June 15, 2016

Some History of Apple Pie Ridge

The story of the Apple Pie Ridge Star quilt block applique pattern begins with Janney Wilson, the former owner of the Hollingsworth Family Quilt.  According to his cousin Janney Lupton, Wilson pointed to one of the corner blocks of this quilt and declared to her that, "My grandmother called that an Apple Pie Ridge Star."  You can see this pattern in the four corners of the quilt, as well as in the column farthest right.

Hollingsworth Family Quilt, 1858.  Collection of the
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society.  Photograph
by Barbara Tricarico.
Janney Lupton, who made a reproduction of this quilt, was the first to publish the name "Apple Pie Ridge Star" in an article for the magazine Traditional Quilter.  Since then, the name has appeared in just a few other publications and, in truth, Janney Wilson and his grandmother are the only people who knew it as such (as far as we know).  Nonetheless, the name has gained wide appeal in the quilting community. A variation of a fleur-de-lis medallion, the pattern is also referred to as Snowflake, True Lover's Knot, Conventional Scroll, and a Kansas Pattern.  One quilter even called it a Lobster.  Like many quilt block pattern names, "Apple Pie Ridge Star" appears to be a local name for a pattern observed elsewhere under different names.
Hollingsworth Family Quilt, detail.  Photograph by Mary
Holton Robare.
Apple Pie Ridge is an approximately nine-mile stretch of road in an area of countryside just outside of Winchester in Frederick County, Virginia.  Quaker settlers arrived there from Pennsylvania in the 1730s.  Nineteenth-century accounts invariably report good relations between the new Quaker immigrants and Native Americans who originally populated the land.  In A History of the Valley of Virginia, the author wrote, "Tradition relates that several tracts of land were purchased by Quakers from the Indians on Apple Pie Ridge," and that "the Indians never were known to disturb people residing on the land so purchased."  From today's standpoint, one wishes we had more knowledge of Native American perspectives.
Not all of the earliest immigrant settlers on the Ridge were Quakers but Friends were a dominant presence.  They maintained two Meetings, "Upper Ridge" and "Lower Ridge", and Quaker records are peppered with references to the locale.
The area was originally surveyed with the help of a young sixteen-year-old, pre-presidential George Washington around 1749.  When one of his early jobs was resurveyed in 1854, the surveyor remarked, "I have never followed a more accurate survey, either in calls, lines, or quality."
The area appears as "Apple Pie Ridge" on a map as early as 1809.
"Map of Frederick, Berkeley, & Jefferson counties in the state of Virginia," 1809, detail.
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.
In 1758, Lord Fairfax sent a request on behalf of Lewis Neill (a resident of Frederick County, Virginia) for "some Golden Pipin, Nonpareil, Aromatic, and Meldar Apple grafts [...]"
Reportedly, William H. Brown's orchard had been planted on the Ridge with the help of Friends exiled from Philadelphia to Virginia during the Revolutionary War.  Another account suggests Revolutionary War-era Hessian prisoners planted the orchard.  Either way, the history suggests orchards were an important part of the locale as early as the 1700s.
There are several colorful legends about how this still-picturesque countryside received its name.  One story is that those aforementioned Revolutionary War-era Hessian prisoners of war walked "north to the ridge on Sunday afternoons to enjoy the delicious apple pies cooked by Quaker housewives."  Another version suggests the name derived from glimpses of Quaker ladies through windows of their horse-drawn carriages carrying apple pies made for after-worship fellowship.  Most humorous is the suggestion that Quaker-made apple pies "were so tough that the Hessians sometimes used them as brakes or chokes for their wagons as they traveled the ridge."  Regardless of how the ridge got its name, it apparently involved Quakers and apple pies.
One of the earliest Quaker houses on Apple Pie Ridge, "Cherry Row", is still standing, beautifully restored and maintained.
"Cherry Row" built 1794.  Courtesy of the Powers Family.
David Lupton began construction of Cherry Row in 1794.  It was a model for its time, boasting (reportedly) the first windows hung on weights in the Shenandoah Valley, water brought into the house through pipes from a spring, and built-in cabinetry.  There was also "[. . .] a vaulted wine cellar, but the master of the house abandoned the use of that beverage after hearing a temperance talk at Hopewell Meeting."
There are several mid-nineteenth century quilts made by the Quakers of Apple Pie Ridge, and even more that contain the names of its residents inscribed in ink on their blocks.  Four of their signature album quilts contain so-called "Apple Pie Ridge Stars."  They share several other quilt block patterns as well, but none have such a charming name.  It is now attached in so many minds to one particular pattern.
By sharing this brief history, the hope is that familiarity might allow imaginative readers to consider the "Apple Pie Ridge Star" in relation to a past time, place, and community in the Valley of Virginia.
Joliffe, William.  The Joliffe Neill and Janney Families of Virginia 1652 - 1893.  Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1893.
Kercheval, Samuel.  A History of the Valley of Virginia, Sixth Printing, Fourth Edition.  Harrisburg, VA: C. J. Carrier Company, 1833.
Lupton, Janney.  "Hollingsworth Revisited: A Labor of Love."  In Traditional Quilter, November, 1998.
Quarles, Garland R.  Some Old Homes in Frederick County, Virginia.  Winchester, VA: Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, 1999.
Robare, Mary Holton.  "The Apple Pie Ridge Star."  In Blanket Statements, 88, edited by Gaye Ingram.  Lincoln, NE: American Quilt Study Group, 2007.
Varle, Charles and Benjamin Jones.  Map of Frederick, Berkeley, & Jefferson counties in the state of Virginia.  Philadelphia: s.n., 1809.  Retrieved from the Library of Congress at http://www.loc.gov/item/2008621756.  Accessed June 8, 2016.
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society web site accessed June 8, 2016.
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2016.


