Vintage StarsBlock Number: 65
by Nora Worthen
If you happen to be waiting at the stoplight on the corner at West Court Street and Logan Street in Marion, look up to the southwest and you will see Quilt Block No. 65 on the McDowell Quilt Trail. This block is named in honor of two young children, Cameran Young, age 6, and Michael Edwin Young, III (also known as Three), age 8, who are the grandchildren of Mrs. Doris McCurry, and the great-grandchildren of a name you might remember from the past, Mr. Howard McCurry. Mrs. McCurry owns the buildings along this corner where you will find Debbie R. Whittemore Agency, the Marion Tax Service, and Cecil Smith’s Barber Shop.
On the chilly Saturday morning of November 6, Mike Lucas, with the assistance of Jack Raker, installed the quilt block while Doris recounted some family history, as well as the history of the buildings, and other businesses in Marion, some no longer here.
Doris Causby McCurry grew up in Marion, graduated from Marion High School and married John McCurry, son of Howard and Florida McCurry of Lincolnton. Doris began working for Baxter Healthcare Inc. in 1973, and remained there for 28 years in the replenishment center and quality control.
John served in Viet Nam while a member of the U.S. Navy, and upon his discharge from the Navy, he returned to Marion and worked with his father, who at that time owned McCurry Hosiery Mill on Railroad Street. The hosiery mill closed its doors in 1974. Howard and John later formed McCurry Rental Incorporated owning and operating businesses in Marion such as the Kwik Klean Car Wash and Laundry on Railroad Street, as well as the four buildings at the corner of Logan Street and West Court Street. One of those buildings on West Court Street was the first home of what is now know as McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA), founded in 1972 for the purpose of promoting the arts in McDowell County.
Howard McCurry was a well-known artist in Marion, and exhibited his work often in the MACA gallery. His work can still be seen in many banks and professional offices in Marion. He was known for his cartoon drawings on napkins of his faithful dog Scruffy. Howard was a member of the Lions Club and was instrumental, along with other members, in building the Blue Ridge Terrace apartments, a housing development for low income senior citizens.
Doris McCurry had her own antique shop in the latter part of 1999 on West Court Street where the Marion Tax Service is located now, called Shop Around the Corner. Her interest in antiques naturally led her to the quilt trail and the story each block represents. Mrs. McCurry decided that a quilt block would be appropriate for the old building at 81 West Court Street, so chose a design found in a magazine called the Lancaster Star. With the talents of Mike and Jill Lucas, the original design was modified into a four-patch block consisting of four large stars. Two smaller stars are spotlighted on a background the color of sandy beaches appearing in an ocean of colors from sage green to rose tones. Doris chose to spotlight her grandchildren, Cameran and Three, and corresponding with her love of antiques and old country things, she named the quilt block “Vintage Stars.”