Log Cabin

Block Number: 100

By Terry Wilson

Calendars across McDowell County marked Friday, September 23rd, as the first day of Autumn. A mere look at these calendars brought forth visions of brilliantly colored leaves, frosty mornings, football games, and seasonal celebrations. One of the first of these celebrations was not the usual Autumn festival. On the first day of the new season, the McDowell Quilt Trail committee held a celebration in honor of the hanging and display of the 100th quilt block of the McDowell Quilt Trail.

The celebration of this milestone was held on the grounds of the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort. Quilt trail members selected the Museum to be honored with the donation of their 100th quilt block, 'Log Cabin.' The theme of the quilt block honors the heritage of the area, and specifically honors the two log cabins, which stand on the grounds of the museum. Museum Administrator, Terrell Finley, stated that the staff of the Museum felt a deep sense of honor at being selected for the donation of the quilt block by the members of the quilt trail committee.

Jill Lucas, chairperson of the quilt trail committee, spoke to those assembled on the Museum grounds and paid tribute to the heritage of the mountain area, a tribute featured in the quilt block itself. Mrs. Lucas also thanked all volunteers and government officials who have worked to make the McDowell Quilt Trail a successful venture. At the conclusion of her remarks, Mrs. Lucas presented a Certificate of Authenticity to Mr. Finley, representative of the Mountain Gateway Museum.

The quilt block itself, Log Cabin, features the geometric pattern found in the dovetail construction of a log cabin once so common throughout the Southern Appalachians. The block pattern itself was chosen by members of the Museum staff and features a color scheme of earth tone colors in a repeating format.

The pattern of the quilt block was chosen from designs offered by the Quilt Trail committee, and was constructed and painted by Mike Lucas. The block itself was hung for viewing by Mike Lucas and Jack Raker.

The block is featured on the northwestern corner of the museum building. The museum building itself is constructed of stone similar to that found in the adjacent Mill Creek. Both the design and the color scheme of the quilt block complement the stonework of the building. The main building of the museum site was constructed by members of the Works Progress Administration during the days of the Great Depression prior to World War II, and first served Old Fort as a place for community gatherings of all types.

After World War II, the building continued to function as a community center before being converted into a museum of pioneer life, the Mountain Gateway Museum, in the early 1970s. Mr. Finley stated that the museum sees approximately 15,000 visitors a year, and these visitors will now be greeted to the site by the 100th, and newest, member of the McDowell Quilt Trail, Log Cabin.

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