June 1, 2016

Penn Dry Goods Market & a New (Old) Apple Pie Ridge Star

On Saturday, May 14th, Mary had the pleasure of presenting a lecture on the "Apple Pie Ridge Star" quilt block pattern at the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, during its Penn Dry Goods Market event.  You may remember reading about this pattern in three of our 2012  posts on February 3rd, February 12th, and November 11th.  The pattern, which is essentially a variation of a fleur-de-lis medallion, is known by many names including (among others) "Snowflake" and a "Kansas Pattern."

Hollingsworth Family Quilt, c. 1858, detail.  Collection of the Winchester-Frederick
County Historical Society, Winchester, Virginia.  All photos in this post by
Mary Holton Robare.

Apple Pie Ridge Star was a name assigned to the pattern by Janney Wilson when he pointed to the corner of a quilt he owned at the time and declared to his cousin, "My grandmother called that an Apple Pie Ridge Star."  Janney Lupton, the cousin to whom he was talking, subsequently published the name in a magazine article for Traditional Quilter in 1997. Since then, the name has caught on in the quilting community.

Much to Mary's delight, two of her friends, Paul and Nancy Hahn, were vending for the Antiques Show portion of the Penn Dry Goods Market events.  Below are two views of their booth.


Paul had just discovered an unfinished quilt top block, dated 1848, in the booth of another dealer, Ani DeFazio.  Not being familiar with the pattern, Paul was simply interested in its early fabric, date, and inscription.  It was not until Nancy looked more closely that she recognized the pattern from previous discussions about it with Mary.  And, thus, another so-called "Apple Pie Ridge Star" was found!
It was Ani's understanding that the block was originally found in Pennsylvania.  Although there is no connection in its provenance to the area of Virginia countryside called the Apple Pie Ridge, the pattern of this block is identical to the block Janney Wilson identified as "Apple Pie Ridge Star."
Appliqued so-called "Apple Pie Ridge Star," dated 1848.  Collection
of Paul and Nancy Hahn.
The earliest American dated and documented example of this pattern on a quilt block occurred in Baltimore in 1844, but within just a few years it appears on quilts from other states as well.  Of the approximately fifty examples of quilts containing Apple Pie Ridge Stars that Mary has studied, the "stars" are made of predominantly red fabric.  As more examples of the pattern come to light, other colors may be found but for now, the blue and tan colors of this fabric make this block unusual.
Its inscription is still legible.  By entering the first line in a search of Google Books, Mary was able to identify the verse, which is transcribed below.
May future years still give to thee
A clear unclouded brow
And innocence  and loveliness
Be with thee then as now.
August 12th 1848  Roxanna S. Sawyer
The verse is from A Golden Gift: A Token for All Season by Josiah Moody Fletcher.  Published in 1846 by J. Buffum, its editor J. M. Fletcher prefaced the book by explaining:  "In this little volume the compiler has endeavored to unite a collection, which, by combining poetic talent and high moral sentiment with the social and intellectual, should form an elegant and appropriate present for all seasons and occasions."
Who was Roxanna S. Sawyer?  Without any context other than a name and the date 1848, Mary wasn't sure an identification was possible.  Amazingly though, a Roxanna Stewart Sawyer (born 1837-1839, died 1909)  turned up in searches of census, cemetery, and death records.  Her name was occasionally connected by family relationships to other, identical individuals.
Roxanna was the daughter of a physician, Jacob Sawyer, and his wife Mary Ann (McGowan).  The family lived in Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.  Roxanna never married.  Since she retained her maiden name throughout her life, it was possible to track her through records until her death in 1909.  She was buried in the Carlisle Public Graveyard.
Interestingly, this Roxanna was just about eleven years old when her name was written in ink on the block.  We know from the plethora of existing historical needlework samplers that girls as young as five or six years old were capable of very fine work, but there may be another explanation for her name appearing on the block.  A name inscribed on a block did not necessarily mean that the block was made and inscribed by the person whose name appears.  For example, even names of deceased individuals appear on blocks of historical quilts, so unless a block was made and inscribed by a ghost, such blocks were inscribed by others to denote someone else's identity.  Whether this was done for a living or deceased individual, this type of signature is called an "allograph."  It is possible that someone else signed the block for Roxanna.
A couple of additional cautionary notes:  although preliminary research does not find other likely individuals with a name that fits the timeframe of the inscription we must consider the possibility that this is not the correct identification of Roxanna.  As to why this block was made, we will never know if it was intended for a quilt that was completed, minus Roxanna's block, or for whom it was being made.  However, we are thrilled to have one more early, dated example of the block pattern many now call the Apple Pie Ridge Star.
Thank you to Ani DeFazio of Ani DiFazio Antiques, Fine 18th & 19th Century Antiques, ani.difazio.antiques@gmail.com, and to Paul and Nancy Hahn for sharing the new (old)
Apple Pie Ridge Star.
Ancestry.com Find a Grave Index, 1600s -Current (2012) and U.S. City Directories,  1822 - 1995 (2011).
"United States Census, 1900" database with images, FamilySearch/  Accessed 16 May 2016: Roxanna Sawyer in the household of Daniel A. Sawyer, Carlisle borough Ward 4, Cumberland, Pennsylvania, United States citing sheet 11B, family 266, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Record Admin, n.d.)  FHL microfilm 1,241,400.
Wills, 1750-1908; Admin Books, 1750-1906.  Author Cumberland County (Pennsylvania).  Register of Wills, Probate Place: Cumberland Pennsylvania.
Year: 1870, Census Place: Carlisle West Ward, Cumberland, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1332; Page: 321A; image: 373949; Family History Library Film: 552831.
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2016.