Courthouse History
Fundraising Quilt Project, 1990-1994
Very few fundraising quilts were recorded during the “1985-86 North Carolina Quilt Project Documentation” that were made prior to the 1920’s. Similar and yet unlike friendship quilts, which have survived for more than 100+ years, fundraising quilts are a more modern phenomenon. Fundraising quilts first appeared in North Carolina in the 20th century. Historically, fundraising quilts have benefited specific goals for schools, churches, and various community projects. 

QuiltersThe Martin County Extension & Community Association’s (formerly known as Extension Homemaker Association - EHA) fundraising quilt for the restoration of the Old Martin County Courthouse, like those in the past, has unique components.  

Jackie Mobley, then an EHA member, designed and quilted the replica of the front of the old courthouse. This center design is surrounded by 33 blocks of the “Courthouse Steps” pattern (a variation of the “Log Cabin” pattern). Within these steps, names were embroidered by local EHA members who assembled and quilted the quilt. 

The border of the quilt is one-half of the “Brick Walk” pattern. Names are also included in this design. The original size of the quilt was to be 72” x 84,” however an extra row of the steps pattern was added to accommodate additional names, making the quilt a bit longer.  

A person living in the county (a current resident) or a person being a native of the county and living outside the county could have their name included on the quilt. Names and monies for the quilt were collected during1990 -1994 by county EHA members. The goal of the project was to record 600 names on the quilt. The completed quilt has a total of 561names - individuals at $10 per name and 17 non-profit organizations at $50 per name, generating approximately $6,500 for the project.

In addition to its fundraising goal the EHA group also wanted the quilt to be a “living” history of people and organizations in Martin County in the early1990”s.  

Final plans are for the quilt to be hung in the restored courthouse so that all may remember and enjoy this project and its history. In the meantime the quilt is in the possession of the Friends and it is displayed during other Old Courthouse fundraisers and historical type functions.

Submitted by: Ila F. Parker, Martin County Extension Agent, retired
Friends of the Old Martin County Courthouse
P.O. Box 502  |  East Main Street  |  Williamston, NC 27892  |  252-792-5243
 

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