South just past Goose Creek Road. The structure is owned by Charles and Emma Jean England, who reside just across the road.

The barn was originally built by Norris England, father of Charles, in 1945 on acreage that once belonged to what was known as the Westmoreland Farm over 100 years ago. It served as shelter for three Belgian harness horses used in hauling downed trees to saw mills throughout the area. It also housed logging equipment and saw mill machinery used in the lumber yard. In later years it became storage for a tractor and other business equipment of England Builders, Inc.

The old home place sits behind where the barn is now located and Charles remembers his Dad believed in “hard work” evidenced by a lengthy rock wall built in front. Charles recalls that as a young boy he hand carried stones after school from Vein Mountain Quarry, to lay the rock for the wall, which remains still sturdy and now covered with scuppernong grapes.

An interesting feature of this barn, constructed of oak, is that it once sat in the very center of the proposed new highway through the area. During the mid-1950’s Highway 221 was rerouted, taking property from both sides of the existing road. The result was that in order to save the barn it was jacked up, moved and relocated to its present site.

Charles grew up on the farm and had his roots in the building business. He worked at a ship yard in Newport News, Virginia where he lived for 15 years. It was there he met his wife, Emma Jean and eventually moved back to McDowell County in 1974. Having attended Western Carolina University he then started up his own business, England Builders, Inc., based on high quality work and materials with the importance of politeness and finesse in dealing with people emphasized. Although now retired, he still shares his knowledge and suggestions with son Grayson now running the company.

Charles states that a significant factor in the company’s success is “having the gift of visualizing structural layout on the land to be utilized, that others can’t always see”. England Builders is especially recognized as the designer and builder of Tom Johnson’s Camping Center including later remodeling and additions. In addition they are widely recognized for their construction of residential homes, renovations and commercial buildings. Their reputation is addressed on Quilt Block #84 of the McDowell Trail previously hung on the office building named “Quality Built on Detail”.

To Every Thing There is a Season is a variation of the time-honored traditional Tall Pine Tree quilt pattern. The block sits on the diagonal and the pine tree image is situated in the middle. The red clay of our earth is depicted at the bottom, then the lush green of our mountains and the bright red, yellow and orange of fall colors in the upper background. A Certificate of Authenticity was presented to the Englands on the morning of October 19th by Quilt Trail Chairwoman Jill Lucas.

Mike Lucas, artist of the block, had help in painting it from volunteer Jan Zimmerman. Pam Caldemeyer of Mills River who was interested in how the McDowell Quilt Trail program works also took part. Ms. Caldemeyer and a friend Stan Drucker attended the installation and took the opportunity to have Mr. Drucker’s 1930 pick-up truck photographed with the old barn, looking quite time-frame appropriate. Volunteer Alan Scholl also aided in the placement of the large block on the side of the barn.

The Rural Heritage Quilt Trail is about honoring the heritage of our area and preserving our history through older landmark barns and structures. It is a part of the McDowell Quilt Trail which has raised funds to provide grants to place traditional blocks on buildings that meet the requirements and are symbols of our rural life. In addition, both trails strive to promote tourism, improve economic development in McDowell County and create interesting stories of times past and present.

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