1922 Clarkesville Reformed Church Embroidered Counterpane

This redwork embroidered counterpane was most likely made as a fund raiser for the Clarksville Reformed Church. It is dedicated to “Rev. Boyce Pastor. Peggy His wife, Rex Their dog.” According to further inscriptions on the quilt, the occasion was the “Clarksville Reformed Church Fair Dec. 8th 1922.”
A twelve-petal daisy is the motif of the forty-eight blocks, the petals providing spaces for over 500 embroidered names. First, the names were written in pencil, and then embroidered with red cotton. In a few instances, a different name is embroidered over the original penciled name. One block utilized the spaces for advertising: “Priced / Lowest / The / Transportation / Economical / Motor Cars / Chevrolet / Wright / Gardner / Automobile / Equipped / Fully.” Presumably a small donation, maybe ten or twenty-five cents, assured one’s name embroidered on the counterpane. Further funds may have been secured by a raffle at the December fair. Or it may have been given to Pastor Boyce as a token of appreciation. Quilts or counterpanes such as this are still used, as they have been for more than 150 years, to raise funds for worthy causes.
The Clarksville Reformed Church was established in 1853, when a building was erected to serve the congregation. Sadly, this church was destroyed by fire on a cold February Sunday in 1912. The congregation rallied to rebuild and less then a year later, in January 1913, they were able to hold services in a new church. Clarksville in the 1920s, when this counterpane was made, was a small village in Albany County, New York. Reverend Boyce was the pastor for the Clarksville Reformed Church from 1919 to 1926 and also the Reformed Church in Westerlo, New York. In the 1950s Clarksville was still a small village and it became increasingly difficult to support the church. Another church in Clarksville, the Methodist Episcopal Church, also faced similar problems, and the solution was to merge the two. By the mid-1960s, a new church was dedicated whose sign incorporates the two bells from the older churches, symbolizing the origins of the new Clarksville Community Church.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
overall: 86 in x 64 in; 218 cm x 161 cm
place made
United States: New York, Clarksville
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Robert Stephens

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