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Michigan; United States
This quilt was made by my great-grandmother Rebecca Brickley, wife of Jacob Brickley, who died of cancer of the breast October 18, 1866, at the age of 46 years, 6 months, and 15 days.
In 1865 my great-grandmother discovered that she had cancer of the breast. She told the family, "You all want to go to Michigan, so we will go this year so I won't be left behind."
In the fall of 1865 they had harvested the crops and sold the farm in Niagara County, New York. Then they started for Michigan with their possessions in wagons and with cows tied behind the wagons. They left Lockport, New York, in the late fall and traveled all winter to reach Ionia, Michigan, in the spring of 1866.
Great-grandmother made the quilt for my grandfather while she was dying. Grandfather was very choice of this quilt and refused to have it used. His daughter and then I have respected his wishes, and the quilt has not been used. That is why it is 120 years old and in the original condition.
Comprised of 42 blocks made in the eight-pointed LeMoyne Star pattern, the quilt is made of predominantly red, pink, and green fabrics.
Written by MacDowell, Marsha (1866)
MacDowell, Marsha and Fitzgerald, Ruth, ed. Michigan Quilts: 150 Years of a Textile Tradition, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI, 1987, page 39.
Michigan State University Museum