100-year-old Sanborn County quilts turn up in Nebraska thrift store

Two antique quilts were recently received in Woonsocket, sent to Mayor Lindy and LaMae Peterson from women in Ainsworth, Neb. A note received with them states:
In the late summer and early fall of 2015, the BCHS (Brown County Historical Society), via the Ainsworth Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store, received four quilts. Of the first two, one [was] a friendship crazy quilt and the other was a pieced shoe fly patterned. Two notes were in the sack with these. Of the second two, one was another friendship crazy quilt and the other was an unfinished crazy quilt made of corduroy. Kathy Burchell and Deanna Reyman checked the 1910 census and found that the names on the quilts were of women of Sanborn County, SD.
The letter accompanying the above, the quilts and census information follows:
Lindy Peterson,
Here are the quilts that we think were made in your county. We received the one with the blue back and the blue and white shoe fly pattern one together in a sack. The notes were loose in the sack with these quilts. A few weeks later, we were given the other two quilts. The second friendship quilt was pretty dirty. In 2016, I visited the International Quilt Study Museum at Lincoln. I asked there what they do with quilts that are dirty. They put them in a freezer for two weeks before they are stored in acid free paper and boxes. They say the dirt is less harmful than washing them. So the fourth quilt is made of corduroy with the edge unfinished. If you decide that you want the other two, we will be glad to send them.
If you learn anything about the history of these quilts, I would like to know. It is a puzzle how they ended up in our county. I am also sending the info we got from the 1910 census. …
We hope your museum does well.
Beverly Painter
Ainsworth, Neb.
If anyone would like to view the quilts or see the census data sent with the quilts, or if you have any other information you would like to share, contact LaMae Peterson in Woonsocket.

…Also see pictures of the quilts in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal.

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