Preserving history one stitch at a time

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Pictured from left: Longtime club members Avaline Harris, Sue Brilhart and Marie Day quilt and chat in July 2009.

 For some, being a member of the Chadwick Friendship Club was a family tradition passed down from generation to generation. Such was the case for Marie Day, who is one of the longest-standing members of the club.

“Back in the 1950s when I got married and moved to the community, (my husband’s) mother was an active member of the quilting and extension club, and so I kind of automatically started,” Day says. “It was passed down (through generations) for several years.”

The Chadwick Friendship Club traces its roots back to the early 1950s, when a number of area women began quilting together at the Union Church. At that time, the women, many who were also members of the extension club, quilted to raise money for the upkeep of the church’s cemetery.

After several years, the group changed meeting locations to Chadwick’s old depot building. Back then, the money raised by quilting instead went to the upkeep of the building. The club continued meeting in the depot for nearly 30 years, when escalating numbers of improvements on the facility became necessary.

After futile attempts to obtain grant money for the repairs, the ladies decided to take a different approach. Several years and many bazaars, book sales and fundraisers later, the women succeeded in raising $10,000 toward the construction of a new community center. The building was completed in 1984, and has been home to the club, as well as numerous other community activities, ever since.